Tortoise and the Hare for Climbing Walls

Grade level: K-6

Equipment:  none, or as many hula hoop holders, hula hoops, wacky noodle stoppers and noodles as you want.  They provide obstacles on the wall as the students traverse across.


Objective: A competitive activity, to see which team can traverse the wall the quickest and safest.

Description: Divide the class into half, trying to make the teams as equal as possible.  Have one half start at one end of the wall and the other half at the other end.  Explain to them that the objective is to see which team can traverse the wall the quickest and the safest.  Tell them that if someone makes an unsafe move or comes off the wall that person must start over. Climbers must safely pass one another and not attempt to push anyone off or make someone fall on purpose.  If you are using hoola hoops and noodles as obstacles, you can also tell them that if anyone knocks any 'obstacle' off of the wall while climbing that person must start over.  Do this race several times and see what new strategies emerge.

Rules/Safety/Accommodations: Students should follow basic climbing wall rules.

Facilitation/Reflection Questions:

  1. How did competing against the other team increase your energy level during this activity?
  2. What parts of competition are enjoyable? Not enjoyable?
  3. How did it feel to win/lose?

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