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Little Red Robot
Lab 2 - Watch out for the Wolf!

Teacher Portal

Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. Hold up Motion Coder cards or use the 123 Poster for reference, and have students offer ideas and suggestions.
  2. Hold up, or point to, the “Drive until object” Coder card, and make sure students know the word ‘object’ before moving on.
  3. Have students share their ideas and predictions about the Coder card function. You may want to note ideas on the board to refer back to them during the demonstration.
  4. Turn students’ attention, or move to, the field where you will have your demonstration.
  1. In Lab 1, we found lots of ways to get our Little Red Robots to Grandmother’s house. Today, we’re going to learn another way - using only 1 Coder card! Which Coder card do you think could do that?
  2. This Coder card is called, “Drive until object.” What is an object?
  3. So now we know what an object is, what do you think the “Drive until object” Coder card will code the 123 Robot to do?
  4. Let’s test it to find out together!


  1. InstructInstruct students that they are going to observe while you test the “Drive until object” Coder card in a Coder project. Remind students that they will not be touching the 123 Robot or Coder yet, that this is just a time to watch what it does, so they can learn a little bit about this new Coder card.
    Video file
  2. DistributeDistribute just one 123 Robot with the Art Ring and decoration attached, and Coder, for demonstration purposes. Make sure that all students can see the field, the 123 Robot, and the Coder. You will distribute 123 Robots, Coders, and Coder cards to student groups after the demonstration is complete.
    • First, wake the 123 Robot by pushing the wheels along a surface until you hear the startup sound, as shown in the animation below. Turn on sound for this animation. For more information about the 123 Robot, see the Using the VEX 123 Robot VEX Library article.
    Video file
    • Then, turn on the Coder and connected to the 123 Robot to a Coder. To connect the 123 Robot, press and hold the Start and Stop buttons on the Coder, and the Left and Right buttons on the 123 Robot for at least 5 seconds, until you hear the connected sound, and the indicator lights flash in time, as shown in the animation below. Turn on sound for the animation. For more information about the Coder, see the Using the VEX 123 Coder VEX Library article.
    Video file
    • Set the Little Red Robot on the field opposite Grandmother’s house, as you did in Lab 1.
    • Insert a “When start 123” Coder card followed by a “Drive until object” Coder card, and show students the project.
    • Start the project.
  3. FacilitateFacilitate a conversation about the behavior of the 123 Robot and the “Drive until object” Coder card. Share your wonder and excitement as you ask questions like:
    • That was amazing! How did our Little Red Robot get to Grandmother’s house?
    • Did our Little Red Robot do what you thought it would do?
    • What does the “Drive until object” Coder card make the 123 Robot do?
    • I wonder how it knew to stop moving? What do you wonder about what you just saw the Little Red Robot do?
  4. OfferOffer positive reinforcement for good observation skills, like keeping your hands to yourself, raising your hand for a turn to talk, and listening to others.
A VEX 123 character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Take Turns - Help students to take turns in their groups throughout the Lab. Suggestions to facilitate this include:
    • To get started with the 123 Robot and Coder, one student can wake up the 123 Robot, while the other pairs the Coder.
    • During Play Part 1, have students alternate between starting the project and placing the 123 Robot.
    • During Play Part 2, have one student insert the Coder cards, and the other start the project.
  • Give Coder cards as they will be used - To help students stay focused on the project at hand, you may want to only give students the Coder cards they need for each phase of the Lab. For Play Part 1, give each group a “When start 123” and a “Drive until object” card. At the start of Play Part 2, distribute the Coder cards students can use to expand their project.
  • Green means go! - For groups who finish early and need additional challenges, provide them with the "Glow green" Coder card to add to the project, so that their 123 Robot can glow green before starting to drive. Ask them to experiment with where the card will go in their project so students can see that the Coder runs each card in order from the top to the bottom.
  • Choose the reaction that’s right for you - Consider your classroom’s personality and environment in selecting options for students in Play Part 2. Is your classroom a loud place? Perhaps offer an additional Looks Coder card, instead of a Sound Coder card. You can select which Coder cards your students can choose from, in order to best support your space and learning styles.
  • Use printables as manipulative to support project planning - See the printable resources available in the VEX Library, and use them with students as they are planning and building their Coder projects. You could use the fill-in project and motion planning sheets for students to document their Coder cards and the path and/or reaction of the 123 Robot. You can also use the fill-in Coder sheet for students to write or draw their Coder cards to "save" their projects. 
  • Use Coder card posters to reinforce learning with the Coder - Highlight specific Coder cards, or refer to cards as you are teaching with the Coder card posters. Students can use these posters to review terminology as they are working with VEX 123. See the Using Coder Cards Posters in the Classroom VEX Library article to access these printable posters and to see more strategies for using them in your learning environment.