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21-PE - PYP - PSPE - Grade 1 - Adventure Challenge.jpg

Grade 1 - Adventure Challenge

Central Idea:

  • Reflection and respect are important for a team to be successful

Learner Outcomes:

  • Interactions:

    • Share their own relevant ideas and feelings in an appropriate manner​

    • Ask questions

  • Identity:

    • Reflect on their experiences in order to build a deeper understanding of self​


Andy Vasily

The Physical Educator

Lesson 1: Pre-Assessment:

  • The Adventure Challenge unit is fantastic for developing teamwork. We focused on reflection and respect as the two key words of the unit. Reflection can be associated with further keywords such as open-mindedness. Respect can be branched down to trust and communication. But of course, these terms all interact with one another, but I really did want to introduce them to the terms reflection and respect.

  • I opened up with the challenge, Crossing the River:

    • Break the class into 4 teams

    • Give each group 4-5 hula-hoops

    • They need use the hula-hoops as stepping stones to reach the other side of the playing area

    • If they step out of the hula-hoops, that group loses one hula-hoop

  • The second challenge I put the kids through was Capture the Gold:

    • Similar format to Crossing the River, however the teams are positioned in 4 corners of a playing area with a Hula-Hoop full of respective colored beanbags in the middle of the area

    • The 4 teams have to use their hula-hoops to reach the gold.

    • They pick up 1 beanbag/gold and go back to their base, deposit it and go back to get another one

  • I then closed the lesson reviewing the key points of the Central Idea and how they played a role in the 2 challenges.

Lesson 2:

  • Considering my students struggled a little bit in the previous lesson we repeated the 2 challenges. There were some conflicts that needed to be resolved within some teams. This was a golden opportunity to refresh their memory on the Learner Profile and Attitudes we were focusing on – Open-Minded and Tolerance respectively. Refer to the Core Planning Document for more information.

Lesson 3:

  • We did one round of each of the challenge we learned so far and I introduced a new challenge called Caterpillar.

    • Similar format to the above challenges however, I dispersed 4 beanbags of 4 different colors around a playing area.

    • The teams are positioned in 4 corners of the playing area

  • Using their hula-hoops they navigate around the playing area picking up their respective colored beanbags

  • If a team member touches the area outside of the hula-hoop, their ‘caterpillar’ shortens by 1 hula-hoop

Lesson 4:

  • We engaged in a quick round of Capture the Gold and Caterpillar as a way to warm-up their reflection, respect, trust, communication and open-minded ‘skills’. Then the new challenge awaited them.

    • Exactly the same as Caterpillar, however, this time, the 4 teams have to sort themselves into body parts of the Caterpillar. One head, a throat, a stomach, a tail, etc.

    • They cannot change position until after the round is complete.

    • To make it more difficult, I made the ‘head’ blind. Give the head of the caterpillar a blindfold.

    • The other team members cannot touch the head, go in front of the head but can only communicate with the blindfolded person verbally.

  • This is a great and enjoyable activity whilst learning about the importance of effective communication and teamwork.

Lesson 5:

  • As not all of the students had a chance to be the blindfolded person in the previous lesson, we started the lesson with a couple more rounds of Blind Caterpillar whilst emphasizing the key words of the unit: Respect and Reflection.

  • Afterwards, I introduced the new challenge, Move the Ball.

    • Students are broken up into teams of 4

    • The purpose of this activity is to move a ball around a playing area without using their hands but every team member needs to be touching it somehow.

    • The students need to come up with 3 different ways to move the ball.

    • Once they complete the initial 3 ways, they progress to the next level:

      • Level 1: A dodge ball

      • Level 2: A volleyball/soccer ball

      • Level 3: A Swiss ball

Lesson 6:

  • We got to the halfway mark and judging from our many discussions at the start, middle and end of the lesson, the students seemed to have a good grasp of the ideas being brought forward.

  • We did 1 round of Cross the River, then Caterpillar, and lastly Move the Ball with a volleyball.

  • With 15 minutes left of the class, we then conducted the standard formative assessment to see how I could move forward with the unit:

    • Tell me everything you have learned so far in the unit:

      • The students could draw or write their response.

