SPIKE™ Essential

Boat Trip

Maria and Sofie are going on a boat trip! How will they get their boat into the water?

30-45 min.
Grades 1-2


  • Review the Boat Trip lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: challenge, change, program, push, and robot.
  • 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 following a plan to complete an activity.
    • Talk with your students about how they'd put on clothing to go outside.
    • Ask questions, like: What would you do first? What would you do next?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: pushing the boat into the water.
  • 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:
    • Make and try the program that pushes the boat into the water.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next challenge in the app:
    • Change the program to make the robot better.
  • You can find coding support in the Tips section below.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Gather your students together to reflect on their completed challenges.
  • Ask questions, like: What's the first thing you did to get the boat into the water? How did you change the program to make the robot better?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on the process of following instructions.
  • Ask questions, like: Why is it important to follow instructions? What happens if the steps are out of order?
  • 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 following instructions to create a program.
  • 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 follow instructions to create a program.
    • Blue: I can follow instructions to create a program.
    • Green: I can follow instructions to create a program, 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 U1L1_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U1L1_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U1L1_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U1L1_ICB_3 - en


Simplify this lesson by:

  • Reading the Boat Trip story and instructions from the LEGO® Education SPIKE App aloud to your students
  • Shortening the lesson to only include the first challenge

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Creating a different way for the boat to get into the water
  • Clicking Show Full Palette in the app to utilize more Coding Blocks


  • Have your students write a story about Maria and Sofie’s boat adventure. Ask them to include two different events that happen while they're in the boat.

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

Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.3

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Follow instructions to create a program
  • Identify the main characters in a story
  • Practice helping a story character
  • Participate in collaborative conversations

(one for every two students)

  • LEGO® Education SPIKE Essential Set
  • Device with the LEGO® Education SPIKE App installed
  • CSTA 1A-AP-08
  • NGSS K-2 ETS 1-1
  • ISTE 1.5a

Language Arts Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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