SPIKE™ Essential

Cable Car

Leo is nervous about crossing Spike Lake in the cable car today. Can Maria help him to conquer his fear?

30-45 min.
Years 3-5


  • Review the Cable Car 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 repeating a motion in order to repeat a task.
    • Talk with your pupils about moving people from one place to another.
    • Ask questions like these: What are some ways of moving people from one place to another? How could that mode of transport be repeated to make sure that everyone gets to where they want to go?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: moving the cable car across the lake.
  • 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 moves the cable car across the lake.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to improve the cable car ride.
    • Upgrade the cable car for Leo and Maria’s next trip.
  • 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 improve the program for the cable car ride? Why did you make those improvements?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on how they’ve used sequences and loops.
  • Ask questions like these: How did introducing a loop to your program improve the cable car ride? Why do you think it's valuable to have something on a loop?
  • 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 using sequences and loops.
  • 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 use sequences and loops.
  • Blue: I can use sequences and loops.
  • Green: I can use sequences and loops, 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 U3L5_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U3L5_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U3L5_ICB_2 - en-gb
Gecko U3L5_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 Cable Car 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
  • Making the cable car track as long as possible


  • Have your pupils write a story about Leo and Maria’s trip across Spike Lake in the cable car. Tell them to use a clear sequence of events that explains what Leo and Maria did before, during and after their trip.

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:

  • Use sequences and loops to program their models
  • Identify and fix errors in a program to ensure that it works as intended (test and debug)
  • 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


  • use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs

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

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