Spatial Requirements: Classroom with moderate space required
Activity Type: Movement/group
Grades: 5-12
Group Size: 10 or more
Time: 30-40 minutes

Introduction: As students work collectively to move their group from one side of the hoop to the other, they will experience a variety of emotions. They will be able to identify the negative moments they experienced and understand how those negative moments made them stronger both individually and as a group.


  • Something that forms a hoop, such as a small hula-hoop, a bicycle inner tube, etc. (This should be about a foot wider than your widest student.)
  • 3 pieces of cord or rope
  • Two chairs or desks 


The day before this activity, tell students, “Tomorrow, we are going to do an activity called ‘Moving Day.’” Encourage them to wear appropriate clothing for a “moving day” (no dresses or skirts).

Set up this activity prior to class. Use one of the pieces of rope to suspend the hula-hoop or inner tube from the ceiling. It should sit at waist height with a student that is about the median height for the class. Place the chairs or desks next to the hula-hoop but not beneath it – one on each side of the rounded edge. Use your two pieces of cord or rope to tie the edges of the hula-hoop to each chair or desk. This is to stabilize the hula-hoop and prevent it from spinning.  

Have students line up on one side of the hula-hoop (if you have younger students, have one student line up on the other side of the hula-hoop to help the first student through). Tell students their goal is to get everyone through the hula-hoop without touching the hoop. When the hoop has been touched three times, the entire group must start over. Also, have them pretend there is an imaginary boundary extending out of the hula-hoop in all directions. This means that no part of a person’s body can pass this boundary except the person who is being passed through the hoop. If this happens, it counts as a violation toward starting over.

Once every student has passed through to the other side of the hoop without touching, tell students they must all get back to the side where they started. (This may or may not include the one student who started on the opposite side).  

If it looks unsafe, have the group or individual come up with another option.  Do not let the group stand on another person’s back to go through the hoop. As they come up with three or four different methods, be aware of the safety issues for each.             

Safety Concerns:

Do not allow a person to jump or dive through an opening. The method we encourage people to use to pass another person through the hoop is to have the person go head first on his/her back through the hoop. Group members carefully lift the person up and pass them through to the outstretched arms of people on the other side of the hoop.

Two facilitators are needed for this activity to spot on either side of the hoop. Each facilitator needs to be involved as a spotter.  Be there to assist if needed. Make sure that there are enough people on either side of the hoop to lift a person through.

Processing the Experience:

  • What was your first strategy for getting people through the hoop? Did it work?
  • How did you change your strategy?
  • How did you decide on a strategy that worked?
  • Did everyone contribute in getting the team from one side to the other?
  • What went through your mind when you were told you had to start over?
  • Was there a time in this activity when you had to “flip the switch” and see this challenge differently?
  • How did you encourage one another?
  • When you experienced a setback, what did you do to overcome as a group?
  • How can flipping the switch help you overcome the challenges you face in life? 
Scroll to Top