SPIKE™ Essential

Big Little Helper

Daniel’s locker is overflowing. How can he get all his things home?

30-45 min.
Grades 3-5


  • Review the Big Little Helper lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: control, constraint, design, robot, and solution.
  • 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 math extension. See the Extension section below for more information.


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Facilitate a quick discussion about solving a problem that has constraints.
    • Talk with your students about moving everything out of your classroom into another one, with one catch. They must finish the move in 10 minutes!
    • Ask questions, like: How could you empty the classroom in the shortest amount of time? What if you only had four classmates to help?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: controlling the robot helper.
  • 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 controls the robot helper.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Program the robot helper to follow Daniel home.
    • Design your own improved robot helper.
  • 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 help Daniel get all his belongings home? How is the design of your robot helper different from Daniel’s?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on ways of creating a possible solution to a problem that has constraints.
  • Ask questions, like: Why is it important to consider constraints when designing a solution? How do constraints affect your design process?
  • 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 creating a possible solution to a problem that has constraints.
  • 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 create a solution to a problem that has constraints.
    • Blue: I can create a solution to a problem that has constraints.
    • Green: I can create a solution to a problem that has constraints, 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 a map.
  • Your students can use the map and experiment with the available Coding Blocks to modify their programs to follow the route for the trip.

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 personalize their models.

There aren't any building instructions for this challenge.


Simplify this lesson by:

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

Increase the difficulty by:

  • Designing different bases to assist the robot helper in carrying Daniel's things
  • Programming the robot helper to follow a predetermined route


  • Have your students use graph points to map the robot helper's path. They should use the x- and y-axis to plot where the robot helper travels. They can also plot the path of another group’s helper.

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


Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Create a possible solution to a problem that has constraints
  • Improve on others’ ideas to develop a new program
  • 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-08
  • NGSS 3-5 ETS1-2
  • ISTE 1.4c

Math Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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