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Teacher: Teri Charpenel who teaches at Fierke Education Center in Oak Forest, IL. Teri Charpenel can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Ninja Spider Challenge

Rationale/Purpose of Event: Students will work in partner groups to complete a themed obstacle course. Students attempting the course must be in control of their bodies and maneuver through obstacles without touching any of the spiders. Students who are recording for their partners must be observant and respectful and accurate in their assessment.

Suggested Grade Level: PRE-K, K-2, 3-5

Materials Needed: Gym mats, tunnels, inclines, rope swing, steps, balance beams, giant spiders (obtained from various stores), plank boards, paper spiders.

Ninja Spider Challenge

During Physical Education classes, students are given partners and one partner scores for their partner as they attempt the obstacle course. The challenge of the course is to NOT touch any of the dozens of spiders. The partner who is doing the obstacle course must move through each section touching as few spiders as possible in order to earn "Super Ninja" (0 touches), "Ninja" (1-10 touches), or "Apprentice Ninja," (more than 10 touches of the spiders) certificates.

The recording partner must be observant, considerate and encouraging of their competing partner. Recording partners should help their competing partner by telling them how close they are to any spiders. Recording partners should also use encouraging words to help their partners feel a sense of pride and achievement.

During our Family Night, students bring their parents and siblings to the challenge and students can show their parents how they did during P.E. class. Students are always excited about bringing their younger siblings and showing them the course.



For older students, place more spiders are the course to make it more challenging for them to move. For example, more spiders can be placed on the traverse wall.

For younger students, take spiders away so that it is not too difficult to maneuver around them

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

By using the "are you a ninja" recording sheet, students are much more aware of their movements and much more careful in completing the course. Recording students learn to be aware of what their partner is doing/

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students in wheel chairs follow the spiders on the floor. Students can also be placed on the rope and helped to swing across the pit of spiders.

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Posted on PEC: 11/1/2017 and has received 112 votes.

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Previous Comments:


It's a good, fun, challenge!


I knew the pe teacher as a young girl...and she loved setting up these similar if in a horse wonderful to see it translated for this spider challenge. Fun..cooperative..and dramaticALLY ENTHUSIASTIC.

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