Coming towards the end of term, it is always good to do something fun. The kids are starting to lose interest, they’re tired and at this time of year they are normally suffering from some sort of cold. All of these issues can add up to a severe lack of engagement.
Today in our room we held the Amazing Race, based on the Television show. I have run Amazing Race sessions before, but today was the first time that we were actually set to leave the school and race around some of the parts of Meredith. The day was planned out with fun in mind primarily, but it was also a chance for the students to test some of their Egypt Knowledge, a theme we had this term. There were various activities throughout the day such as:
- Running around the school.
- Digging for clues.
- Scanning QR Codes to locate a jumbled message.
- Completing an Egypt quiz and Web Quest.
- Hunting through trees for clues.
- A Road Block and a Detour.
- A down ball competition.
Planning for the day I found a great website with resources to make the clues. Having clues that looked real helped the kids embrace the ‘Amazing Race’ and really get into the theme of it. The Website can be located here.
The day began with the students getting into teams of 2 and coming up with a relationship, just like the contestants in the show. These ranged from neighbours, to models, to footballers and even a real brother/sister combination! As they ripped open their first clue they raced out the front door and the chosen team member ran a lap of the school to meet their teammate at the sandpit where they dug for the pre-buried second clue. We saw a perfect case of the tortoise and the hair here as the first team to arrive at the sandpit, were the last team to leave it.
The clue from the sandpit lead them to our school shed, where they had to enter, one team at a time and scan a QR code to discover a series of letters, that needed to be unjumbled. Fairly easy to do, except there were multiple QR codes and only one had the series of letters, pick the wrong one and you’re back outside and back to the end of the line. After the kids discovered that they had to “HEAD BACK TO THE ROOM” they ran and back to work on their Web Quest. However, unknowingly they had to join with another team, whichever was next to arrive. This was a great teamwork activity as we had students working with others that they normally wouldn’t work with.
After the Web Quest, they had to race to the first Pit Stop, which lead to some interesting dynamics that the kids later called ‘backstabbing’. With the 2 teams completing their Web Quest at the same time the race to the Pit Stop was crucial. One industrious student saw an opportunity, convincing his teams temporary teammates to put the computer away, which they didn’t have to do, before racing to the Pit Stop. Needless to say they won their race to the line. As more and more teams finished, the encouragement to the teams racing to the line was amazing to hear.
After morning tea we headed over to the vacant field over the road, where the teams took off in a staggered start (depending on the previous finishing order) to hunt through the trees for their next clue, which told them to run to the Recreation Reserve, about 800-1000m away. For some of these students that is a MASSIVE distance, but all put in a great effort to get there as quick as they could. Some of the efforts really amazed us and the encouragement in the partnerships was brilliant. During this time the students were required to cross some back roads by themselves, but there were a number of teachers along the way to ensure the students were safe.
BOWL or ROLL
The students had to decide whether they wanted to bowl a ball at a cricket wicket until they hit it on one bounce, or to roll a football around the football oval using only your hands. With about a quarter of the teams picking the football, most of them regretted it as it was incredibly draining on a set of young legs that had just run a kilometre. On completion of the Detour, they were given their Road Block Clue.
Who’s the Biggest Baby?
This lead to the selected student, crawling like a baby across a muddy oval to the second Pit Stop, which gave us new leaders.
When we arrived back at school we finished the amazing race with a down ball competition to decide who got to hunt for the final clue, a hidden Miss Pritchard, which also happened to be the finishing line. We had 2 games happening at once and at the completion of the time (30 second increments) the people in the king position got to grab their partner and go on the hunt for the finishing line.
First to the finishing line was Damo and Christine, Neighbours, who were consistently at the top throughout the race and pulled into the lead when it counted. They were never the first to finish any tack, including the down ball task. But they were the first to find Miss Pritchard. It really was an Amazing Race today and seeing the smiles on the kids faces and hearing them thank us at the end of the day made all of the effort worthwhile. Yes there weren’t a whole lot of KLA’s covered, but there was plenty of student engagement and social benefits. Today was easily one of the best days I’ve had at school this year.
Winners Damien and Christine