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Grade 2 - Movement Composition

Central Idea:

  • Different actions and positions can be used to create unique and inspiring movement sequences

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • Explore different movements that can be linked to create sequences​

  • Identity:

    • Describe how personal growth has resulted in new skills and abilities​

    • Explain how different experiences can result in different emotions


Key steps

Top Gymnastics Cards

Lesson 1: Pre-Assessment / Tuning In:

  • Movement Composition units have been, for me, rather weak. I still have a lot to of work to do but I felt as if this unit was heading in the right direction and it really did encapsulate creativity and collaboration.

  • The first activity I did before anything else was turn on some music and let the kids move in any fashion they like to the music – provided it was safe. Move creatively. Most students just ignored the music and just did their own thing. This was okay to start with. As the unit goes by, we will start digging into the music a bit more and how it influences our movements.

  • Then I showed them several videos. The first I showed was a gymnastics video:Shawn Johnson – Gymnast. The students were astounded at the skills this young girl demonstrated. I told them that she was a risk-taker and that she was using her movements to inspire you. I asked them, “do you want to try these moves?” They replied, “Yes!” I told them that then you were all inspired. This was a great opening to a new word they have never used before.

  • With this great word in their mind and the video they just watched, I let them explore their own gymnastics movements from what they saw and had experienced in the past (if any). I saw some splits, some jumps, some severe ill-attempted rolls (fortunately, we had mats laid down) and various other moves. This was their tuning in for the unit.

  • After this activity, we gathered around and I introduced them to the Central Idea: Different actions and positions can be used to create unique and inspiring movement sequences. I asked the kids to read it together with some assistance from me as there are some big and new words for them. I then asked them to point out any words they did not know: actions, positions, unique, inspiring and movements.

  • We went through each of the words just briefly to not overwhelm them too much. Since the class was rapidly coming to an end and I wanted to end on a fun note, we did a Just Dance video ( - this is always a hit.

Lesson 2:

  • We started the class with a brief rundown of the previous lesson:

    • “What’s our unit?”

    • “What’s our Central Idea?”

    • “What words are new to you?”

    • “What did we do last time?”

  • Then we did our warm-up – Moving Creatively.

  • To touch on the new words ‘unique’ and ‘inspiring’, I showed them another video: World’s best Parkour and Free Running.

  • I asked them the same questions as before, “Do you want to try? Was it exciting?” This meant they were inspired. This word will now be a regular feature in the lessons. I laid out a few obstacles for them to try a few moves on and to explore their capabilities.

  • I then introduced them to their Movement Composition Tool Box. A poster that will contain a variety of actions and positions that they may utilize when it comes to their summative assessment whereby they create their own sequence.

    • 21-PE – PYP – PSPE – Movement Composition Tool Box

  • For this lesson I introduced them to Travel Skills:

    • Balance Beam Walk Forward

    • Balance Beam Walk Backwards

    • Crab

  • I did not get the kids to go on the balance beam right away but I broke it down into 3 levels:

    • Level 1: Pretend you’re on the balance beam and travel across the mat. Arms out, one foot in front of the other and looking straight ahead

    • Level 2: I placed a rope on the group and the kids, using the same technique, traveled across the rope.

    • Level 3: Balance beam with assistance

  • We only got through to level 2 today but the kids got plenty of chances to try these two levels out since I broke them up into 4 groups.

  • Throughout these activities I encouraged the kids to give each other feedback. I did not harp on about this new concept to them too much but we will be using it more often as the unit progresses.

  • We ended the lesson with a game called “Crabs and People”. This is a different way to introduce a new movement. The Crab is a movement where a person lies down on their back, lifts themselves up by bending their knees at a 90 degree angle and bringing their arms behind their back. To play the game:

    • Create a playing area at about 20m x 20m.

    • Choose 4 crabs.

    • Everyone else is in the playing area, they are the people.

    • The crabs need to try and catch the people by using the crab movement.

    • When a person is caught by a crab they then become a crab.

Lesson 3:

  • I am fortunate enough to have a teaching assistant with me occasionally. I took advantage of this in this lesson.

  •  We warmed up today slightly different by moving creatively to music but when I stop the music, the students freeze. It spices things up a bit, allows creatively to flow, bit of freedom but also learning how to pay attention. If they are still moving when the music stops, then they sit out until they get replaced by the next person who does not freeze in the next round.

  •  We looked at the students’ Movement Composition Tool Box and reviewed what they had completed so far. Today was the balance beam. But to make things more efficient and to allow for some self-directed learning I broke the class up into 2 groups.

