A Very Active Brainstorming Session
I wrote a blog post up yesterday about the Fitness Journals that I designed and created for my grade 5 fitness unit. In today's class I introduced the journals and the students completed the first few pages setting goals and self-assessing how fit they think they are.
They discussed their goals with their peers (while speed walking around the gym) and afterwards we had a very active 5-minute brainstorming session that challenged the students to come up with as many ideas as possible about how to improve upon cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular endurance.
On one side of the gym, I had a bunch of yellow post-it notes stuck up on the wall. On the other end of the gym I had the visual that you see in the picture below posted on the wall. The challenge was set! In small groups the students had to brainstorm as many possible ways to improve upon their level of fitness. They walked very quickly, jogged, and sprinted up and down the court from one far side to the other. During this time they jotted down their ideas on the blank post it notes on one side of the gym then ran their ideas back and stuck them on the visual on the opposite side.
Activity With a Purpose
This activity was to get their minds and brains flooded with possibilities about ways that they can improve upon their cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular endurance. I told them that they could write any ideas that came to their head, even if impossible and silly. By extending their thinking we can probably merge some of their crazier ideas with our learning space and the ideas that are actually possible.
I'll give you one example here. A student wrote that they could "Hike up Mt. Everest" to become more fit. From this idea, I will discuss why hiking up mountains makes us more fit. Obviously the elevation and hiking upward is tremendously challenging. Using our own environment, I will ask the students to identify areas of the school that they can go up. There are numerous areas of the school which have up to 4 flights of stairs. Stair climbing could potentially become a part of the plan to improve their cardiovascular endurance. So, from a silly, impossible idea, we may be able to generate realistic possibilities within our own learning environment. See my point here? Using their generated ideas as a starting point, we can truly create possibilities to work from when setting up their fitness plans.
The students came up with over 70 ideas in the 5 minutes. Here are just a few of them:
Here is s snippet of what our 5-minute brainstorming session looked like. It was an excellent way to keep them active but also thinking at the same time. Stay tuned for more action from our grade 5 fitness unit at Nanjing International School in China! Thanks for reading.