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Name of Activity:

Survivor Island Field Day

Purpose of Activity:

The purpose was to provide children with the opportunity to use the teamwork and leadership skills they learned in our cooperative learning unit in a real situation.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Cooperative Skis (we built these), Potato sacks, Hula Hoops (5 per class), Tug of War Rope, Large trash can with water, 1 medium size bucket for each group, 1 small bucket for each group, 2 parachutes, Bungee Cord for three legged race, Gator Skin Balls (2 for each group), Lots of 2 feet long pieces of pvc pipe, marbles, Nitro Carry boards (these are circular pieces of board with six pieces of small rope coming out around the egde). They are used to transport objects, 2 deck rings for each group, 2 half full water bottles for each group, 2 bean bags for each group, plenty of pylons.

Description of Idea

This event was the culmination of a cooperative games and challenges unit and was based on the television show "Survivor". We chose the island theme from the first series. Classes each were their own tribe and gave themselves a "tribal name". They made their own tribe flag, which they brought with them out to field day. Children were also invited to dress "island style" for the day! Many classes came dressed in camoflauge complete with face paint!

Each event is a cooperative challenge that has a suvivor island theme in each. EVERY CHILD in class is involved in each event, no one is left to sit and watch a certain event. During these events we never emphasised who won, or who was the fastest. We just played music during each event and let the students have fun. We cheered on groups that were finishing and emphasized teamwork and sportsmanship.

Students arrived at a designated time with their grade level . They arrived to the Survivor TV show theme song (which they LOVED!)


In this event a huge volcano has erupted in the tribes camp. The lava is slowly pouring in and the tribes must escape. To do this they must use the cooperative skis to keep the lava from buring their feet. This is a relay using the skis. Grades 3-5 use the skis. Grades K-2 use potato sacks.


A plane passing overhead has accidentally dropped toxic chemicals onto the camp site. You need to use the Nitro Carry to rid your camp of the waste.

The waste consists of:

2 bean bags
2 half full water bottles
2 deck rings

This is a relay using the nitro carry. Items must be moved off the camp one at a time. Grades 2-5 only do this event.


Island Kangaroos have challenged your tribe to a race. The tribe lines up in two lines, and the first two people have a gator skin ball (or some kind of ball). On the whistle the two put the ball in between their knees and hop down to the cone and back. All tribes go at once, two members at a time. All grade levels participate in this event.


Tribes are lost in the jungle, they need to maneuver their way out of the jungle without losing anyone. Tribes pass five hula hoops down their class line of joined hands. If someone breaks hands they are lost in the jungle forever!!


Again tribes are in two straight lines. The first two carry the "coconut" ("soft"ball) between their foreheads, without using their hands, down to the cones and back, and then hand off to the next two members.


Using bamboo poles (small pieces of PVC pipe) tribes must get their food (marbles) to from the tree to the basket trying not to drop any on the ground. Six members go at a time.


The tribes have been captured by another tribe and they have tied their legs together so they must figure out a way to escape. This is a five person three legged race. (five people are connected instead of two.)


You have decided that you need help to get off the island, send up your smoke signal (7 balls on a parachute) the quickest.


Your campfire has gotten out of control. All you have is one bucket to put out the flames. First person goes to the water source (big garbage can) and brings the bucket back to the line. The tribe passes the bucket to the end trying not to let any water spill. The last person empties the water into the bigger bucket at the end of the line, runs the empty bucket to the front fills it and starts the bucket moving again. Tribes are trying to fill their bucket up.

At the end we gave each class a certificate for their room that said "WE SURVIVED FIELD DAY!"

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Submitted by Jaime  Weissmuller who teaches at Clark Elementary in Brandon , FL . Additional authors for this idea were Louis Mooney. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/29/2001.

Viewed 173023 times since 8/24/2001.

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What is nitro carry?


I also added "Lasso the Duck". We took an inflatable 3 ft. pool and filled it with water. The teams had to lasso 3 duck hunting decoys floating on the water. This is harder than it sounds but the kids just loved it!

Survivor Island Field Day