SPIKE™ Essential

Bowling Fun

Have fun with Daniel’s bowling game! Can you get a strike?

30-45 min.
Grades 3-5


  • Review the Bowling Fun lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: force, modify, potential energy, and ramp.
  • 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 the outcomes of the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
    • Talk with your students about what happens when two or more objects collide (e.g., in bowling, baseball, golf).
    • Ask questions, like: What will you see when two objects collide? What do you think happens to the energy of the objects when they collide?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: bowling a strike.
  • 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 to get a strike.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to improve the bowling game.
    • Upgrade the bowling game to knock down different types of pins.
  • 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 bowl a strike? How did the ball’s energy impact the bowling pins?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
  • Ask questions, like: How do you know that two objects have collided? Why does the speed of an object affect what happens when two objects collide?
  • 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 predicting the outcomes of changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
  • 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 describe how energy changes when objects collide.
    • Blue: I can describe how energy changes when objects collide.
    • Green: I can describe how energy changes when objects collide, 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 how 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 U4L2_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U4L2_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U4L2_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U4L2_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:

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

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Using the Color Sensor to start the program for the bowling ramp
  • Adding additional obstacles that could impact the ball’s energy before it reaches the pins


  • Have your students conduct a short research project about accessibility in public spaces, and how objects can be modified to make the space accessible to everyone.

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

Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Predict outcomes of the changes in energy that occur when objects collide
  • Observe and describe the relationship between energy and force
  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions

(one for every two students)

  • LEGO® Education SPIKE Essential Set
  • Device with the LEGO® Education SPIKE App installed
  • CSTA 1B-AP-12
  • NGSS 4-PS3-3
  • ISTE 1.3d

Language Arts Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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