Björnen sover: A Swedish Game
The game Björnen sover when translated into English means, "the bear is sleeping". It is a great game involving running, dodging, and music. The games starts off by selecting a person to be the sleeping bear. This person lays down with a circle of students holding hands and walking around the sleeping bear. I used a CD with the sleeping bear song and played it while the kids walked clockwise around the person pretending to be the bear. Slowly the bear begins to wake up and stretch then comes to their knees and feet. The entire time the students are still walking in a circle around the bear. Once the bear makes its move to start running the students scatter. The student that the bear catches becomes the next bear and the process repeats.
Warnings!!! The kids love being the bear and will try and be caught on purpose. I stressed that they had to try and run away and not get caught. Anyone getting caught on purpose would be sent out for jumping jacks.
Variations in the GameVariation#1: I allowed the students to change one rule to make it more excited and they wanted to add a second bear. When we played this version, we made the bears wake up at the same time and leave to chase the other students at the same time.
Variation#2: The students also came up with another great version of the game which started off with one bear sleeping. The single sleeping bear wakes and begins to chase the others making big bear movements and noises (flailing arms swinging wildly and roaring like a bear). The person that they catch also becomes a bear, as well as everyone else they tag. In the end, the last student remaining becomes the bear for the start of the next game.
PYP PE Dance Unit Lesson Idea
We are currently integrating with the kindergarten/grade 1 class teachers with their "How we express ourselves unit." The integration involves helping the students connect different emotions to different styles of dance and movement. My teaching partner, Jarrod Monaghan, came up with a great lesson plan that we have tried out on three of our kindergarten/grade 1 classes. The idea of the lesson is to create two piles of cards. One pile being movement verbs and the other pile being adverbs to match up with the verbs. So there was no confusion, one pile was coloured green and the other pile white. As a starting point, the ten verbs that Jarrod came up with were:
The ten adverbs were:
In the first part of the lesson we introduced both the verbs and adverbs ensuring that the students knew what they were. We then spread both piles out on the floor in the corner of the room. We would then select one adverb and one verb and put the two together. For example, Sadly Twist. We would then play a piece of music and have the kids move in the manner indicated on the cards. We repeated this a number of times and played a different piece of music every time new cards were selected.
As an extension activity next week, we will do a peer assessment activity that the students will complete with a partner. The idea is that one partner selects a verb and adverb without showing the cards to their partner. Once the music starts playing, the one partner needs to move in the manner indicated on the cards and the other partner must watch and on an assessment sheet, circle the proper verb and adverb. They will take turns doing this activity with both students having a chance to move to the music and do the peer assessment activity. We'll see how it goes!
Living in Cambodia obviously doesn't allow for the wintery conditions of Canada where snowball fights in the winter are a common occurance. However, with a little improvisation, the great Canadian snowball game can played in the tropics. The kids love this game and although we exchange dodgeballs for snowballs and soccer nets turned around backwards for snowforts, it's still a winner. When I was a kid living back in Canada in the winter, we played this game all of the time. You could play with 2 kids or you could play with 32 kids, the size of the group didn't matter. The game started by creating teams. Each team had to build a snowfort as a means of protection. We used broken branches from trees to stick into the top of our snowfort and tied a piece of cloth to the brach creating a team flag.
Once all of the teams had built their snowfort and topped it off with their own flag, it was game on! The object of the game was to knock the flag down. Snowballs were heaved back and forth endlessly by either staying behind your fort and throwing from that point (usually for the faint-hearted!) or you could run out into the battlefield to get closer to the target and throw. You put yourself at risk, but always had a greater chance of success. Each player would get ten lives. Each time you were hit by enemy fire, you lost a life. If you lost all of your lives, you were out.
If a team got their flag knocked down 5 times, the game was over.
The World Games version of the game played in Cambodia
The class is divided up into three teams. Each team has a plastic football goal (with netting) turned backward to act as the snowfort or protective barrier. If you do not have soccer goals, you can use whatever you can find (cardboard boxes, mats etc to act as the snowfort). Get some form of stick and tape it to the top of the football net with a piece of paper acting as the flag. Set out dodgeballs and when each team has positioned their soccer goal somewhere around the playing area, the signal the start of the game.
Instead of giving each player ten lives, I opted to make them do ten jumping jacks outside the playing area if hit by the ball. If the team gets their flag knocked down 5 times, the entire team exits the playing area and does 20 burpees (kick-thrusts or a set number of jumping jacks) and can return to the game with 5 new lives.
Canadian winter games can be played in the tropics!! Try this game out.
