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Teams on a mission

"Earthquake" is a great way to get a group of children working together.

Set out the hall with a variety of PE equipment and objects. The older the children, the more adventurous you can be - include items such as climbing frames.

Split children into four or five groups, mixing friendship and ability groups. Explain that there has been an earthquake in a far-off land and they are the only group of aid workers that can help. Assign each child a job, such as doctor, surveyor, communications expert. They have to take a selection of objects over the course, ensuring that they work as a team.

Relief packages can contain empty boxes (varying in size), torches, water bottles, and first-aid kits. The rules are simple:

* As soon as a member of the team moves on the equipment they are unable to retrace their steps. This ensures they work as a team.

* All items must go either over or under the equipment.

* Any items dropped or left behind will be deducted from the team's final score.

* If a member of the team touches the floor they are swept away with the huge lava flow from the earthquake.

* Once the team arrives0 at the earthquake zone, the clock is stopped and time penalties are incurred for lost items.

The more athletic children tend to speed away at the start, then learn they cannot return to help the rest of their team, resulting in a poor time. Those who discuss things first and form a strategy usually make the quickest time.

The children were soon communicating and using their strengths more effectively.

Mike Bowen

Special needs co-ordinatorManselton Primary School, Swansea

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