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21-PE - PYP - PSPE - Grade 1 - Movement Composition.jpg

Grade 1 - Movement Composition

Central Idea:

  • Creative movements can be used to display different emotions and ideas

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • Display creative movements in response to stimuli and express different feelings, emotions and ideas​

    • Reflect upon the aesthetic value of movement and movement sequences

  • Identity:

    • Identify and explore strategies that help to cope with ​change

Lesson 1: Provocation:

  • This unit is great as it allows for the creative juices to flow and the students can really explore their body’s capabilities through dance and gymnastics skills and movements.​

  • I opened up the unit with a simple game:

    • I instruct the kids that they can move in any manner they would like, the more creative the better. However, they need to be safe and in control at all times. Throughout the activity music is being played. But, when the music stops, everyone needs to freeze. Whoever is still moving when the music stops, that person is out. When someone else is called out, the previous person comes back in and is replaced by the newly eliminated student.

  • This activity is good as well as it allows you to see whether the kids are able to move creatively to the music.

  • After this warm-up, I gathered the students to watch one video: Shawn Johnson – Gymnast

  • The kids were hooked and could not believe this young girl was so strong and a ‘risk-taker’. This was a great kicker to the discussion where I introduced the Central Idea – refer to the Core PE Document for more information.

  • I do like to keep the kids moving as much as possible but also there needs to be discussion time. Therefore, after the initial introduction where I got the kids to read out the Central Idea and highlight words they did not know I got them to spend 3-5 minutes exploring their gymnastics capabilities. This is a bit of a pre-assessment to see what they knew of gymnastics. I saw some cartwheels, splits, attempted forward rolls etc.

  • Afterwards, I showed them the second video, albeit with a disclaimer on safety: World’s best Parkour and Free Running.

  • This really got the kids thrilled. Some boys have the view that gymnastics is only for girls – I very quickly proved them wrong when I showed them an Olympic rings routine (gymnasts are super humans). But Parkour showed that creative movements can be exciting. I laid out all the mats possible along with many foam obstacles and told the kids to explore the room, their movement capabilities but to also be safe.

  • We concluded the lesson with a review of the Central Idea and what we did during the lesson. The students were definitely excited when they left and pumped for the next lesson.

Lesson 2:

  • I opened up the next lesson with the warm-up to music game (move creatively and safely but when the music stops – freeze!) Afterwards, we went over the Central Idea again but in more detail. I asked questions such as: what is movement, what are emotions, how can we express ourselves through movement?

  • I then played a variety of music and I encouraged the kids to find the emotion in the music and move along to it. This did take some effort with some students as they did not find the connection between music and emotions as of yet.

  • Afterwards, I played them a video of a wicked dance routine: TRON.

  • I asked them to describe what they saw and why it was exciting to watch. I then showed them their Movement Composition Tool Box - A blank poster titled with their class name on it. Nothing extraordinary but it gives the kids a visual to refer to when they eventually create their routines.

  • Their Tool Box will cover 5 areas – Travel skills, Rolls, Shapes, Jumps and Balances. We got stuck into the Travel Skills first:

    • Hop

    • Gallop

    • Releve

    • Battement

Lesson 3:

  • We progressed with Movement Composition skills – next up were the Shape Skills. We played various games where the students needed to create letters or shapes using their bodies. This includes such positions as the pike, straddle and arch.

  •  With about 10 minutes left of the lesson, students were allowed to create a sequence using their newly learned travel and shapes skills.

Lesson 4:

  • We continued on going through their Movement Composition Tool Box with their next skill being Jump Skills. Prior to that we reviewed Shapes and played a game of Shape Statues.

  •  Jump Skills included: Rebound jumps and Broad jumps

Lesson 5:

  • We reviewed jump skills and then moved onto Balance Skills. Since there are quite a few balances to get through we completed half the list today:

    • Tuck

    • Back Support

    • Front Support

    • Right Splits

    • Box Splits

    • Left Splits

    • Arabesque

    • Crab

Lesson 6:

We progressed with the remaining balances which required a bit more attention:

  • Balance Beam Walk

  • Headstand

  • Frog Balance

Lesson 7:

We reviewed balances using a game of Support Tag.

  1. Kids move around safely on the gymnastics mat being chased by 2 catchers

  2. When a person is tagged, they change into a balance position

  3. They are released when a friend does the same balance position as they are and held for 3 seconds.

Afterwards, we moved into the Rolls:

  • Forward Roll

  • Side Roll

  • Pencil Roll

Lesson 8:

  • For this lesson, we touched on the emotions associated with some of the movements. The students listened to a variety of music and moved according to how the music made them feel and using the movements from the Tool Box. This was a great lesson where everything was slowly coming together.

Lesson 9:

  • I introduced the summative assessment for this unit. They could pick a minimum of 5 movements to create their own sequence and also add in their own creative movements if they want to. Once they picked their movements they could start practicing.

Lesson 10 and 11

Sequence creation and practice.

Lesson 12:


Unfortunately, this unit got quite interrupted with various other school events and so some elements were rushed. I would have liked more time to fine tune the various skills and also to unpack the emotions attached with movements. I especially like this music video where there is so much expression in this girl’s movements: I would have liked to see what my kids would have interpreted her movements as. Thought, comments, click here.

Grade 1 Movement Composition: Project
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