SPIKE™ Essential

Good Morning Machine

Help Leo say "good morning" to his friends!

30-45 min.
Grades 3-5


  • Review the Good Morning Machine lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: challenge, create, innovate, program, test, and upgrade.
  • 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 process of identifying the steps needed to solve a problem.
    • Talk with your students about what they'd do if they had to reach something that was too high.
    • Ask questions, like: What would you do first? What would happen after that?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: starting the waving machine for Leo.
  • 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 starts the waving machine.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Upgrade the program for the waving machine.
    • Design your own waving machine.
  • 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: What was Leo’s problem? How did you help solve it? How did you improve Leo’s waving machine?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on ways of defining and understanding a problem.
  • Ask questions, like: Why is it important to understand what the problem is? What types of questions should you ask to find out more about the problem?
  • 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 defining and understanding the given problem.
  • 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 define and understand the problem.
    • Blue: I can define and understand the problem.
    • Green: I can define and understand the problem, 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 U5L1_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U5L1_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U5L1_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U5L1_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 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:

  • Exploring new and different coding blocks in the program
  • Including another motor or sensor in the waving machine's design


  • Have your students conduct a short research project about how people from different cultures greet each other in the morning.

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

Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Define and understand a problem
  • Brainstorm and iterate to create a solution that meets the described needs
  • 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-17
  • NGSS 3-5 ETS1-1
  • ISTE 1.4a

Language Arts Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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