Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Port Hole

Thomas Martin


In this outdoor activity, students work together to practice communication skills, leadership, trust, respect and creativity. The students also display physical and mental strengths.


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).

The student knows skills for building and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships (eg., compromising).

The student recognizes the aesthetic and creative aspects of performance.


-15” Radial tire (The exterior portion of the tire should be painted to prevent clothes from being damaged by black rubber marks.)
-2 - ten foot 4” X 4” post (The posts should be set-up vertically with three feet buried in the ground, placed approximately seven feet apart.)
-4 3/8- galvanized eyebolts, 3 inches in length (Place at the top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left of the tire in the center of the radial tread.)
-4 3/8- galvanized eyebolts, 6 inches in length (Place six inches down from the top of each post and 3 feet up from the ground on each post.)
-16 3/8- galvanized washers (two for each eyebolt)
-8 3/8- galvanized nuts (one for each eyebolt)
-4 strands of 3/8- galvanized steel cable 3 feet in length each (to support the weight of the tire)
-16 3/8- galvanized steel cable clamps (used to secure the steel cable through the 3/8 galvanized eyebolts)
-Assessment Sheet (see Associated File)


- Have the portal constructed in its entirety
- Check all of the fasteners to ensure safe operation
- Check inside the tire to ensure no wasps or other insects have taken residence


1. Inform the group that they will be assessed on their efforts in working together on communication skills, leadership, trust, respect and creativity.

2. Begin the activity by reviewing a few safety tips. Stretch before beginning the activity, Review with the group that they will be lifting each other and stress the importance of being respectful where the students place their hands. Have all students practice lifting other students before beginning the activity. (Only one student will be lifted at a time.) As a precaution, have all students tuck in their shirts and no one with dresses will need to go through the portal. If a student is wearing a dress, then she should only be used to do lifting and receiving the other students for precautionary measures.

3. Be as creative as you like, the students will enjoy working together to accomplish the goal set for them to accomplish.

4. After the safety concerns have been addressed, introduce the students to their objective. This is known as the Portal and can be described in many different scenarios. A commonly used scenario is the students are on a ship when all of a sudden the ship has caught on fire. The only possible escape route is through the ship's portholes. Another could be that there is a time portal that allows people to travel into the past.

5. Tell the students that they will be allowed to carry one item to the past or on the escape route that is not a part of their clothes. Allow a minute or two for the students to do some thinking about what they would like to take. Ask the students not to reveal their items.

6. If the scenerio involves time travel, once the activity is complete, discuss with each student what time period they went back to and what item they took. Also be sure to ask why they chose them. Students can be very creative in their responses.

7. This game has few restrictions such as: no student is allowed to hold or touch around the tire or grab any of the steel wires. The intent is for the students to work together in accomplishing their objective. For the students who are not dressed properly, they will need to be given specific tasks.

5. The objective is now established and the students will begin lifting the students up and through the portal. Allow two students to go around to ensure that the first couple of students do not fall on the ground while attempting to go through the portal.

6. As the group is sent through, the students will realize that it will be very difficult for the last
person to make it through. Allow the students to figure out how this last student will get through without assisting the student in any physical manner.

6. Once the group has completed the activity, allow enough time to process with the group the improvement or the lack of communication, leadership, teamwork, respect, trust and creativity.


Observe to see if the students are able to use different methods of communication such as: visual communication, hand signals, body language and verbal communication. Observe to see if they were able to compromise or be creative in making it through the portal.
Observe to see how each student works within the group. Also observe to see if the students will reach out to assist other students that might struggle within the activity. Listen to the students discuss the activity to see if there is much thought put into the discussion at the end of the activity. See -Assessment Sheet- in Associated File for evaluation.


The instructor can be as creative as desired. Use different scenarios such as strategic or even real-world accomplishments.

Attached Files

File Attachment.     File Extension: pdf

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