SPIKE™ Essential

Bowling Fun

Have fun with Daniel’s ten-pin bowling game! Can you bowl a strike?

30-45 min.
Years 3-5


  • Review the Bowling Fun lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If you feel that it would be beneficial, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: force, modify, potential energy and ramp.
  • 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 language arts extension. Please refer to the Extension section below for further information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about the outcomes of the energy changes that occur when objects collide.
    • Talk with your pupils about what happens when two or more objects collide (e.g. in ten-pin bowling, cricket or golf).
    • Ask questions like these: What will you see when two objects collide? What do you think happens to the energy of the objects when they collide?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: bowling a strike.
  • 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 to bowl a strike.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to improve the bowling game.
    • Upgrade the bowling game to knock down different types of pins.
  • 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 bowl a strike? How did the ball’s energy affect the bowling pins?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on the energy changes that occur when objects collide.
  • Ask questions like these: How do you know that two objects have collided? Why does the speed of an object affect what happens when two objects collide?
  • 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 predicting the outcomes of energy changes that occur when objects collide.
  • 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 that I can describe how energy changes when objects
  • Blue: I can describe how energy changes when objects collide.
  • Green: I can describe how energy changes when objects collide, and I
    can also help a friend to do it.

Peer Feedback

  • In their small groups, have your pupils discuss their experiences of 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

  • 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 U4L2_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U4L2_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U4L2_ICB_2 - en-gb
Gecko U4L2_ICB_3 - en-gb

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:

  • Selecting one Inspiration Image to help your pupils to change their models
  • Experimenting with either the coding or the building

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Using the Colour Sensor to start the program for the bowling ramp
  • Adding obstacles that could affect the ball’s energy before it reaches the pins


  • Have your pupils conduct a short research project about accessibility in public spaces, and how objects can be modified to make the space accessible to everyone.

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

Language Arts: National Curriculum English En4/2.2 Comprehension b

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Predict outcomes of the energy changes that occur when objects collide
  • Observe and describe the relationship between energy and force
  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions

(one for every two pupils)

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

National Curriculum


  • making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment,
  • identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces


  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, roleplay/improvisations and debates
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
    understand what they read, in books they can read independently, by
  • checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context
  • asking questions to improve their understanding of a text
  • drawing inferences such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
  • identifying main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph and summarising these
  • identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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