I strongly support the use of graphic organizers whenever possible in PE as it provides visual stimulus to many of our learners that are more visual-spatial in nature. Graphic organizers are not only great for our visual-spatial learners, but also every other type of learner in our classes. Some would argue that using strategies such as this in PE take away from time being active, but I would respectfully argue that if we are to teach essential and enduring concepts that are critical to 21st century learners, we absolutely need to look at PE through a very different lens.
As we are in the middle of an excellent integration with a 'How we express ourselves' unit, all of my students from kindergarten through to grade 4 are working at creating different types of routines as a summative assessment task in PE. The venn diagram that you see in the picture above was used to initiate discussion related to the 'Creative Cycle' that we have been emphasizing in my grade 3 classes. When I think of the creative cycle, I see so many other opportunities to use this process in other units as well. I have learned a lot from an amazing visitor that came to our school last week. If you want to be inspired to make change in how you teach, please watch the embedded You Tube video below. Ewan McIntosh is a front runner in creating much needed change in education. His ideas, opinions, and suggestions will make us all better teachers if we listen, learn, and take initiative in trying his strategies.
In order to get my students thinking about creativity, especially in regards to putting together a final routine, we used the venn diagram to stimulate discussion about copying versus creating. I was leaving the ultimate decision up to them, but to kick start the conversation, I had the text on the venn diagram covered up. I introduced the idea of artists copying artists to get ideas and then uncovered the following question; What is best to copy? I then asked them the following question and uncovered this as well; How best can we create? We focused on the key concept 'Perspective' when answering these question. Everyone has their own perspectives that need to be respected and listened to.
As you can see from the picture below, the students came up with some excellent answers. They ultimately must decide to what degree they will copy and to what degree they will create when deciding on their final routines (which will be summatively assessed). All of their work will be documented in their Movement Composition Process Journals. I will blog and give examples of these movement composition journals tomorrow. Please check out the wonderful answers that the grade 3 students came up with. Lots of thinking and lots of creativity.