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Little Red Robot
Unit Pacing Guide

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Pacing Guide

This unit should be implemented to supplement student learning on the concepts of coding the 123 Robot to avoid obstacles in unknown locations and using the Eye Sensor to detect objects.

STEM Labs can be adapted in various ways to fit into any classroom or learning environment. Each STEM Lab includes the following 3 sections: Engage, Play, and Share (optional).

Each STEM Lab in this unit can be completed in as little as 40 minutes

Section Summary

The Engage and Play sections, which contain the primary learning activities, can be completed within 40 minutes. The Share section, which enables students to express their learning is optional, but estimated at around 3-5 minutes per group.

Click on the tabs below to view descriptions of the Engage, Play and Share sections of the STEM Lab.

The Pacing Guide

The pacing guide for each Lab provides step-by-step instructions on What, How, and When to teach. The STEM Lab Pacing Guide previews the concepts that are taught in each section (Engage, Play, and Share (optional)), explains how the section is delivered, and identifies all the materials that are needed.

The pacing guide contains the following information:


Provides the approximate time duration of each section of the Lab.


Provides an overview of what students will do in each Lab.


Lists the materials that are essential to completing the Lab.

Adapting this Unit to Your Classroom

Not every classroom is the same, and teachers face a variety of implementation challenges throughout the year. While each VEX 123 STEM Lab follows a predictable format, there are things that you can do in this Unit to help make it easier to meet those challenges when they arise.

  • Implementing in less time:
    • For a coding-focused quick implementation of Lab 1, skip the Little Red Riding Hood retelling and do not have students decorate their 123 Robots as a character from the story. Begin with the Play Part 1 activity.
    • In Lab 2, combine the Engage step-by-step and Play Part 1 testing so the “Drive until object” Coder card is tested as a teacher-led demonstration. This will cut down time from having groups independently test the Coder card and how it works no matter the starting location of the 123 Robot.
    • For a shorter implementation in Lab 3, only have the students test the project one to two times in Play Part 1. Then complete Play Part 2 as a teacher demonstration to show students how the “Go to start” Coder card affects the project.
  • Activities to support reteaching:
    • For students who need more practice planning and sequencing a Coder card project, use these 123 Activities in your learning center or with the whole class. 
      • Flamingos in the Wild — Students will turn their 123 Robot into a flamingo! They will then plan and create a Coder project that drives their 123 Robot flamingo to the corner of a Tile.
      • Ring and Run — Students will code the 123 Robot to drive to a house, play the doorbell sound, and drive away. They will need to plan the project and sequence the Coder cards to complete this activity.
      • Red Fish, Blue Fish — Students will have their groups pair up and code their robots to act as fish and swim together. Students will use the “If” Coder cards in order to have the robot react when it sees another 123 Robot fish of the same color. 
    • Use the Drive Until Directions activity from the Choice Board for students who need additional practice understanding how the “Drive until object” Coder card works. This can be done by students individually or in a group setting! Have one student try to follow the ‘drive until’ directions of another student.
  • Extending this Unit: 
    • Once groups have driven to Grandmother’s house in Lab 1, Play Part 1, give them the “Turn around” Coder card and ask them to use this card and additional Motion cards to drive back to the starting location on the Tile.
    • To extend Lab 2, after students successfully code the 123 Robot to stop when it reaches the Wolf, have them add to their projects so the 123 Robot drives until it sees the Wolf, scares the wolf away, then drives on to grandmother’s house, and plays the doorbell sound.
    • To extend Lab 3, have students experiment with the “If blue” and “If green” Coder cards and see if they can build a different algorithm that accomplishes the same goal of detecting a Wolf of a different color, scaring the Wolf away, then driving to Grandmother’s house and ringing the doorbell.
    • Use the Choice Board activities to extend the Unit, while allowing students to express their voice and choice in what activities they want to complete.