We have started off 2012 with a new unit in Gymnastics and Movement to Music at the Nanjing International School in China. The central idea and lines of inquiry for the unit are as follows:
Multiple elements can be combined into patterns when creating a performance.
Lines of Inquiry
An inquiry into how the different elements of gymnastics and dance can be combined.
An inquiry into the importance of flexibility and strength in gymnastics and dance.
An inquiry into determining how best to put together a performance.
As an introduction I showed 2 videos. One being a Cirque Du Soleil video and the other being a You Tube clip featuring the fantastic performers ‘Stomp’ creating sound and rhythm using basketballs (www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYXUm8GgPjE). I am trying to move away from a totally traditional dance and gymnastics type unit by infusing elements of circus and other unique ways of creating sound and movement.
Once we finished watching the videos, I introduced the central idea and lines of inquiry seen above. We talked about what types of things the students would like to do during the unit and I recorded this. I then set up 3 stations and had them rotate through for roughly 10-12 minutes a station. The main objective here was to allow them to explore and inquire into how they could move their bodies with and without the use of apparatus.
1. Juggling Scarves, Rhythmic Ribbons, and Basketballs
2. Individual Balances
3. Simple Trampoline Jumps (totally spotted by me)
I handed out the worksheet seen in the picture below to have them record their ideas and to rate themselves. See worksheet for a more specific explanation The lesson went very well and seemed to really spark their interest in the unit. I will upload completed worksheets on my website very soon.