Getting younger kids to work together on larger teams or in a whole class group can be quite a challenge. We are finishing up our integration with the grade 2 unit of inquiry on ‘Rights and Responsibilities’. My unit in PE was adventure challenge so it fit in very nicely with the UoI happening in the classroom.
Throughout this unit, the students were faced with having to solve a number of different adventure challenge type activities in both small and large groups. As we had numerous discussions about what peoples’ rights and responsibilities are when working on teams, the students were able to understand the importance of effective communication and listening skills as well as cooperation skills in most situations. However, working in larger groups always presented problems in this area.
In one of the final activities of the unit, the students were required to work on 2 teams of 7 and then on one large team of 14 during today’s PE class. Here is a breakdown of today’s lesson:
A) Each student was given a skipping rope and on their team of 7 they had to tie the ends of the skipping rope together to create one long rope.
B) Once they had tied all 7 ropes together, as a group, they had to decide on 5 different shapes to create with the rope. For example, if they decided to create a triangle, as a group, they would create the triangle with the rope on the gym floor. They had to get my thumbs up moving on to the next shape. Usually small adjustments would have to be made and then I would allow them to start on the next shape.
C)When each team of 7 had finished up creating their 5 different shapes, they were required to join teams with the other group (had to tie both long ropes together making one long rope). Now, as a much bigger group of 14, they had to create 3 shapes that had not been created before.
The Biggest Challenges?
Deciding on which shapes to create proved very challenging. As a group they had to remember that their responsibility was to work together and communicate. This required listening to one another and being patient.
Another challenge was that they had difficulty deciding which way to position the shape on the floor. Where was the top of the shape going to be? Where was the bottom going to be? Ensuring that all members were aware of top and bottom proved challenging.
As a final assessment, they had to; draw the first 5 shapes created by their team of 7, draw the 3 shapes created by the larger group of 14, Assess how difficult the rope challenge was for them, and write a comment about today’s game. This assessment took roughly 10 minutes to complete at the end of class.