American Ninja Warrior Digital Badges in #Physed

Last  week in my physical education class students participated in an American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. It involves student’s climbing over plyometric boxes, swinging on ropes, using the bouldering wall, jumping rope and crawling underneath objects. Obstacle courses are an extremely engaging activity for students, but as teachers it can be easy to forget to emphasize learning outcomes during obstacle courses. To help me with this I have created digital badges for students to increase student engagement and reflection during classes. Each badge represents different learning outcomes of the obstacle course. Here are five badges I created and information on how you can use them or create something similar.


Cardiovascular Endurance Badges

Obstacle courses allow a great environment for students to learn about and participate in  cardiovascular endurance. I have created two badges to help students create their own goals for cardiovascular endurance during the obstacle course. These badges give students the opportunity to start making independent health related choices/ goals.


Jump Rope Ninja Badge

Ninja BadgesSHAPE America Standard 3: Actively engages in the activities of physical education class, both teacher-directed and independent (S3.E2.4).

During one portion of the obstacle course students must jump rope during each lap. The Jump Rope Ninja badge allows students to create their own goals for jumping rope throughout the duration of the obstacle course. For example, if a student is an advanced jump roper they can set a goal to complete 200 to 300 rope jumps by the end of class. If a student is less experienced at jumping rope they can set their goal around 30-50 jumps. Each lap students decide how many times they need to jump rope to meet their goal.  If they meet or exceed their goal they earn the Jump Rope Ninja badge.

Marathon Ninja Badge

Ninja BadgesSHAPE America Standard 3: Actively engages in the activities of physical
education class, both teacher-directed and independent (S3.E2.4).

The Marathon Ninja badge was created so students can set a goal for how many laps they will complete during the obstacle course by the end of a class period. If they meet or exceed their goal they earn the Marathon Ninja badge.

Growth Mindset: Grit Ninja

Ninja BadgesTo become a Grit Ninja students have to first identify areas of the obstacle course they are having trouble with and then display the growth mindset by not giving up when they reach those areas of the course. For example, if a student is having trouble climbing the rock wall but continues working hard during the that section as well as throughout the rest of the course, he or she will earn the Grit Ninja badge.



Character: Integrity Badge

SHAPE America Standard 4: Exhibits responsible behavior in independent Ninja Badges
group situations. (S4.E1.4).

For students to earn the Integrity Ninja badge they must demonstrate the honest and have strong morals during the obstacle course while also being an independent learner. For example, students can show integrity by not skipping any portion of the obstacle course, cutting in front of other students at obstacles or setting up an obstacle that has fallen down.

Master Ninja Badge

Ninja BadgesIn order for students to earn the Master Ninja Badge they need to earn all 4 badges above during a single physical education class.

Administering the Digital Badges

At the end of class, students reflect on their performance and then scan the QR codes related to the specific ninja badges they have earned that day. Each QR code leads students to a single Google Slide that displays the associated badge. Students then take a screenshot of the digital badge to keep within their photos as a badge of honor. As students scanned the badges I would chat with them about the variety of ways that they earned them. This gave me the opportunity positively reinforce student’s on their performance during class.

How I Created My Badges

  1. I made the badges using the iOS graphic design program Sketch
  2. I placed the badge on a Google Slide.
  3. I made a QR code using QRHacker
  4. I used the a free (mostly) program called Canva to place the badge, badge explanation and QR code together to create an activity card for my students.

I feel that adding these badges to the obstacle course really helped students focus on the learning outcomes. Another positive outcome was the amount of time students spent reflecting with each other and myself about the badges they earned and how they did it. Without prompting, some of my students set the wallpaper on their iPad to their favorite badge. When I saw this, I knew I had found something that was really engaging to students. It made me happy knowing that every time those students used their iPad they would remember what they did within my class. Click here to get a copy of the Ninja Badge resources. 

10 Comments on “American Ninja Warrior Digital Badges in #Physed

  1. Colin
    Awesome. What an awesome way to empower kids to reflect on their own learning. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas.

    • Thanks Dolly! I really enjoy being able to create new ways for students to be engaged in my class.

    • Thanks Dolly! I really enjoy being able to create new ways for students to be engaged in my class.

  2. Wow I love this idea! My students would be all over this, I am definitely going to make our own version of this concept and integrate it into our fitness days. I especially like how you allowed your students to create their own goals to earn each badge. So often, teachers make the mistake of “if you run this many laps you are gold, this many you are silver, and this many you are bronze”. I also teach students with disabilities and this idea would allow them to earn the same badge that a high performing gen ed student would.
    This idea can also be used as an assessment and a way for students to track their fitness goals.
    I am a PE teacher that is new to using technology in the classroom. So that part will be a challenge for me. However, I do have the ability to use ipads in the classroom, so I know I can do this! Thank you again so much for the creativity and inspiration.

  3. Pingback: The PE Playbook – March 2016 Edition – drowningintheshallow

  4. how many students do you have participating at one time? and then do you just lost the badges around the gym for the students to go scan when they are finished with the lesson? This is a really fun way to engage the students while using technology!

    • Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for taking an interest in my blog. I have 25-30 students at a time. As far as your second question, yes. I place the QR Codes around the gym and make our closing discussion framed around the different badges.

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