Teams on a mission

14th May 2004 at 01:00
"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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today