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Pitfall

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A challenging gymnastics obstacle course for grades 4-5.  
Submitted by Katherine Brick, Fichburg, Massachusetts.

 

 

BACKGROUND: Students with behavioral problems provide a challenge to educators. One method that I have found successful is to structure several high-interest activities one after the other. Here’s one way to do it.

At the end of the gymnastics unit, I set up an obstacle course using all of the available equipment. The equipment represents a “jungle” of obstacles. The students are now adventurers on a secret mission. They have to travel through the obstacles to acquire a treasure. The students begin by crossing the Lost River.

1. Lost River Bridge (parallel bars): The students can move across the bars in any safe fashion.

2. Land Mines Traverse (scooter boards): The students use a scooter board to maneuver through the land mine field. The land mines were large “X’s” made from black construction paper. They were placed in a certain pattern on the floor.

3. Quick Sand Passage (tires): A series of tires marked the only safe passage through the dangerous quick sand. Students have to step in the tires.

4. Electric Fence (tumbling mats): Here the students had to roll under the imaginary electric fence to safety.

5. Volcano (horse): The students have to vault over a volcano.

6. Dark Forest: The students have to get on the land rover (scooter board) and go through the Dark Forest (cones).

7. Gator Pit (balance beam): The students must safely cross the gator pit without being eaten.

The students were used to simulate the effects of each obstacle and return the equipment. For example, the students would return the scooter boards for the next person, or make hand clapping sound for the gator jaws!

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