This getting started activity will allow the children to explore the action bricks and different bricks in the set.
Review this lesson plan and choose what you need from the Teacher Support box.
If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: action brick, stop (as a noun), destination, most, train station, journey.
Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your students and decide when and how to introduce and differentiate lesson content, activities, or concepts.
Ask the students if they’ve ever taken a train, subway, or tram. Where did they go?
Tell them they’re going to play the choo choo train game!
Have the students line up and put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.
Explain that when you say, “go” they’ll move around the classroom like a choo choo train, and when you say, “red light” they’ll slow the train down and stop.
Play a few rounds of the choo choo train game.
Share printable model card 1 (image shown below) and have students build a model from it. Alternatively, they may use the Building Cards from the LEGO® Education Coding Express set as inspiration or build any destination they like.
When the students have finished building, ask them to work together to build a double-ended track.
Make sure the track is long enough to fit the train station and the destination (using eight track pieces is recommended).
Start at the train station and use a LEGO® DUPLO® figure as a passenger.
Tell the students that the passenger would like to go fishing at the harbor. Can you help them get to the harbor?
Tip: The students don’t have to build what’s on the building cards. They can build any destination they’d like.
The students are likely to stop the train one of three ways:
- By hand, which they’ve learned in the getting started activities
- Using the red action brick
- Using the red stop brick
Show the three different ways of stopping the train.
Talk to the students about the red action bricks.
Ask questions like:
- How many red action bricks did you use?
- Where did you place the red action brick(s) and why?
- Where did the train stop?
Encourage the students to build a longer track and to create more stops.
Pique their interest in using the green action bricks on the track.
Ask questions like:
- What did you see when the train went over green bricks?
- How can we help the train get back to the station?
- Ask guiding questions to elicit students’ thinking and their decisions while ideating, building, and programming.
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 work in collaborative groups to build a model and the double-ended track and then take turns using their model as the destination.
- Students create and follow an algorithm (step-by-step actions) for the train to move from the train station to one or more destinations along the track.
- Students use the action bricks (or appropriate elements) to program the train to start at the train station and stop at the destination.
- Understand the function of action bricks
- Understand how to use the different types of bricks
- Use action bricks to complete tasks
For up to six students
Coding Express set (45025)
- CSTA 1A-AP-08 Model daily processes by creating and following algorithms (sets of step-by-step instructions) to complete tasks.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.