SPIKE™ Essential

Literary Randomiser

How can Daniel’s literary randomiser make choosing a book more exciting?

30-45 min.
Years 3-5


  • Review the Literary Randomiser lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If you feel that it would be beneficial, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: genre, overwhelmed, randomiser and success.
  • 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 decisions.
    • Talk with your pupils about a time when they had to make a big decision.
    • Ask questions like these: What criteria did you use to make the decision? How did you evaluate whether you were happy with your decision?
  • Introduce your pupils to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: programming the literary randomiser to pick a book genre.
  • 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 picks the book genre.
  • Have your pupils iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to improve how the literary randomiser works.
    • Design your own upgraded literary randomiser.
  • 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 was Daniel’s problem? How did you help him to solve it? How did you improve Daniel’s literary randomiser? Why did you decide to make that improvement?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your pupils to discuss and reflect on the process of setting success criteria to determine whether a solution was successful.
  • Ask questions like these: Why is it important to set success criteria and understand what makes a solution successful? How do success criteria help you to improve something you've created?
  • 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 defining the success criteria for evaluating a solution.
  • 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 define the success criteria for evaluating
    a solution.
  • Blue: I can define the success criteria for evaluating a solution.
  • Green: I can define the success criteria for evaluating a solution,
    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 U5L6_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U5L6_ICB_1 - en-gb
Gecko U5L6_ICB_2 - en-gb
Gecko U5L6_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 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:

  • Changing how the literary randomiser is constructed
  • Exploring new and different Coding Blocks in the program


  • Have your pupils write stories based on the genre that was chosen by their literary randomisers. Make sure that they use narrative techniques, such as dialogue and description, to create a story that fits the genre.

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

Language Arts: National Curriculum English En5/3.3 Composition b

Teacher Support

The pupils will:

  • Define success criteria to help evaluate a solution
  • Compare and contrast different solutions to determine which one best meets the specified need
  • 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

  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work


  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
    Draft and write by:
  • selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
  • in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action
  • précising longer passages
  • using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs
  • using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader

Pupil Material

Student Worksheet

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