What do we know about our body systems?
Whenever possible I try my best to make strong links to learning happening in the classroom. At the present moment, I am fully integrating with the unit of inquiry "Body Systems" that is taking place over the first 7 weeks of the school year in grade 3. This type of unit presents a perfect opportunity to integrate PE into the learning happening in the classroom as exercise has a tremendous impact on our body systems. In PE we are kick starting the year with a unit on health related fitness, a perfect fit!!
I began the first couple classes of the year discussing our hearts and how exercise impacts our circulatory systems. The students took part in a number of activities aimed to get them moving at different levels of intensity. We reviewed how to determine our heart rates three different ways (hands on chest and count the beats, find pulse on wrist and count, or find pulse in neck and count). To keep things simple, I am using a quick and easy formula to determine the number of beats per minute (how many beats in 6 seconds and add a zero giving rough number of beats in a minute). I know this is not a perfect formula, but for grade 3 it is perfect and integrates with math (place value).
As the classroom teachers are moving a bit deeper into their unit on Body Systems, my goal this week was to post the following key question, "What do we know about our body systems"? in PE. I had the students do a brisk walk & talk warm up discussing the question with a partner then giving me their answers. I've had two out of my three grade 3 classes answer the question so far. After the students walk & talk, I jotted down their ideas in my journal.
I will have the last grade 3 class discuss this question and give me their answers. I already created a visual with the answers from the other grade 3 classes and will have this posted at the beginning of class when my last class of grade 3s come in. We will look at the answers from the other students and have a short discussion. The challenge I am presenting to the last grade 3 class is to come up with some new answers to the question. I will then record their answers directly on the visual.
Using small jpegs of the stars above, I emphasized which body systems we will be focusing on in our Health Related Fitness unit in PE. If you notice in the picture below, I have added 2 stars on the circulatory system as this will be our main focus on the unit. I am also going to touch upon the respiratory and muscular systems but not to the same depth as they will be doing in the classroom. As you can see, the students also mentioned digestive and skeletal systems. These systems I will not cover as the classroom teachers are going in-depth with them in class.
Lots of collaborative planning has gone into this unit to ensure that the classroom teachers and I provide the most well-rounded learning experiences possible when it comes to the Body Systems unit. When fully integrating with the classroom units of inquiry, true collaboration is the key to success. I have a great grade 3 team that I am working with here at NIS (Jesse Douma, Olivia Bratton, and Debbie Mills). I will be blogging in detail about this unit over the next 6 weeks.
I would love to hear experiences that you have with integrating health and body systems in PE. Please comment below to share what has worked for you.