Coding Express Set

Character - Caterpillar

The objective with this lesson is for students to understand that the action bricks’ behavior can be changed using the App and with this activity recognize and understand different emotions.

30-45 min.


  • Review this lesson plan and choose what you need from the Teacher Support box.

  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: sad, angry, sneeze, dress, healthy, peek-a-boo.

  • Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your students and decide when and how to introduce and differentiate lesson content, activities, or concepts.

  • This lesson is designed to be used with the Coding Express app. Download the app for student devices at

  • To use this lesson without the Coding Express app, see the unplugged version.


  • Read the students this story about a little caterpillar:

There was a caterpillar who loved all kinds of colors and she always dressed in lots of colors. She went to kindergarten, just like all of you! Her favorite thing to do at kindergarten was to play hide-and-seek, and she loved to eat snacks with her friends. But sometimes, she got upset because she was very tired after playing for a long time. The best way to make her happy again was to let her nap for a little while.
In the winter, sometimes the caterpillar got sick. Her teacher always took good care of her, wiping her nose and giving her water to drink.

Tip: Feel free to adapt this story to make it more relatable for your class.



  • I’d like to know more about this little caterpillar, wouldn’t you? Let’s build her!

  • Build a caterpillar and a train track.

  • Now experiment with the app.

  • Put the caterpillar on the track and allow the students to explore the different functions of each button.

  • Place one action brick of each color on the track.

  • Have the students take turns using the app to control the caterpillar.

  • What happens after the caterpillar passes each action brick?



  • Talk to the students about the emotions they’ve seen in the app.

  • Ask questions like:

    • What emotions did you see on the caterpillar’s face?
    • Why was she sad, angry, happy, or playful?
    • Can you create something using LEGO® bricks or other things to make the caterpillar feel happy or cheerful?


  • Encourage the students to create models to match each of the caterpillar’s emotions.

  • Combine all of the models to make a story!

  • Talk to the students about being a good friend.

  • Ask questions like:

    • When our friends are sad, how can we help them to be happy again?
    • How can we take care of our friends when they’re sick?
    • How can you be a good playmate and friend?


  • Ask guiding questions to elicit students’ thinking and their decisions while ideating, building, and programming.

Observation Checklist

  • Review the learning objectives and educational standards addressed in this lesson (Teacher Support box).

  • Share specific student responses and behaviors at different levels of mastery.

  • Use the following checklist to observe students’ progress:

    • Students can, using the app, recognize the actions from the action bricks will change.
    • Students can, with prompting, recognize that the app is storing data to represent what the train does.
    • Students can express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

More Ideas

  • Use this lesson’s format to create lessons for the Troll and the Robot in the app.

  • Create your own stories for the characters in the Engage phase and explore more interesting emotions with your kindergartners.


Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Understand that the action bricks’ behavior can be changed using the app
  • Recognize and understand different emotions
  • Be able to use the app to create stories

For up to four students

  • Coding Express set (45025)

  • Coding Express App

  • CSTA 1A-AP-09 Model the way programs store and manipulate data by using numbers or other symbols to represent information.


  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.