GhostbustersFocus Skills: Chasing · Fleeing
Ghostbusters is a spooky, Halloween-themed chasing and fleeing game that was designed to help students explore tactics, resolve conflicts, and practice emotional self-regulation.
In Ghostbusters, the Ghosts & Ghouls (fleeing players) are attempting to score Focus Points by successfully making their way across the street to a neighboring haunted house. However, they need to look out for the Ghostbusters (chasing players) who can tag them with their Proton Packs (pool noodles) and send them to the Ecto Containment Unit! If a fleeing player is tagged, not only must they wait in the Ecto Containment Unit, their Focus Points are also wiped out. At the end of the round, fleeing players will be invited to celebrate their Focus Points total through movement!
Build One: Ghosts & Ghouls
In build one, the teacher will begin by setting up the playing area. To do so, they will divide the area into three sections: a haunted house on either end of the playing area with the middle section serving as the street.
In each haunted house, the teacher will lay out hoops that are three to six feet apart from each other. There should be enough hoops for each student in both of the haunted houses.
The teacher will then divided the class into two groups: the ghosts and the ghouls. The ghosts will go stand in the hoops of one of the haunted houses while the ghouls will stand in the hoops of the other.
Waiting for the appropriate cue, ghosts and ghouls will be attempting to move from house to house as quickly as possible. When the teacher calls “GHOSTS” the ghosts quickly run across the street and stand in an open hoop in the opposite haunted house. When the teacher calls “GHOULS”, the ghouls do the same. If the teacher calls “GHOSTS & GHOULS” both groups switch houses as quickly as possible.
This continues for a few switches until everyone is warmed up and the teacher is confident that the students can move safely throughout the playing area.
Build Two: Ghostbusters
For build two, the teacher will set up an Ecto Containment Unit on the side of the street. They do so by creating a rectangle with cones and lining up a set of green, yellow, and red spots within the cones. The teacher will then select a few students to be Ghostbusters. Each Ghostbuster will receive a Proton Pack, which is a full-sized pool noodle.
The Ghostbusters’ role is to tag ghosts and ghouls to send them to the Ecto Containment Unit. They do so by gently tagging the fleeing players with their pool noodles. Ghostbusters can only tag ghosts and ghouls on the street. When a fleeing player is in a haunted house, they are on base.
When the music starts, the ghosts and ghouls begin to freely run across the street to the opposing haunted house. Each time a ghost or ghoul does so without being tagged, they earn one Halloween Point for themselves. Fleeing players are responsible for keeping track of their own points.
If a ghost or ghoul is tagged by a Ghostbuster, they must indicate that they have been tagged by showing a moose antler (which is an open hand with a thumb on their temple) and make their way to the Ecto Containment Unit. They also reset their Halloween Points to zero.
The Ecto Containment Unit uses a traffic light system:
- If a player is the only player in the unit, they stand on the red spot and have to wait.
- When a second player arrives, they ask the first player to move to the yellow spot and then take their place on the red spot.
- When a third player arrives, they ask the second player to move to yellow who then – in turn – asks the first player to move to green.
- When a player has been moved to the green spot, they may return to the game.
Play continues until the teacher calls the end of the round. When they have done so, fleeing players will be invited to showcase how many Halloween Points they earned during the game:
- If they earned 0-5 points, they perform Jumping Jacks
- If they earned 6-10 points, they perform Crunches
- If they earned 11-15 points, they perform Squats
- If they earned 16+ points, they perform Pushups
After the point totals have been celebrated, all points get reset to zero and the teacher selects new players to be Ghostbusters.
Build Three: Ghost Traps
For build three, the teacher will randomly place spots on the street that will serve as Ghost Traps. Ghostbusters can make use of the traps by guiding ghosts towards them as they chase.
The game is played the same way, except that ghosts/ghouls need to avoid stepping on the ghost traps as they cross the street. If they do so, it is the same as if they had been tagged.
This round tends to lead to conflict as the Ghostbusters players and the Ghost and Ghouls players argue over whether or not a trap was stepped on. Use these situations as teachable moments to remind players of the Conflict Resolution and Emotional Regulation strategies they have learned in class. To learn more about these, check the links below.
Grade Level Outcomes
Applies simple offensive strategies/ tactics in chasing and fleeing activities. (S2.E5.4a)
Applies simple defensive strategies/ tactics in chasing and fleeing activities. (S2.E5.4b)
Which roles are offensive roles in this game? Which roles are defensive?
Which tactics or strategies did you use when on offence in the game?
Which tactics or strategies did you use when on defence in the game?
Which new tactical problems – if any – did the addition of the Ghost Traps create in the game?
Students should always control their speed and keep their eyes up as they run.
Ghostbusters should gently tag below shoulder level to avoid accidentally hurting the fleeing players.
Polyspots and hoops used in the game should be non-slip to avoid accidental falls.