SPIKE™ Essential

Big Bus

Today is going to be an awesome day! Help Daniel get to the sports stadium to see the big game.

30-45 min.
Years 3-5


  • Review the Big Bus 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 language arts extension. Please refer to the Extension section below for further information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about making improvements in order to make something work better.
    • Talk with your pupils about how buses stop at different bus stops.
    • Ask questions like these: How does the bus driver know where to stop? What happens if people are waiting at the bus stop? What happens if no one is waiting?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: making the bus stop at the green stop.
  • 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 makes the bus stop for Daniel at the green stop.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to change the bus ride.
    • Upgrade the bus route to make different stops.
  • 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: What did you want to include in your program to ensure that it met Daniel’s needs? What was the most challenging part of trying to make the bus stop at the right place?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on improving a program to meet a specific need.
  • Ask questions like these: Why do you think it's important to accommodate specific needs in your programming? How do you feel when something that you need is included?
  • 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 improving a program to meet a specific need.
  • 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 improve a program to meet a specific need.
  • Blue: I can improve a program to meet a specific need.
  • Green: I can improve a program to meet a specific need, 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 U3L6_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U3L6_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U3L6_ICB_2 - en-gb
Gecko U3L6_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:

  • Reading the Big Bus 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:

  • Exploring new and different Coding Blocks in the program
  • Adding three different-coloured bus stops to the bus route


  • Have your pupils write a pamphlet explaining why it's important for public spaces (e.g. buildings, buses, schools) to be accessible for all people, including those who have a handicap.

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

Language Arts: National Curriculum English En3/3.3 Composition b

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Improve a program in order to meet a specific need
  • Test and evaluate solutions to determine whether they meet a specific need
  • Recount an experience using relevant facts and descriptive details

(one for every two pupils)

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

National Curriculum


  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

Design and Technology

  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work

Draft and write by:

  • composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures
  • organising paragraphs around a theme
  • in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
  • in non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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