Build an obstacle course

(Crafts and Design)

Crafts and Design – Elective Course
Area of competency: 


Idea generation Experimenting and analysis
The pupil can work with complex design processes related to manufacturing products The pupil can generate ideas with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach, including using digital tools. / The pupil has a knowledge about innovative and entrepreneurial methods for generating ideas. The pupil can independently adjust complex design processes from experiments and analysis. / The pupil has a knowledge about experiments and analysis of process and product.

We are surrounded by design, no matter where we look – from the chair and table to the computer or phone in our hand. But how have these objects been created?

Who had the ideas? And how do you even get a good idea?

The development of ideas is one of the competencies, that is part of teaching Crafts and Design, and it is also an important competency to bring with you to the labour market of the future.

To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.

In this lesson plan, the pupils will work with their ideas from a creative approach, and they will work with some of the basic terms of the design process through trial and testing.

How can robots be used in teaching Crafts and Design?

Shape Robotics’ Fable Joint and Fable Spin modules make it easy, to work with testing ideas, seeing as the pupils easily can connect new parts, code and test the different items.

The above questions are the basis for this lesson plan, along with a framework regarding design and production of an obstacle course, where different elements must be built in different hard and soft materials, to be used with the programmed robot modules.

The lesson plan can be a part of Crafts and Design in 6th grade, with a focus on the design process,  or later as an elective course. It seems obvious to let the lesson plan end with some sort of exhibition, where the guests can try the finished course, and control the robots from the code the pupils have written.


  • Moduler:
  • 2 x Hub (for the driving robot and the robot cheerleader)
  • 1 x Fable Spin module
  • 2 x Fable Joint modules
  • 1 x 3D printed accessories
  • 1 x 2XY module
  • 1 x 3XY module
  • 2  x 4XY modules
  • Miscellaneous tree/fabric/yarn etc.

Teaching activities: 

The teacher introduces the pupils to the possibilities of Fable Joint and Fable Spin, as well as the program Fable Blockly.

The pupils get started with programming and testing the elements themselves, so they can quickly attain an understanding of what you can do with the different programming parts of Blockly and test, what possibilities the different modules have.

Then the pupils are introduced to the overall framework within which they have to develop ideas. The pupils are divided into pairs, so they can work together and support each other in the idea generation and the tasks in general.

The tasks:

  • Build a robot to drive through a track with an obstacle course
  • The robot should be able to perform challenges underway e.g.:
    • Pick up a ball
    • Follow arrows of a certain color on the floor 
    • The pupils’ exploration and experiments with the robot parts determines the outcome.
  • Build an element for the course that the class will build together. Build it out of hard or soft materials, or a combination of those.
    Build for instance:

    • Start/finish
    • Ramps
    • Flags and flag arms for cheerleader robot
  • Complete the course – e.g. the team with the best time, with challenges completed, wins.

It is a good idea to have the pupils interchangingly working with programming and testing of their modules. Should they for example need Fable Spin to drive up a ramp, they have to experiment with how steep a slope it can drive up and down, and which speed the module need to drive at.

Gradually, as the pupils become familiar with the programming, they can start working in little obstacles in the way the robot is controlled.

E.g. It keeps on turning, until the spacebar is pressed. That makes it harder to control to robot precisely, until the person controlling it, has tried this a few times.

Ways of differentiating:

The teacher can pick out in advance, which types of obstacles should be made and which materials they should be made of, and have handed out these task to the pupils dependent on the difficulty. 

Pictures from the pupils’ work

Subject and grade: This lesson plan can be part of Crafts and Design in 6th grade or as an elective course.


Recent Entries

Want to stay in the loop?
Sign up to our Newsletter

We value your privacy. We never send you any spam or pass your information onto 3rd parties.