SPIKE™ Essential

Classic Carousel

Create a new spinning ride for Sofie to try!

30-45 min.
Grades 1-2


  • Review the Classic Carousel lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: design, improve, prototype, refine, and test.
  • Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your students. Differentiate the lesson to make it accessible to everyone. See the Differentiation section below for suggestions.
  • If time allows, plan and facilitate the language arts extension. See the Extension section below for more information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about making improvements.
    • Talk with your students about going to an amusement park and wanting to make a fun ride even better.
    • Ask questions, like: What would you do if you had the chance to change a ride? How could you change it?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: making the carousel spin.
  • Distribute a brick set and a device to each group.


(Small Groups, 30 Minutes)

  • Have your students use the LEGO® Education SPIKE App to guide them through their first challenge:
    • Create and test the program that makes the carousel spin.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Change the program to improve the carousel.
    • Upgrade the carousel for Sofie.
  • You can find coding and building support in the Tips section below.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Gather your students together to reflect on their completed challenges.
  • Ask questions, like: How did you make the carousel spin? How did you upgrade the carousel?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on the process of making improvements and refinements.
  • Ask questions, like: What were you thinking about when you decided to improve the carousel? How did you know when you'd made enough improvements?
  • Have your students clean up their workstations.


(Ongoing Throughout the Lesson)

  • Ask guiding questions to encourage your students to “think aloud” and explain their thought processes and reasoning in the decisions they've made while building and programming.

Observation Checklist

  • Measure your students’ proficiency in improving a prototype.
  • Create a scale that matches your needs. For example:
    1. Needs additional support
    2. Can work independently
    3. Can teach others


  • Have each student choose the brick that they feel best represents their performance.
    • Yellow: I think I can improve a prototype.
    • Blue: I can improve a prototype.
    • Green: I can improve a prototype, and I can help a friend do it too.


  • In their small groups, have your students discuss their experiences working together.
  • Encourage them to use statements like these:
    • I liked it when you…
    • I'd like to hear more about when you…


Coding Tip

  • After your students complete their first challenge, they'll be provided with three Inspiration Coding Blocks to help them modify their programs.
  • The Inspiration Coding Blocks are intended to spark their imaginations as they experiment to find their own solutions.
Gecko U2L2_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U2L2_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U2L2_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U2L2_ICB_3 - en

Model Tip

  • After your students complete their second challenge, they’ll be provided with three Inspiration Images and an open-ended prompt for improving their models.
  • The Inspiration Images are to help spark their imaginations as they experiment and change their models.

There aren't any building instructions for this challenge.


Simplify this lesson by:

  • Shortening the lesson to only include the first challenge
  • Selecting one Inspiration Image to help your students change their models

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Exploring new and different Coding Blocks in the program
  • Adding the Color Sensor or Light to the model


  • Have your students write a story about Sofie’s experience at the amusement park. Ask them to include temporal words to indicate the order of events.

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

Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.3

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Improve and refine a prototype as part of the design process
  • Practice helping a story character
  • Describe key ideas or details from a text

(one for every two students)

  • LEGO® Education SPIKE Essential Set
  • Device with the LEGO® Education SPIKE App installed
  • CSTA 1A-AP-12
  • NGSS K-2 ETS 1-1
  • ISTE 1.4c

Language Arts Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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