Resources needed: LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Core Set

Repeat 5 Times

Use variables to count the number of sit-ups and calories burned during a workout.




Lesson Plan


1. Prepare

♦   Read through the student material in the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ App.


2. Engage (5 Min.)

♦   Use the ideas in the Ignite a Discussion section below to engage your students in a discussion related to this lesson.

♦   Explain the lesson.


3. Explore (15 Min.)

♦   Have your students work in pairs to build Leo, the personal trainer.

♦   Ask them to play the program to make sure Leo is working correctly.


4. Explain (10 Min.)

♦   Challenge your students to use variables to count Leo’s sit-ups.


5. Elaborate (15 Min.)

♦   Ask your students to add a second variable to programs to calculate the number of calories they’d burn by doing sit-ups themselves.

♦   Have them modify and customize their models.


6. Evaluate

♦   Give feedback on each student’s performance.

♦   You can use the assessment rubrics provided to simplify the process.

Ignite a Discussion

Start a discussion about exercise.

♦   Talk about training programs for athletes, rehab after injuries, elderly people, etc.

♦   Explore the concept of counting by asking your students to think of situations where they see counting features in their everyday life:

▷ Numbers of emails
▷ Likes on social media
▷ Available free spaces in parking garages

♦   Ask your students to describe what they think a variable is.

Building Tips

Go Slow on Speed

It’s best to activate this model with the Medium Motors at 75% speed.

Align Motors Correctly

Make sure your students have built the model with the motors correctly aligned, as shown in the building instructions. This will make programming easier.

Coding Tips

Main Program

Possible Solution

Other Programs


Simplify this lesson by:

♦   Doing an unplugged activity dealing with variables before starting the lesson

▷ Use a glass jar (to symbolize the variable) and gradually something to it, like marbles
▷ Explain that a variable is like a jar that keeps some information (i.e., the marbles) in its memory


Take this lesson to the next level by:

♦   Adding different tempos to the sit-ups (e.g., 2 slow and 3 fast)

♦   Asking your students to modify their programs to count the different types of sit-ups and display the different values

♦   Using a tablet and programming Leo to move following the movements of the tablet

Assessment Opportunities

Teacher Observation Checklist

Create a scale that matches your needs, for example:

1. Partially accomplished

2. Fully accomplished

3. Overachieved


Use the following success criteria to evaluate your students’ progress:

♦   Students can accurately describe the concept of a variable.

♦   Students can create and correctly use a variable in their programs.

♦   Students can use a variable to count different values.



Have each student choose the brick that they feel best represents their performance.

♦   Blue: I’ve created a variable to count the number of sit-ups Leo did.

♦   Yellow: I’ve added a second variable to count calories burned.

♦   Violet: I’ve modified my program to create different exercise tempos and routines.



Encourage your students to provide feedback to others by:

♦   Having one student score the performance of another using the colored brick scale above.

♦   Asking them to present constructive feedback to each other so that they can improve their group’s performance during the next lesson.

Language Arts Extension

To incorporate language arts skills development:

♦   Have your students find examples of training programs and explore the differences between them. Have them link the type of exercise and number of reps to the effect it would have on the body.

♦   Have them create a presentation about different workout programs.

Note: This will make for a longer lesson.

Math Extension

To incorporate math skills development:

♦   Have your students explore linear relations in various ways.

♦   Have them trace a linear graph of the value of the different variables (e.g., count, calories, work) in relation to the number of sit-ups done by Leo.

♦   Have them extract the math relation of that graph (y=mx+b)

Note: This will make for a longer lesson.

Career Links

Students who enjoyed this lesson might be interested in exploring these career pathways:

♦   Education And Training (Teaching)

♦   Health Science (Biomedical)

♦   Health Science (Medical & Health Careers)

♦   Information Technology (Game Programming)

Teacher/Parent Support

Students will:

♦   Declare multiple numeric variables

♦   Perform simple math operations on the variables

© 2017 Duck Learning. All rights reserved.

LEGO, the LEGO logo, DUPLO, SOFT, and MINDSTORMS Education logos; the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group.

© 2017 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.

STEM Education | Coding for Kids Singapore | Holiday Camps | Robotics Courses