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Name of Activity:
Spider Web

Grades: 2 - 12

Equipment Needed: 2 standards, web material (I use giant rubber bands from a local automotive store, I have used bungee cords, twine, surgical tubing, and elastic).  The rubber bands work best for me, but any flexible material listed would be great. 

Highlights: Critical thinking, moving at different levels, bending, twisting, trust, body awareness.

Building the Web:  I start with 2 standards (if you do not have standards see my section on making equipment) or use an area where you can tie between two supports.  Personally, I use large rubber bands donated by a local auto parts store (something that gets shipped to them is held by these bands).  I then Tie the bands between the standards to build an appropriate pattern.  I try to make the holes age appropriate.  I also leave enough space between the standards to fit a gymnastics mat.  To add to the realism, I hand a spider from the web.

Instructions: Personally, I run mats down the sides to try to create a tunnel or cave effect.  I then tell a short story to set up the game.  My story, in short, is that their group was exploring a cave.  Upon returning to the exit, a spider had sealed the exit with this web.  In order to survive, the entire team must exit through the web without disturbing the spider.  If any person disturbs the spider (moves the web), the team has met it's demise.  Here are the rules that I give the group:
1.  You may not dive through the web.
2.  You may not go over the web.
3.  You may not go around the web.
4.  You may not touch the poles that support the web.
  Everything else is left to their imagination.

Helpful Hints:  To help my younger groups with success, I offer four levels of difficulty.  If you use this with higher grades or adults, you should start at a higher level of difficulty.  I start my 3-5 grades at level 1, they will usually stumble at level 3.
Level One:  Players can use any hole, and a touch of the web only returns the player who touched.
Level Two:  Players can use any hole, and a touch returns the entire team.
Level Three:  Players may only use each hole 2 times, then the hole is closed to all others.
Level Four: Players can only use a hole 1 time, then it is closed to all others.
     Stress honesty!  The game is better if the players are honest about their touches.  Personally, I tie a set of small bells to the web so players can hear the touches.


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