"Amazon River Crossing" reborn as “Floor of Fire”
Posted by Suzanne Ament on 10/5/2018
Physical Fitness and STEAM
The activity began with a short introduction about each piece of equipment and the guidelines for each. For example, the beanbags were hand burning rocks, and could not be touched with hands and the Styrofoam pads could not touch the wood.
I suggested that each team should first sit, and discuss a plan. Of course, I had a simple plan in my mind, and was sure they would accomplish the task using my strategy. I was completely wrong! They each enthusiastically grabbed equipment, and experimented with it. After a while, they realized they would have to work together. They shared their discoveries and began to come up with a plan. They put the plan into action, and when they met unexpected challenges, they worked together to find solutions. I heard comments such as: “He is too big to do it that way, he will fall over.”, “We will need some type of a brace to help him balance”, and “The blocks slide easier on the carpet, than the scooter.”
I will admit, if you entered the room to observe, it looked like mass chaos. Equipment was scattered around the room, children were screaming new ideas, children were cheering, and children were sliding, and hopping and running. They were using equipment in ways I have never seen it be used. But if you stood there for just a few minutes and watched, they were communicating, sharing, discovering, experimenting and building. What a great combination of teamwork, and engineering!
This activity evolved from one that we used to do in the swimming pool. The object was to get your whole team across the pool the quickest by using designated equipment to build a raft. If the students touched the water, they had to start over. I changed the name from “Amazon River Crossing” to “Floor of Fire”, but the concept stayed the same. Pam Pyska