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Assault Course

author:  Nigel
level:  Elementary
target_English:  prepositions and sports related actions
big_small:  Small Groups

This game came to me after I watched a TV report about police dog handlers, and something I used to do when teaching gymnastics back home.

The game would be suitable in a large school gym/hall and requires a little bit of time to set up. Maybe a good hour before class if you can set up a good course for older children.

You will need to first to set up an assault/obstacle course of some description. Make tunnels to go through, obstacles to go over or under or around, hoops/boxes to step into and out of, piles of crashmats (or safety mats as i think they call them now) or ladders to go up and down, springboards to jump onto and jump off, beams or benches to walk or run along, poles to weave in and out of, etc etc.

Either set the obstacles up in a circular pattern around the gym/hall, or a weaving pattern in the hall, or set it out like a horseshoe trial with obstacles all over the room with numbers, and the obstacles must be done in the correct order.

If the children are proficient enough or more advanced, then the obstacle course could include sports related terms and activities such as doing forward roles along or down ramps or mats, cartwheels, handstands, tuck jumps, straddle jumps etc on little trampets, leaps, ball dribbling, ball bouncing, running, jogging, exercises like 5 sit ups, 5 push ups, lunges, squats etc at certain stations.

A good school should have lots of equipment to use. And maybe the PE teacher can help you with the design of the course and the obstacles or activities if you don't know anything about fitness and sport.

For the first time take all the children over the obstacle course. You are the "handler" and all the children are the "dogs" so that they understand what they are supposed to do and get them to repeat the instruction at each obstacle so they know what they are to say.

Next the children need to be put into pairs. One will be the "handler", the other the "dog".

The "handler" runs alongside the obstacles and the "dog" goes over, through, into etc the obstacles. However the "dog" cannot do anything unless the "handler" gives the instructions. So the "handler" will be shouting out things like "go through the hoops", "crawl under the table", "climb up the rope/ladder". Or for more advanced instructions "do 5 sit-ups", "do a backward roll down the slope" etc

You will need to time each attempt and make sure that the "dogs" are not just going over the course without commands from the "handler". Stiff penalties will be needed for rule breakers.

Once each team has gone once, then the roles of "dog" and "handler" are reversed and then they get to go again.

The quickest team with the fewest penalties wins. The prize is up to you.


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