SPIKE™ Essential

Big Little Helper

Daniel’s locker is overflowing. How can he get all of his things home?

30-45 min.
Years 3-5


  • Review the Big Little Helper lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If you feel that it would be beneficial, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: control, constraint, design, robot and solution.
  • 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 further information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about solving a problem that has constraints.
    • Talk with your pupils about moving everything out of your classroom into another one, with one catch. They must finish the move within 10 minutes!
    • Ask questions like these: How could you empty the classroom in the shortest amount of time? What if you only had four classmates to help you?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: controlling the robot helper.
  • 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 controls the robot helper.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Program the robot helper to follow Daniel home.
    • Design your own improved robot helper.
  • 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 Daniel to get all of his belongings home? How is the design of your robot helper different from Daniel’s?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on ways of creating a possible solution to a problem that has constraints.
  • Ask questions like these: Why is it important to consider constraints when you’re designing a solution? How do constraints affect your design process?
  • 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 creating a possible solution to a problem that has constraints.
  • 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 create a solution to a problem that has
  • Blue: I can create a solution to a problem that has constraints.
  • Green: I can create a solution to a problem that has constraints, 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 a map.
  • Using the map, they should experiment with the available coding blocks to modify their programs to follow the route for the trip.

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 personalise their models.

There are no specific building instructions for this challenge.


Simplify this lesson by:

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

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Designing different bases to assist the robot helper in carrying Daniel's things
  • Programming the robot helper to follow a predetermined route


  • Have your pupils use graph points to map the robot helper's path. They should use the x- and y-axis to plot where the robot helper travels. They can also plot the path of another group’s helper.

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

Maths: National Curriculum Maths Ma5/3.3 Position and direction

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Create a possible solution to a problem that has constraints
  • Improve upon others’ ideas in order to develop a new program
  • 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

Design and Technology

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups


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


  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas


  • identify, describe and represent the position of a shape following a reflection or translation, using the appropriate language, and know that the shape has not changed.

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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