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Name of Activity:
The Amazing Race
Academic content:Social Studies, Science and Health
Purpose of Activity:1. The students will improve their directional awareness by locating sites and symbols on a map. 2. The students will increase their heart rates while traveling to each site and performing the specified task/exercise at each site. 3. The students will work cooperatively with their partners throughout the challenge.
Prerequisites:Students should have prior experience with map drawing and reading, and using a variety of locomotor skills and fitness activities.
Suggested Grade Level:3-5
Materials Needed:Map of school grounds being used and/or Orienteering Booklets (1 for every 2-3 students), Answer Sheets, Controls for each site and 1 pen hanging from each control.
Physical activity:Locomotor skills & fitness activities
Description of Idea
Students are placed into groups of 2-3. They are given either a map quest (with a white answer sheet), blue booklet (blue answer sheet) or green booklet (green answer sheet). Each map/booklet has a different course of travel. When orienteering, students are working to travel from each location to the next as quickly as possible using a different locomotor skill each time.
The map should be of the school grounds being used for the course (with landmarks, symbols, etc.). The students are to use the map to find the sites marked with an X. They will use landmarks and symbols on the map to help them find each location. Each site marked with an X has a number next to it (X1-X6 if you have 6 sites). Before traveling to X1 the students will flip their map over and will read question 1. When they find the correct location of X1 the answer will be found on a "control" hanging at the site. They use the pen hanging from the control to write their answer down on their answer sheet (Answer: heart rate increases). At each station have a physical activity that relates to the stations question (e. g., run in place for 45 seconds as fast as you can and see what happens to your heart rate). They read the question for X2 and travel to that site, and so on.
The blue and green booklets are similar to one another, but have different sites to locate and questions to answer (6 in each booklet). Each page of the booklet has a picture of a site on your school grounds (e.g. soccer goal, tree, bench, etc.). Under that picture will be a numbered question, related to any subject and a related physical activity (e.g. What is the state tree of New York? Do 20 jumping jacks and be as wide as possible like a tree). When they find the correct site, a "control" will be there with the answer on it (sugar maple) and a pen hanging to write it down on their answer sheet.
After students have finished locating all sites and answering all questions, they should return to the teacher and if time permits, try a new orienteering map or booklet.
Controls - each control should have a pen hanging from it (so students don't have to carry it with them). I type the answers on white paper with a red background (so they are easy to see) and laminate them. Write an exercise/task on the control for the students to perform when they arrive at each location (e.g. jumping jacks, kick a ball into the soccer goal, etc.). The same locations may be used on the map and in the booklets if you choose, but the students must know the correct answer to write down on their answer sheet when looking at the control. I type the blue booklet answers in blue, green booklet answers in green and map quest answers in black. Make sure to place the correct question number next to each answer.
The booklet (with pictures) is an easier form of orienteering. To increase the level of difficulty, zoom in when taking your pictures so you cannot tell exactly what the site is when looking at the picture.
The map provides more of a challenge for students. To make the map more difficult, place fewer symbols and landmarks on it.
You may also have the students perform challenges at each site before moving onto the next.
After students have finished their orienteering course (booklet or map), check the answers they have written down for each question asked. If they answers are correct, they successfully located each site on their booklet or map.
I like to explain to the students how to use the booklets and maps during the previous class lesson so the day of The Amazing Race they can have the full class period to engage in orienteering.