    • Group 1: Learning the Jump Skills

    • Group 2: Balance Beam walk

  •  I broke the balance beam group into a further 4 groups. 1 group had a chance to walk forwards and backwards on the beam while the other 3 groups were practicing on the rope and finding creative ways to move across the rope.

  •  While this was happening my co-teacher was taking the students through the three jumps:

    • Rebound jumps

    • Broad jump

    • Springboard jump

  • After going through all the groups on the balance beam, the kids switched. I did wish I had a bit more time with them on the balance beam since it is a unique apparatus that can push the kids confidence. They absolutely beam (no pun intended) when they make it across.

Lesson 4:

  • We reviewed the previous lessons by playing our freeze game. The students can only do their travel and jump skills when the music is playing. However, once the music stops they need to freeze. After a couple music stops I allowed the kids to move creatively (but safely) according to the music.

  •  We then got to the next set of skills – Balance Skills. Here, we focused on the:

    • Arabesque

    • Bridge

    • Headstand

    • Frog Balance

  • I did this a bit differently since I wanted to work on the concepts of Perspective and Reflection and also to get the students to work collaboratively. I put up an image of the balance to be performed on the projector. From there the students observe each others’ balance and provide feedback on what needs to improved (perspective). The student receiving feedback reflects on what they feel needs to be improved (reflection).

  •  After each round we came to our meeting mat and discussed the feedback they received from each other. The students started to realize the key points for each of the balances:

    • Arabesque – point toes, look straight ahead, curved back etc.

    • Headstand – hands take the weight, knees on elbows, top of the head on the ground, etc.

  •  Several students came to me and said that the balances were easy – they were clearly proud of their skills. This is great so I boosted their self-esteem slightly more by suggesting they share their skills with their group.

Lesson 5:

  • We warmed-up the usual way (freeze game) however I modified it once again. The students practiced their traveling and jump skills but once the music stops they have 5 seconds to perform one of the balances they learned in the previous lesson. After a couple rounds of that the students could move creatively and safely as they choose according to the music.

  •  This lesson introduced the students to the Rolls.

    • Forward roll

    • Cartwheel

    • Dish Roll

  •  Once again this lesson was conducted in the same fashion as in the balances – student-directed providing feedback working on the concepts of perspective and reflection.

  •  I broke the students up using the Team Shake app into 6 groups. I am fortunate enough to have some good resources to use. Two large foam ramps to learn the forward roll, two foam trapezoidal obstacles for the cartwheels and 2 jump ropes laid out to direct the dish roll.

  •  Again, after each round we gathered on the meeting mat to discuss feedback and whether it could help them. I also brought up in what other areas of school or life could you give and receive feedback:

    • Helping someone with their math in the classroom

    • Reading

    • Soccer, etc.

Lesson 6:

  • By this stage, the students’ Movement Composition Tool Box is full. They have been introduced and practiced the 4 set of skills. In this lesson, for their formative assessment, they started piecing together their own movement sequence using the actions and positions from the tool box. They could add their own touch to their sequence to make it unique.

  •  I used the metaphor of a puzzle to help with understanding as some students were still unclear of what the formative assessment was. All the movements taught are pieces of a puzzle and their job is to put it all together in order to create a picture – that picture being their movement sequence. Some students understood the metaphor, others still went over their head. But I persevered.

  •  Now all that was left to do is to give them this lesson and the next to practice. I encouraged the students to work in pairs to provide feedback.

  •  In addition, I gave each class a ‘Nest’ to work with. A nest is a large poster paper where they can jot any ideas down that they may have. They do not need to be good ideas, it can be any idea that may be of use to prepare for their formative assessment. The kids started writing down movements they would like to include in their sequence.

Lesson 7:

  • The students practiced this entire lesson for their formative. I also gave each class an extra 30 minutes during their recess times for optional practice. Surprisingly, quite a lot of the students took advantage of this.

Lesson 8:

  • Showtime! I had two iPads running at the same time to ensure a backup was available. While 1 student was performing, the next in line went to their nest to jog their memory of what their sequence was going to be.

  •  After their performances, I reviewed their videos and normally there is quite a mixed bag of skill but this time around most of the students did quite well. I was looking for a mix of skills – at least one action or position from each of the set of skills, creativity and execution. There was a handful of mediocre demonstrations, most of them quite well done and a handful of superb performances. So overall, I felt that the quality of the unit so far has been great and felt that the students were ready to progress onto the next project – the integration of the unit to the homeroom.

Lesson 9:

G2 - Movement Composition: Project
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