Before You Start - Laying the Groundwork

Starting early on in the year, there are things you can do to lay the groundwork for implementing robotics. Closer to project time, the children should become familiar with robots through play-based preparation activities which will allow them express their initial perceptions and understanding about robots as well as develop skills later required for building and programming. 

Links to the Preschool Education program Download 

Six graphic organisers Download 
Use them throughout the project in a variety of contexts. My research organiser; Making predictions; This is how I did it (4 steps); This is how I did it (6 steps); Reflecting on Robotics; My reflection.


Learning to read plans


An important skill

Reading plans is a skill the students need to learn through prior practice.  It is a skill closely connected to reading, so the one reinforces the other. Among other things, it reinforces reading from left to right and from top to bottom.


Games involving plans

Some examples of games that teach the children to read plans, locate symbols, reproduce visual instructions and build according to them. 

A list of games that involve plans  


Learning about gears


The gears that connect it

WeDo robots move thanks to a variety of gear systems that connect the motor to the moving parts. Here are 2 examples of activities that allow the children to discover how gears can be connected and to be attentive to their presence and roles in their robots.

List of Gear Games  

Two videoclips. Go to site

Documentary reading and research


Creating an information wall

To introduce robots and what they are, the children focused on researching through non-fiction reading. They showed what they learned by creating an information wall that was posted outside the class. Then they invited other classes and they explained it. 


See also, in French:
Chanter et réciter des comptines Go to site
Robotics on the Service national du RÉCIT à l’éducation préscolaire

More on documentary reading in Preschool  Go to page

Discovering the characteristics of a robot and of programming


These activities can be part of your warm-up and hook activities. The objective here is to help the children express their current understanding and to create opportunities for discussions and Aha! moments.  

What is a robot?  Download

Information document for teachers


Wondering- What are robots, really?
In constructing their understanding of the world, the children make associations with what they already know. (1m 22 sec)



Is it a robot or not?
Animate a discussion to bring out the children’s conceptions. The set of "Robots-not robots" signs as well as the images for sorting can be used with or without a white board. 

Robot-not robot sorting signs  Download
Robot-not robot images for sorting  Download


Understanding programming through play
Using a cardboard game console, a student instructs a fellow robot to move in the classroom. The game initiates students to the concept of programming and of the importance of each instruction given. 

Get the Game Console


See also in French: 
Découvrir les caractéristiques d’un robot Go to site
Robotics on the Service national du RÉCIT à l’éducation préscolaire



Building WeDo Robots

The Wedo Plans

LEGO WeDo offers a series of plans that were modified by the RÉCIT national à l'éducation préscolaire to adappt them to the kindergarrten context.  They were translated by Learn.

The Wedo Pieces

Use these resources in a variety of contexts to help the childrem become familiar with the parts, their names and fucntions. Create games and playful activities around them. 

Some Management Ideas


Learning about the pieces

Students learn about the pieces, what they look like and what they are called. Then they set up for building the robot. (1 m 45 sec)

Time to Build

In this video, the first model, Dancing Birds, is introduced and the building begins. A teacher shares her management strategy for this phase of the project. (1m 51 sec)

See also in French:

Deux petites activités à réaliser avec les pièces LEGO Go to site 
(Service national du RÉCIT à l’éducation préscolaire )

Programming WeDo Robots

After having learned what the programming icons do and how to create short programming “sentences”, (use IWB and other strategies) provide the children with these simple programming challenges. Help them think out loud about their solutions by asking questions to help them problem solve. The answers sheets are for your eyes only! They are not meant for the students to use as a set of instructions to follow. 

The programming challenges

Related support materials

  • The vocabulary of the WeDo programming icons Download
  • Programming icons pictograms (small)   Download
  • Programming icons pictograms (large)  Download
    Cut them out and plasticise. The children can use them to plan out and discuss their solution to each programming challenge, then test it on the computer. Crreate a game, such a a matching game, to help them learn the vocabulary associated with the icons.   
  • The backgrounds and their associated number  Download
  • The sounds and their associated number  Download

Some management ideas


Giving instructions and learning to program 

There are many things to learn before the students get to program their robots and many ways to learn them. In this video a teacher reflects on her experience and tells us what she learned.  (3m 13 sec)

Shared Practices: Videos

Contexts for observing learning

While this project is about robots, its role is to provide a rich variety of contexts for the children to participate actively in their learning. Observation will be the favoured means of evaluation. Here are some examples of contexts that set the scene for observing the children’s attitudes, behaviours, processes, strategies and productions.  You’ll find that several things always happen simultaneously that can be connected to more than one competency or area of development.

Working with Centers

Claude Poulin describes some of the centers she put in place as part of the learning situation and as a way to manage her class (51 sec)

Reflect and communicate

A free play robot-building activity followed by a 4-step visual representation/reflection on the process and communication. Cycle 1 students. (48 sec)


Learning related to cognitive development: grouping and sorting games.  The students develop the sorting categories as they work in teams, Cycle 1 students. (2 m 29 sec)

Programming the robot

After having programmed the basic challenges, the students quickly move to develop their own. They discover and express their personal understanding of the programming elements. Cycle 1 students. (1 m 48 sec)

Building the robot

Cooperation, communication, problem solving. The students take turns in the roles of Builder or Checker. Cycle 1 students. (2 m 34 sec)

Robotics Portofolio Tools

Portfolio Reflection Organizers

  • This is how I did it (4)
  • This is how I did it (6)
  • My research organiser
  • Making predictions
  • Reflecting on robotics
  • I am proud of myself
  • My reflection
    Get the collection in .zip format Download