SPIKE™ Essential

The Spinning Ferris Wheel

The team wants to ride the big wheel together. How can you help them?

30-45 min.
Years 1-2


  • Review the Spinning Big Wheel lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your pupils. Differentiate the lesson to make it accessible to everyone. Please refer to the Differentiation section below for suggestions on how to do this.
  • If time permits, plan and facilitate the maths extension. Please refer to the Extension section below for more information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about modifying a solution in order to make it work properly.
    • Talk with your pupils about what happens when something isn't working as it should.
    • Ask questions like these: If the roller coaster is moving slowly and doesn’t have the energy to climb its steep inclines, what could you do to make improvements and fix it? What would you have to think about in order to make improvements?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: starting the big wheel.
  • Distribute a brick set and a device to each group.


(Small Groups, 30 Minutes)

  • Have your pupils use the LEGO® Education SPIKE App to guide them through their first challenge:
    • Create and test the program that starts the big wheel.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Change the program to make the big wheel better.
    • Upgrade the big wheel for the team.
  • You can find coding and building help in the Tips section below.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Gather your pupils together to reflect on their completed challenges.
  • Ask questions like these: How did you make the big wheel stop after a quarter turn to make sure the team could get on and off? How did you upgrade the big wheel?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on how they can modify solutions in order to fix them.
  • Ask questions like these: What do you think about when you're trying to make modifications in order to fix a solution? How can you tell if your idea will work?
  • Have your pupils tidy up their workstations.


(Ongoing Throughout the Lesson)

  • Ask guiding questions to encourage your pupils to ‘think aloud’ and explain their thought processes and reasoning in the decisions they’ve made while building and programming their models.

Observation Checklist

  • Measure your pupils’ proficiency in modifying a solution in order to fix it.
  • Establish a scale that suits your needs. For example:
    1. Requires additional support
    2. Can work independently
    3. Can teach others

Have each pupil choose the brick that they feel best represents their performance.

  • Yellow: I think I can modify a solution to improve it.
  • Blue: I can modify a solution to improve it.
  • Green: I can modify a solution to fix it, and I can also help a
    friend to do it.

Peer Feedback

  • In their small groups, have your pupils discuss their experiences working together.
  • Encourage them to use statements like these:
    • I liked it when you…
    • I'd like to hear more about how you…


Coding Tips

  • To successfully debug their programs, your pupils will have to add a Wait Block.

    • Adding a Wait Block will allow the big wheel to stop long enough for the team to get on and off.
  • After your pupils have completed their first challenge, they'll be provided with three Inspiration Coding Blocks, which will help them to modify their programs.

  • The Inspiration Coding Blocks are intended to spark their imaginations as they experiment to find their own solutions.

Gecko U2L6_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U2L6_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U2L6_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U2L6_ICB_3 - en

Model Tip

  • After your pupils have completed their second challenge, they’ll be provided with three Inspiration Images and an open-ended prompt, which will help them to improve their models.
  • The Inspiration Images are meant to help spark their imaginations as they experiment and change their models.

There are no specific building instructions for this challenge.


Simplify this lesson by:

  • Shortening the lesson to include only the first challenge
  • Selecting one Inspiration Image to help your pupils to change their models

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Exploring new and different Coding Blocks in the program
  • Programming the Light to flash as a countdown before the big wheel starts


  • Have your pupils practise partitioning the big wheel into circles of equal and unequal shares. Ask them to record their data and use different materials to recreate the angles.

If facilitated, this will extend beyond the 45-minute lesson.

Maths: National Curriculum Maths Ma2/2.4 Fractions
Ma2/2.4a Recognise, find, name and write fractions 1/3, 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4 of a length, shape, set of objects or quantity.

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Modify an existing solution to make it work properly
  • Practise helping a story character
  • Describe key ideas or details from a text

(one for every two pupils)

  • LEGO® Education SPIKETM Essential Set
  • Device with the LEGO® Education SPIKE App installed

National Curriculum

Design and Technology

  • explore and evaluate a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria


  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves.


  • Fractions
  • recognise, find, name and write fractions 1/3, 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4 of a length, shape, set of objects or quantity

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

Download, view or share as an online HTML page or a printable PDF.