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Name of Activity:

Cooperative Challenge

Purpose of Activity:

To help kids better understand the importance of teamwork.


Many prior team building activities, class discussions on the importance of trust, communication, perseverance, and safety

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

For this summative assessment task materials needed are: skipping ropes or other ropes, dots, beanbags. Assessment Sheet

Description of Idea

Divide the class into teams of 5 students. In Step 2, you will need to decide how many groups will come together to complete the task. This will depend on the total number of students in your class. I have used 3 groups as an example in this description.

The activity is broken into 5 steps. The students have to complete the challenge set out before them at each step before moving to the next step. The 5 steps they have to complete are:

Step 1: Connect the Ropes
In this game each team member has a skipping rope. The challenge is they have to tie all of their skipping ropes together, end to end. Sounds easy, however, they can only use one hand for this challenge. Communication and cooperation are keys to success. Using only one hand each, they have to manage to tie all 5 ropes together. Once this task is completed, they have to stretch the ropes out to show me.

Step 2: Form a Shape
In this activity, still using only one hand each, while holding the now tied together team rope, the three teams had to come together and tie their team's rope (all 5 skipping ropes tied together is one team rope) together with the other 2 teams to form a large circle of skipping ropes tied together. Essentially, the three teams combined into one team for this activity. As a large group now the students had to use their large rope to form shapes at the teacher's command. For example, if I told them to form a square, together as a group they had to use the large rope to form a square. The shapes I had them create were:

Figure 8

Step 3: Save the Injured Person
In stage 3, the students went back on to their original 5-person teams. The large rope from stage 2 was left in the center of the gym on the floor. Each team was in a corner of the gym. As each team had 5 players, the goal of the 'Save the Injured Person Game' was to have the team select 2 players from their team to be the injured persons. The group had to decide the best way to transport/carry these injured persons into the large roped circle in the middle of the gym. *Carrying safely was a must in this game.* Review your safety rules before starting this step. Once each team transported its injured into the center they could move to stage 4.

Step 4: Build a bridge
Each team now had 2 injured people in the center roped circle. In the center of the circle were ten team dots. If possible, assign each team their own color of dots. Using the 10 dots, the injured had to build a bridge of dots back to the rest of their team in the corner. Now the center circle was connected to each team by a succession of dots placed on the floor. The bridge had to be built before moving on to the 5th step.

Step 5: Capture the Gold!
With a bridge now built between the center roped circle and each team, the goal in this final activity was to cross the bridge of dots and collect as many beanbags as possible bringing them back to your team area. If a dot was dropped while crossing the bridge, it was returned to the center roped circle.

Assessment Sheet

For a thorough description which includes slide show of all 5 activities and examples of student assessment go here.

Assessment Ideas:

Assessment A: After playing each step of the game, on an assessment sheet provided the students had to assess each game's level of difficulty and comment. Included was a team photo on this sheet.

Assessment B: On the back of this sheet was assessment task B. The students had to:

Draw a picture of their favorite adventure challenge game
Describe what they did well in this game
Explain what they could have improved upon in the Adventure Challenge unit in general
Talk about how they can apply what they learned in the Adventure Challenge unit (communication, trust, being open-minded) to their lives outside of PE, especially when they have issues or problems.

Submitted by Andy Vasily who teaches at Nanjing International School in Nanjing, China, . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/20/2012.
Viewed 118387 times since 2/8/2012.

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Cooperative Challenge

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Previous Comments:

Joe M

Nice job, i love these type of activities.

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