Lesson 7:

  • The students seem to have a good grasp of what it means to be respectful and to be part of a team, however there is still the occasional conflict that occurs. Looking at the Core Planning Document, the homeroom unit is difficult to integrate with but as mentioned previously, we can integrate by focusing on the concepts, learner profile and attitudes.

  • During our discussions, we often talk about perspective and conflict:

  • Describe what it feels to be shouted at by your peers.

    • How do you think it feels to be the person being shouted at?

    • For what reason do we get angry with our team?

    • How can we solve the conflict?

    • How can we improve your team’s performance?

  • For the next challenge, students engaged in a challenge called, Poison Ball. It is the image that is shown on this page:

    • Students break into teams of 4-5, depending upon numbers.

    • Without touching the ball, the students need to transport the ball around a set course.

    • If the ball does fall, the students go back to their nearest checkpoint.

  • Modification:

    • Once the students have done a few rounds of Poison Ball and are demonstrating the two key words, you can modify this challenge by blindfolding one member of the team.

Lesson 8:

  • Continued with the previous lesson so that every person from the team had a chance to be blindfolded.

  • I also worked out any areas that needed to be fixed up in terms of respect and reflection.

Lesson 9:

  • By now the majority of the students were really starting to understand what it means to be a competent team member. There are still a few that need extra work as there usually is.

  • We looked at the concept of ‘connection’ a little bit more today. We broke down what it means to be a great team:

    • Teamwork

    • Good communication

    • Good ideas

    • Sharing ideas

    • Knowing your job

  • With these great responses in mind, I gave them a difficult challenge, the Blind Beanbag Challenge:

    • The class is broken down into 4 teams and move into one of the four sides of the playing area.

    • 4 beanbags of 4 different colors are dispersed around the playing area.

    • 1 team member is blindfolded and has to navigate the playing area to reach 1 bean bag of their color and return it back to the respective team’s base.

    • Meanwhile, the rest of the team can skirt around the outside of the playing area communicating directions to the blindfolded team member.

  • There usually is a great deal of rule infringement in this activity – intentional or unintentional – so it is important to stay on top of the students, otherwise the point of the challenge is lost.

Lesson 10:

  • Despite a few cheating incidents yesterday, overall the class did quite well. We had a good discussion afterwards on whether they practiced all of the attributes of a great team.

  • They were ready for a more dynamic challenge, Team Pac Man:

  • I am fortunate to have a good-sized field with lines marking a football pitch and 2 handball courts.

    • In Team Pac Man, all students can only run on the lines of the field.

    • One team are the catchers, they have 1-2 minutes to determine a strategy to catch all the others.

    • The other students have to spread themselves out across the field and avoid being caught – but they can only run on the lines.

    • When a person is touched by the catcher, they sit down on the line exactly where they got tagged – they are now blocking that line.

    • Only the catchers can pass the blocked path, the others cannot pass.

    • The catchers are timed.

    • Fastest team to catch everybody wins the challenge.

  • After this challenge, the kids were shattered. They did lots of running but managed to plan, execute and reflect on their performance. The fact is that the teams not only planned their strategy during their times as catchers but they also planned on how to avoid being caught. This was great to see.

  • This was a great lesson as I could see they were understanding the connections between respect and reflection and teamwork.

Lesson 11:

  • This lesson was to review everything learned so far. We went through one round of:

    • Poison Ball

    • Blind Poison Ball

    • Team Pac Man

  • We also looked at the concepts of perspective and connection. Perspective was more focused on conflict resolution and to develop some empathy. Connection was a deeper look at teamwork.

Lesson 12: Summative:

  • We ended the ended with their final challenge of the unit - The Rope Challenge:

    • Students broke into 4-5 groups

    • They were each given 5 pieces of rope, roughly about 1 meter long each

    • Using only 1 hand each, students needed to tie the ropes together to make 1 long rope

    • Afterwards, I told the students to form 5 different shapes, can be anything that’s relatively simple to make – square, circle, rocket ship, house etc.

    • Once all the groups completed the shapes they all came together to make one long rope and made 3 different shapes – again, using only 1 hand each.

  • Once the challenge was complete, students completed this assessment:

            21PE – PYP – PSPE – Grade 1 – Adventure Challenge – Summative Assessment

Questions, comments, click here.

Grade 1 Adventure Challenge: Project
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