Defeat the fortress

Physical activity to cover problem solving, respect and consideration

Before the start of the activity, all students remove jewels (necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings, dangling earrings).
The class splits into halves. One of the groups is removed out of sight of the second group (e.g. behind the door). The second group is asked to form a cluster as firm as possible so that the first group cannot tear their block apart. The first group is then asked to tear apart the cluster formed by the second group, so that no students from the second group are able to touch each other.
The fundamental rule is that a student who was removed from the cluster cannot return to his/her original position (for instance, a student who was holding his/her classmate with both hands, but had one of his/her hands removed, cannot use the free hand to hold another member of his/her group). The students must be informed that the group must devise a strategy that prevents hurting anyone during the activity.
Then the groups interchange.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Motivation and resilience

Actual outcomes

Teaching the students sensitivity and respect to the boundaries of others
Cooperation, problem-solving, respect
8–15 years of age
Physical Education, extracurricular activities, homeroom period, school excursion

Resources required


Time needed

20 minutes

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

It is necessary to call attention to the rules and monitor if they are observed. It is forbidden to lever hands, tickle, pinch, etc. Initial attempts are usually fast, so repetition is advised so that the group devises a better strategy. More than two groups can be formed if there is a sufficient number of students in the class, so that as many students as possible play the game.

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