Design Challenge: Create an Obstacle Course Using Prepositions

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PrepositionA word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause. (1)

Design Challenge: An open-ended project that encourages students to ask questions, take initiative, and think creatively. (2)

Recently, we developed a design challenge project for our physical education classes. We challenged groups of four to build an obstacle course using the following guidelines:

  • Use anything within the boundaries of the playground.
  • The course must have a clear STARTING line and FINISH line.
  • Include the following 4 prepositions plus 1 choice obstacle:
    • Under
    • Over
    • Through
    • Around
    • Choice – The “choice” obstacle is one that will set your course apart from all the other groups. Dazzle your classmates with this element.
  • The course must be safe yet challenging
  • Work TOGETHER

Once the obstacle course was designed, students each had to practice their creation until they could consistently complete it without hesitation. Each group member would then take turns running though the course while being timed by another group member with a provided stopwatch.

Finally, groups shared their obstacle courses with each other.

Goals of the Design Challenge lesson:

  • Reinforce teamwork and communication skills
  • Provide a creative outlet for our students
  • Enhance student understanding of prepositions
  • Incorporate a full-body workout
  • Provide an opportunity for me and my colleagues to observe our students in a nontraditional PE setting

Click Design Challenge for a link to the design challenge document!

Writing Extension – After designing their course and practicing it several times, students can write out the step by step progression using the prepositions and descriptive words. Then they can give their written description to another group who would then have to figure out the course using the step by step directions.


(1) “Preposition | Definition of Preposition in English by Oxford Dictionaries.” Oxford Dictionaries | English, Oxford Dictionaries

(2) Design Challenge – http://www.raft.net/public/pdfs/tip-sheets/creating-a-design-challenge-tip-sheet.pdf


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One Comment on “Design Challenge: Create an Obstacle Course Using Prepositions

  1. Pingback: The PE Playbook – February 2018 Edition – drowningintheshallow

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