Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mountain Tops

Thomas Martin


This is an outdoor activity. Students work together to practice communication skills, leadership, trust, respect, and creativity. Students will be doing an excercise that requires them to help and trust each other in order to accomplish the task.


The student knows various ways to communicate care, consideration, and acceptance of self and others (eg., respect, trust, kindness, and sexual abstinence as an expression of love).


- Two platforms that are forty-two inches square and six inches high(Platforms can be constructed by 2x6 treated lumber.)
- One platform that is thirty-six inches square and six inches high
- One platform that is twenty-four inches square and six inches high
- One 2x6 that is eight feet in length
- One 2x6 that is eighteen inches in length


1. After constructing the platforms, place the four platforms approximately seven feet ten inches apart in a staggered alignment. (Ensure that each platform can only be accessed by moving from the larger platform to the smaller platform.)
2. The instructor can refer to Table 1in the associated file for the platform layout.
3. Ensure platforms are intact.
4. Ensure that the 2x6 boards do not have frays or splinters due to constant handling of the two boards from platform to platform.


1. Let your students know that this activity will require the use of teamwork, communication, leadership, trust and care for each other to successfully accomplish this activity. This activity will also require the students to work together physically as well as mentally while moving the 2x6 boards from platform to platform. In order for the group to move from platform to platform, one or more students has to stand on the ends of the boards so that others can cross to a different platform. As the platforms get smaller, groups have to agree as to who will get off the last platform so that others can move from the next to the last platform onto the last platform. Students have to carefully perform their jobs of securing the 2X6 boards so that others can walk on them. Group decisions must be made in order to move the boards from platform to platform. Students must forego arguing, pushing, etc. in order for this to work. Cooperation and discussion are essential in this exercise.

Place the four platforms approximately seven feet ten inches apart in a staggered alignment. (Ensure that each platform can only be accessed by moving from a larger platform to a smaller platform.)

2. Refer to Table 1 in the associated file for the platform layout.

3. This activity works best with groups no less than seven students and no larger than eleven students.

4. Prior to beginning this activity the students need to do a variety of warm up exercises concerning the shoulders, legs and ankles. (Use a variety of different stretching exercises that the students might know and if the students do not know any, then just keep the stretches simple since this is only to get the students loose and warmed-up).

5. The group should choose who is the leader for the activity.

6. The instructor should cover or review possible causes of accidents that could occur or be caused during this activity such as:
a. Horseplay
b. Falling off the boards
c. Grabbing another student as you are falling
d. The possibility of a student being hit by the movement of the two boards
e. Falling off the two 2x6 boards
f. Trying to jump from one platform to the next

7. Review with the students possible ways to prevent these accidents or possible injuries from occurring by allowing the students to be the ones who come up with as many ways as they can. Introduce the S.O.S.(Step On Safely and Step Off Safely) to your students and ask them to say it a couple of times to get familiar with the saying. S.O.S is a quick method to use to help give the students an awareness that they can easily step off the platform or boards without falling and possibly becoming injured.

8. All students will step up onto the first platform (be sure that the two boards are laying on the ground beside the first platform) to begin the activity.

9. The objective is for all of the students to successfully travel from one platform to the next by using the two 2x6 boards. Refer to Table 2 in the associated file. This task can only be accomplished by having the students apply pressure down on the ends of the 2x6 boards at the platforms, therefore, allowing the boards to be sturdy enough for the students to cross on. (Depending on the age group of the students, try to allow the students to figure out how all of this should come together.)

10. The group decides in what order each student travels from each platform.

11. If a student does step off or if the boards and touch the ground then the student who fell must go back to the platform that he was traveling from.

12. The instructorís role during the activity is to ensure that all the students are participating and being safe with their actions.

13. Not everyone will be able to stand on the last platform at one time, so let the students know at the beginning of the activity that once a participant steps off the last platform that person cannot assist his fellow team mates to cross over any longer.

14. Once the event is completed all the students get into a circle and discuss how the activity has increased the groupís communication skills, leadership skills, teambuilding and problem solving skills. If a student feels that the activity did not improve in the areas discussed, then encourage the students to discuss how the activity might have benefited the group better.


Observe to see if the students are able to use appropriate, different methods of communication such as; visual communication, hand signals, body language and verbal communication to show respect and consideration of others.

Observe to see how each student works within the group (acceptance of self).

Observe to see if the students will reach out to assist other students that might struggle within the activity (acceptance of others).

Students who do not demonstrate various ways to communicate care, respect, and acceptance of others and self during this exercise should receive feedback about appropriate behavior in order to demonstrate these ways. Allow the group to give feedback as well.


The instructor can be as creative as he/she wishes. Use different scenarios such as; adventure, strategic or even real world accomplishments. Use such items as cloth strips for having some students blindfolded, some students without speech, and even some students without legs or even arms. Be creative enough to allow the activity to be challenging; however, the activity must be successful and safe.

Attached Files

The file contains two Tables/Diagrams.     File Extension: pdf

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