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Name of Activity:

Titanic Challenge

Purpose of Activity:

To foster positive cooperative/communication skills and strategy development.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Three hula hoops per team and cones for a starting and finish line.

Description of Idea

Discuss how cooperation is important to help groups achieve one's goal. Explain that today, their group will have a challenge which they will need to solve in a positive manner. Introduce and/or review different types of positive behaviors/communication skills (talk in respectful voice, allow all to contribute, etc.).

Explain to the students that they will all be aboard a sinking ship (behind the start line; use half of a volleyball court or similar area for the start and finish lines). They may only use life boats (the hula hoops) to get to safety (the other line). The object is to get all the people safely off the boat as quickly as possible using only the life boats.

Students may only step in the hoops and may pick up hoops, but only those that are empty. Hula hoops cannot be dragged or tossed. Teams may take any number of passengers on the lifeboats but if any passenger steps out of the hoops all the people in the lifeboat must return to the ship. Teams may step out of the lifeboat only when they have reached the finish line but they may not throw the hoops back to the boat. (They will need to put one hoop in front of the other until they reach the finish line, but do not tell them this unless they absolutely cannot figure it out).

Divide students into groups of six or less. Give each group 1-2
minutes to brainstorm ideas on how to solve their dilemna; each member in the group must offer a suggestion before they decide on a course of action. Then tell groups they have (five or so) minutes to begin with. At the end of five minutes, gather groups together and discuss what they have done, what has worked, etc. Allow students to begin again, using ideas they may have gathered. At the end of the activity, discuss again the types of behaviors which were helpful to groups successfully completing the challenge.

Assessment Ideas:

Observe each group to see if they are using positive, cooperative behaviors to solve their problem.

Teaching Suggestions:

Try adding or removing hoops for different strategy ideas. Also you can make certain color hoops "icebergs" that cannot be moved.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

For wheelchairs have a wheel (tip of pole) inside of hoop.

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Submitted by Tony Estrada who teaches at Christ Lutheran in Wset Covina, . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/22/2001.

Viewed 182211 times since 8/24/2001.

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Previous Comments:


This is my favorite P.E game.


My students love to play this one! It is one of their most favorite activities in PE.

Emily Michaels

I love that game!


I used this lesson in my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade PE classes and it was great.


This makes no sense to me. Do you they all step in the hula hoop and carry it to the other side? I don't see the learning in that.


I have played this game many times and this is my favorite game I think this game is about how fast you are. I'v played it evey day. Now I am the quickest in my class. :) :)



Coach G

Where are the hula hoops at the beginning of the game? Each team will start with the hoops or all the hula hoops are spreaded out on the floor?


I have played this game with many students. I have found that the students really love this game and want to play it agian and again. I have found that by starting with 3-4 hoops per groups of 5-6 and giving minimum instruction the students get more out of it and have heaps of fun. The discussion after wards is always exciting and rewarding for all.
I also allow the game to be played a couple of time and take a hoop away each time we play.

kerry Austin

Thanks for this game I needed to find some good games in a hurry as I have just started as a PE teacher in a new school

G.V. K.

You can also do this with paper instead of hoops. They have to step on the paper to get acoss.

Ava P.

Niceeeeeee :D Really good.

Titanic Challenge