SPIKE™ Essential

Winning Goal

How can Maria’s soccer game be more like a computer game?

30-45 min.
Grades 3-5


  • Review the Winning Goal lesson in the LEGO® Education SPIKE App.
  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: compare, contrast, and failure.
  • 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 failure.
    • Talk with your students about a time when they tried to complete a task or an activity but couldn’t (e.g., not being able to save a goal in soccer).
    • Ask questions, like: How did it feel to fail? How did you change your approach so that you would succeed the next time?
  • Introduce your students to the story’s main characters and the first challenge: moving the goal.
  • 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 moves the goal.
  • Have your students iterate and test their models to complete the next two challenges in the app:
    • Modify the program to make the goal move in a different way.
    • Design your own upgraded moving goal.
  • 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 modify the program to make the goal move in a different way? What did you consider when you designed your own moving goal?


(Whole Class, 5 Minutes)

  • Prompt your students to discuss and reflect on the process of identifying the failure points of a model or program.
  • Ask questions, like: How could you determine when the goal failed? What did you observe? How could you use these observations to make it successful in the future?
  • 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 identifying the failure points of a model or 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 identify failure points of a model or program.
    • Blue: I can identify failure points of a model or program.
    • Green: I can identify failure points of a model or 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 U5L5_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U5L5_ICB_1 - en
Gecko U5L5_ICB_2 - en
Gecko U5L5_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:

  • Creating a program for another group and having them try to score
  • Adding the Light to the goal, then programming it to act as a countdown clock


  • Have your students write a sports commentary for Maria and Sofie’s soccer game. Make sure that they use correct sports terminology and directional vocabulary.

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

Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.4

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Identify the failure points of a model or program
  • Consider failure points in order to make improvements
  • 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-11
  • NGSS 3-5 ETS1-3
  • ISTE 1.4d

Language Arts Extension


Student Material

Student Worksheet

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