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Comic Strip

Uploaded Image: snowmanLove.jpg
SummaryCreate a comic strip. A comic strip has comic panels and comic panels can have text balloons. There are different kinds of text balloons such as speech balloons and thought balloons. You can create new types of text balloons such as scream or whisper balloons.
Topicsanalysis and design, UML class diagrams, inheritance, abstract classes, abstract methods, overriding methods, and polymorphism.
AudienceCS1 or CS2
DifficultyIntermediate, Can take 2-3 weeks to cover.
StrengthsThis assignment is open-ended and allows for students to be creative with their own pictures. Many love creating comic strips. It can make abstract concepts like polymorphism and abstract classes easier to understand.
WeaknessesSome students might not like creating comic strips.
DependenciesStudents should be ready to write methods and create classes using inheritance.

You will need the ComicStrip, ComicPanel, TextBalloon, SpeechBalloon, ThoughtBalloon, Picture, SimplePicture, and PictureFrame classes and the DigitalPicture interface from the bookClasses directory. You can get the bookClasses zip from

VariantsYou can create the pictures for the comic strip in Alice. You could have students create the TextBalloon, SpeechBalloon, and ThoughtBalloon classes. If you are covering GUIs you could have the students create the ComicStrip class.
Exercise Summary I have provided classes for ComicStrip, ComicPanel, TextBalloon, Speech Balloon and ThoughtBalloon. You could first have the students do an analysis of comic strips. Ask each student to bring in a favorite comic strip and share it with the class. Try to identify what they have in common. Compare what they discuss with the classes I created.

Have students create their own example ComicPanel main methods and then have them create their own ComicStrip main methods. You can create other types of text balloons such as whisper balloons or scream balloons by extending the TextBalloon class.

Additional Materials This zip includes powerpoint slides, a word document explaining the project, the pictures for the sample comic panel, and the pictures for the sample comic strip:

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