First Grade

Gamify Your Robots

Empowered Learner, Computational Thinker, Global Collaborator


Learn how to use your Robots (e.g., Code and Go Mice, Dash, and Spheros) by gaming. Gaming creates a high-interest, team-building, and problem-solving approach to using the robots, and the games are easily adapted to most robots and many levels.

This activity will take multiple days. 

Students will:

  • Be able to operate and code a robot using sequencing techniques.

  • Understand how to read grid coordinates.

  • Be able to work together to program the robots and make decisions about the game they are playing.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Sequencing: Sequencing is to put steps in order.

  2. Bug: A bug is a part of a program that does not work correctly.

  3. Debugging: Debugging is finding and fixing problems in an algorithm or program.

  4. Grid: A grid is an area of uniformly spaced horizontal and perpendicular lines that form equal-sized squares.

  5. Coordinates: Coordinates are a set of numbers and/or letters used in specifying the location of a point on a line, on a surface, or in space.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Have students practice coding on the computer.
    • Use, Scratch, etc. to give students the opportunity to code individually and begin to understand the process of debugging and sequencing. 
    • You will need to set up accounts for your students first.
    • is easily done if you are using Google Classroom.
  • Prepare materials for the game.

  • Create 6x6 (or 4x4) mats, 6x6: 30cm x 30cm squares, 4x4: 5in x 5in squares

  • Purchase Dollar Tree Shower Curtain Liners, White. 

  • Electrical Tape for Tic Tac Toe

  • Clip Boards and Pencils

Other Gaming Ideas:

  • 6x6 Mat: Connect 4
  • 6x6 Mat: Memory
  • 6x6 Mat: “Backwards Bingo”
  • See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 
  • Younger students/struggling learners: Play “Find the Cheese” instead of “Cheddarship” or “Treasure Hunt.”
  • Struggling Learners: Could practice programming the robot on the floor, not on the grid, to begin to understand how the coding works.  
  • Give struggling students access to easier modules (A or B) in, which have more picture clues for solving sequencing problems.

Directions for this activity:

  1. Day 1: Introduce sequencing and get students logged into Have students practice Blockly coding with
  2. Day 2-3+: Continue to let students work at their own pace in (Could intersperse some off-line coding activities if desired.)
  3. Day 4: Introduce Treasure Hunt (Make copies for the students) and play with the whole group. Use a spinner to pick student names. Delete the squares on the grid as students ask for coordinates. Have all students mark on a practice grid “X” for a miss and an “O” for a hit. Reset the slideshow back to the original file once the game is over so it’s ready for the next class.
  4. Day 5: Play Cheddarship with older students (find one piece of cheese). 
  5. Day 6: Play Treasureship with older students. Play Tic Tac Toe with younger students.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Watch each team to see each student have a chance to code the robot.  If they are successful in getting the robot to the intended grid square, then they understand the sequencing concept and how to use the specific device.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Empowered Learner
1d. Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Computational Thinker
5d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Global Collaborator
7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.


Dash and Spheros will work with iPads or Android Tablets.  (Will also work on phones.) 

App, Extension, or Add-on:
Download the Blockly App (Wonder Workshop) for Dash Robots or the Sphero Edu app for the Spheros.


Flippity Randon Name Picker



Journaling to document or reflect on the process

Create their own game or game pieces

Graphing, Coordinates, Problem-Solving

Graphing, Problem-Solving

Use Coordinates on an actual map

This task card was created by Lisa Zaar, Livonia Public Schools, January 2020. Updated Nov. 2021. (Need to replace links to cards in pre-planning)