SPIKE™ Essential

Tree House Camp

Sofie is looking forward to seeing the moon from her tree house! How can she open the tree house roof for a brilliant view of the sky?

30-45 min.
Years 1-2


  • Review the Tree House Camp lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If you feel that it would be beneficial, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: camping, debug, moon, roof and tree house.
  • 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 more information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about having to make a change in order to be able to do something.
    • Talk with your pupils about wanting to see the sunset while standing in the classroom but not being able to.
    • Ask questions like these: What could you change to make it possible to see the sunset while standing in the classroom? What could you move or remove to help you see it?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and their first challenge: opening the tree house roof.
  • 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:
    • Make and try the program that opens the tree house roof.
    • Note: The first program that your pupils create won't be successful. They'll be prompted to fix (debug) the program using a Motor Block that’s running in the opposite direction.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next challenge in the app:
    • Change the tree house for Sofie’s next camping adventure.
  • 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 help Sofie to see the moon? How did you make the roof of the tree house move?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on the importance of fixing (debugging) errors in a program.
  • Ask questions like these: Why is it important to make sure that your program works correctly? What can you do if your program isn't working the way you’d like it to?
  • 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 testing their programs and fixing the errors that they find.
  • 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 test my program and fix the errors that I
  • Blue: I can test my program and fix the errors that I find.
  • Green: I can test my program and fix the errors that I find, 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 must replace the Motor Block.
    • Changing the direction of the motor will enable the tree house roof to open.

Model Tip

  • After your pupils have completed their first 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:

  • Reading the Tree House Camp story and instructions from the LEGO® Education SPIKE App aloud to your pupils
  • Selecting one Inspiration Image to help your pupils to change their models

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Including the Loop Block in the program to automate how the roof opens and closes
  • Using the Colour Sensor to change how the tree house roof is activated


  • Have your pupils write a description of Sofie’s tree house, draw a picture of it, and label its parts.

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

Language Arts: National Curriculum English En1/1d Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Identify and fix errors within a program (test and debug)
  • Test to ensure the program works correctly
  • Practise helping a story character
  • Participate in collaborative conversations

(one for every two pupils)

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

National Curriculum


  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs


  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, roleplay/improvisations and debates
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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