Having lived and worked in Hiroshima, Japan for ten years, my heart goes out to all the Japanese that have been affected by the tragic events of Friday, March 11th. As Hiroshima is located quite a ways from the Sendai region where the earthquake and tsunami took place, all of my friends are OK. However, as Athletic Director at the Hiroshima International School from 2002-2007, I brought a number of students up to the Sendai International School for sports exchange. Thousands of people from the town of Sendai are missing and unaccounted for. My thoughts go out to the families who are desperately searching for loved ones. Tragic events such as this do indeed make you realize that life is precious. As a good friend in Japan told me today, "Hug your loved ones and pray for the best always."
World Games: Mixing Two Popular Games Together: Papers, Rock, Scissors Baseball!
I learned this excellent game while at the 2010 EARCOS conference in Manila, Philippines last year. I attended a great workshop on 'Teaching Games for Understanding' run by Carol Temertzoglou, a well-known physical education trainer from Toronto, Canada. I am going to teach this game this week to my grade 2/3 classes as part of their World Games unit. I am not taking the teaching games for understanding approach, but merely using the game as a way to show the students how two very popular world games can be combined to create a new game. Essentially, we are taking the concept of running the bases in baseball and playing "Paper, Rock, Scissors" at the same time.
I will show a You Tube clip of a baseball player running the bases and discuss the game of baseball, the main rules, and where the game originated. After that, I will have all the students play a few games of "Paper, Rock, Scissors". We will then go to the court where I will have the bases already set up.
All students will start at homeplate, find someone in the class and start right away playing "Paper, Rock, Scissors". Whoever wins must run quickly to first base. If you lose the "Paper, Rock, Scissors" match at homeplate, you stay and play again until you win. Once you make it to first base, you play against another person at first base. The winner advances to second and the loser must go back to the previous base. Winners keep advancing until they reach homeplate. A couple of students are designated as umpires at homeplate. To score a run, you must beat the umpire in "Paper, Rock, Scissors" and then start the whole process over again.
This game goes on and on. The kids love it and are active the entire time. Non-English speaking students can easily play this game and excel as well.
I will have the students play the game for about 10-15 minutes and then allow them to change one or two aspects of the game to bring inquiry into it.
I will post pictures on Monday of the kids in action playing this game.
World Games Unit: 7 Rings
The grade 2/3 students started up a World Games unit yesterday. The central idea of this unit is "Many games played around the world have similar characteristics." Before having the students unwrap the central idea and discuss the lines of inquiry, we had the students play a great team game that originates in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic bordering Turkey, Georgia, and Russia. Having worked for two years at the International School of Azerbaijan in Baku (TISA), it was a game that I learned from my Azeri colleagues who I worked with in the PE department and is called 7 Rings. The skills of throwing, dodging, chasing, passing, and catching all come into the mix in this very fast-paced game. Achieving success depends upon teamwork and strategy.
As you can see from the slide show, the game is pretty fast-paced with lots of action, however, the Azerbaijan version of teh game requires kids to sit out once hit by the ball.
Bringing Inquiry into this Game:
I let each team have a few goes at rebuilding the tower. However, playing the Azerbaijan version of the game resulted in kids having to sit out once they were hit. After talking about this with the students, I asked two questions:
A) How can we change the game to allow for more participation?
B) What rule can we change so that kids do not ever have to sit out?
The students all agreed that the best way to allow for more participation would be to allow the rebuilding team to have a 'Protector' and this person would have their own dodgeball. The 'Protector' could throw and hit people from the Stop the Builders team. Excellent idea I told the class.
The students then inquired further into possible rule changes and came up with the idea that instead of sitting out after being hit by the ball, they could do 15 jumping jacks and then re-enter the game. Another great idea I told them!
The last decision the students made was that if the 'Protector' gets hit by the ball, they are out and have to do 15 jumping jacks as well. When the 'Protector' leaves the game, they are allowed to give the ball to a teammate who then becomes the new 'Protector'.
At this point, the only change that I made was that the games would now be timed (3 minutes). If at the end of the game, the rebuilders to not finish the tower, a point is awarded to the other team. If the rebuilders succeed in rebuilding, their team gets a point.
I will use this appoach with all the new world games that I teach the students in order to allow for the inquiry process to unfold and to prepare them for their summative assessment task at the end of the unit; Game Creation.
A) Explain aims and rules of any new game and let them play
B) Ask the students how they would change or modify it?
C) Play the new version of the game
D) Have the students complete the formative assessment task in their Sportfolios at the end of class.
