SPIKE™ Prime with Python

Word Games with Lists

Create lists in order to complete a story based on a word game

90-120 min.
Years 7-9 or Key Stage 3

Questions to investigate

• How can multiple lists be used and accessed at the same time?


• Ensure SPIKE Prime hubs are charged, especially if connecting through Bluetooth.


(Group Activity, 15 minutes)

Engage students in a word game where they have to provide certain types of words that will later be used to finish a story.

Ask students to provide example words for the following examples:
• Place
• Adjective
• Tool or Machine
• Color
• Type of animal

Read the sample story to the class including some of the words they chose in place of the blanks.

Kate and Kyle decided to go fishing one day while sitting around in the (place). Kate really wanted to catch a (Adjective) fish. First, they needed to find a (tool or machine)_ to catch the fish with. Luckily, Kyle knows his neighbor has a _(color) fishing net. They ask to borrow the net and go straight to the pond where instead of fish they see a (animal).

Consider reading the story a couple of times using different words for fun.
Challenge students to create their own story with at least 5 words that can become the words that need added in during the game. Be sure to set the expectation for how long the story should be, if it should be on a certain topic, or if certain types of words (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) should be the ones left blank.


(Small Groups, 45 minutes)

Students will investigate using lists with sensors to create their own word game.

Direct students to the BUILD section in the SPIKE App. Here students can be inspired by the building instructions from several models in order to design their own color detector to use in completing their word game. Ask students to design and build their model.

Program your Story
Direct students to open a new project in the Python programming canvas. Ask students to erase any code that is already in the programming area. Students should connect their hub.  

Challenge students to create a program where they can use lists of the word types like nouns, verbs, and adjectives to have word options to substitute in the blanks in their story. Remind students that the lists should match the types of words that need to be used in their individual stories which means everyone will not create the same lists.

Additionally, students will need to program their color sensing model to coordinate with their word game. Using five different colors, students should create a conditional statement that allows each different color sensed to provide a word for your story (i.e. blue is a noun, red is a verb, etc.).

Test and Iterate
Allow time for students to test and analyze their ideas as they go, making improvements where needed. Students should test and evaluate their designs against the design criteria set and their flowcharts as they start making their solutions.

Ensure students use sketches and photos of their models to record in their design journey.

Allow students to receive feedback on their designs as time allows. This can be from other groups or the teacher.


(Whole Group, 10 minutes)

Discuss with students how the program worked.
Ask students questions like:
• How does your color sensing model work?
• How does your model interact with your story?
• What decisions did you have to make while programing your story?
• What was difficult about this challenge?


(Small Groups, 25 minutes)

Allow students additional time to complete their program after the initial sharing session.

Students should finalize their design and program. Encourage students to incorporate any new ideas they get from the sharing session.

Leave the models together if you are completing the lesson on feedback next.


(Group Exercise, 10 minutes)

Teacher Observation:
Discuss the program with students.
Ask students questions like:
• What was difficult about this challenge?
• What was your approach to solving this challenge?
• How can sensors and lists work together?

Have students answer the following in their journals:
• What did you learn today about creating lists and working with sensors?
• What characteristics of a good teammate did I display today?
• Ask students to rate themselves on a scale of 1-3, on their time management today.
• Ask students to rate themselves on a scale of 1-3, on their materials (parts) management today.

Teacher Support

Students will:
• Create multiple lists within a program to complete a word game
• Program a color sensing model to coordinate with their word game

• SPIKE Prime sets ready for student use
• Devices with the SPIKE App installed
• Student journals

2-CS-02 Design projects that combine hardware and software components to collect and exchange data.
2-AP-10 Use flowcharts and/or pseudocode to address complex problems as algorithms
2-AP-13 Decompose problems and subproblems into parts to facilitate the design, implementation, and review of programs.
2-AP-17 Systematically test and refine programs using a range of test cases.
2-AP-19 Document programs in order to make them easier to follow, test, and debug.