In one of my earlier blogs from last week, I uploaded a preassessment task that we are having our kindergarten/grade 1 classes complete this week for the start of our Movement to Music unit (How We Express Ourselves). We are fully integrating with the Unit of Inquiry (People expressing themselves through the arts) happening in the classroom at the moment. The aim of the preassessment is to have the kids listen to ten different selections of music and identify the emotion that goes with each song (please see assessment tool below in earlier blog). We have had three classes complete the task so far and are realizing that we really need to get them to not only listen to the music in terms of beat, rythym and theme, but to also try their best to listen to the lyrics that go with the song. At times they may initially choose a certain emotion based on only the beat and rythym, but after listening to the lyrics, they change their minds and pick the more appropriate emotion. We'll work on this with the rest of the classes that still need to complete the preassessment task.
We will be starting up our World Games unit with the grade 2/3 classes this week. This is always a very popular unit with the students. This is a stand alone unit that we created last year at ISPP, but we are definitely taking it a step further this year.
Many games played around the world have similar characteristics.
An Inquiry into:
Each week the students will learn a number of games from around the world. After being introduced to the game and playing it for a few minutes, the students will have to answer the following questions in their Sportfolio
Summative Assessment Task
The students will be required to create their own game using aspects of the different world games played in class over the previous 4 weeks. The requirements are: A) The game must be played using minimal resources and B) There must be maximum participation. They will have two classes to create the game and practice playing it in their group making necessary modifications along the way. They will then present the game to the other group (each class will be divided into two groups during the game creation part of the unit) and have them play their game.
After playing the game, the students must comment on the following:
How can this assessment be Differentiated?
I will create a simple rubric that some kids will be able to do instead of answering the above questions in written form. This rubric will be posted soon....
I am allowing my grade 5 students to choose from 5 possible summative assessment tasks at the end of our Movement to Music unit which will integrate with the PYP exhibition (Poverty). The students will be introduced to a number of different dances performed by people in poor regions of the world. The focus of the integration is that dance can be used to heal the wounds caused by conflict/war and that these people take initiative to use dance as a means to alleviate some of the ill-effects of living in such poverty. By the end of the unit, the students will have watched a number of You Tube clips showing a wide variety of dance performed in poor areas. As a summative assessment task, the students must choose one of the following options below. Each option is aimed toward certain learner styles. It is my hope that I provide as much differentiation as possible in order to motivate the students to stay tuned into what we are trying to accomplish.
Differentiated Assessment Tasks
Visual/Spatial Learners can show their understanding of the lines of inquiry by using a camera to video or take pictures a group planning for and creating their dance. Instead of having to perform the dance, they must put together a presentation aimed at showing their understanding of the lines of inquiry and share this presentation with the class at the end of the unit.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Learners will be able to join a group to create and perform a dance at the end of the unit.
Musical Learners will be able to create the beat using an instrument or some other apparatus to create sound. They are an active part of this performance.
Intrapersonal Learners can work alone or in small groups to research different dances performed in poor regions of the world and create a poster that shows their understanding of the lines of inquiry. The students must present their work at the end of the unit.
The ultimate aim of this assessment task is that they can show their understanding of:
A) Demonstrate an understanding of the main features/elements of dances performed by people living in poverty
B) Describe or demonstrate what mood is created by the dance
C) Identify the positive effects that dance has on people living in poverty
PYP Exhibition: How Can PE Integrate?
In the last year of the PYP, students are required to participate in a culmination project, the PYP exhibition. Ideally, as single subject teachers, it is great to be able to authentically integrate into this exhibition, but the reality is that it can be very difficult to do so. The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to let the students take the bull by the horns, so to speak, as they are “required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems.
The central idea and lines of inquiry are not known until the unit begins as the entire process is very much student-driven. This makes it difficult for single subject teachers to plan ahead in order to integrate in the best possible way. In some cases, it is impossible to genuinely integrate as doing so would be a forced fit. However, when a good opportunity presents itself, single subject teachers should take full advantage of the opportunity.
The 2011 PYP exhibition at International School of Phnom Penh revolves around poverty. The central idea that our grade 5 students have come up with at this point is “People must take responsibility for reducing levels of poverty”.
We have a unit in Movement to Music happening at the moment in our PYP PE classes and feel that we can integrate very well into the exhibition based on the following premise:
Many poor regions in the world use dance as a means to alleviate the effects of poverty. Essentially, dance has many positive effects on people who suffer from poverty.
For a full description of how this unit will hopefully turn out, please see the “Examples of Integration” page. Sample assessment tasks, central idea and PE lines of inquiry are provided.
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.