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Track and Field 2023
Grade 3


This unit was quite a step up in expectations for Grade 3. This was really their first foray into student-led, autonomous learning in PE and I think my colleague and I found a good balance of teacher instruction and student-led inquiry. The real difference within this unit was having the training journal which served as the kids' reflective tool but also served as our evidence gatherer. Students were introduced to 6 different events of 3 categories. The track events: 50m, 400m, the jump events: high jump and long jump, and throw events: shot put and javelin. They then could choose one event from each of the categories. Throughout all of this, the students had access to a PowerPoint that contained information for each of their events that they could use to help improve their performance. Read on to find out how we ran this unit.


Lesson 1

We started the unit with the standard Moving Time routine. This is where I leave a collection of balls, jump ropes, random physical activity equipment for the kids to use for 5 minutes starting from the scheduled start time. If class starts at 9:50, I start the timer from 9:50 and ends at 9:55. If the class arrives late, I still start the class at 9:55. This allows the kids to get some wiggles out of them before class.

Once Moving Time finished the kids gathered in the 'Green Zone', our discussion area in front of the whiteboard and projector that's hooked up to my laptop. I happened to have green court tape available when I wanted to create this area. I then played this video to inspire the kids - I absolutely love hearing the gasps and awes the kids let out when watching this video. It means they're hooked!

With this emotional hook firmly inside the kids, I introduced the unit with the Central Idea and I posed the question to them, "how did the athletes get the chance to compete at the Olympics?"


I then briefly showed the kids the PowerPoint they would be using to help them learn the events they chose. You can access the PowerPoint below.


We then went outside and separated into three groups and spent about 7 minutes at each station. I supervised the High Jump, my Teaching Assistant at the Shot Put, and then the kids ran the 50m independently. We provided them stopwatches and an iPad with the PPT on it. We did the rotations and then wrapped the lesson up with a brief review of the lesson.

Lesson 2

We started the lesson with the usual Moving Time and then sat in the Green Zone to review the unit. I like to do a routine called, 'jump up' where if you want to share your answer or response you can jump up rather than raising your hand. Just to keep things relatively active in the class. Get those fast twitch muscles firing! I asked, "What's our unit?" Whoever answered the question can put the relevant unit poster on the whiteboard.

I then spent a bit more time unpacking the Central Idea by letting the kids identify keywords from it and attempting to identify the meaning behind the statement itself.

We then looked at some key actions to today's events we would be experiencing - the Javelin, Long Jump, and 400m - by using PowerPoint. Since PowerPoint will be a key feature of the unit I wanted them to discover the value it has within the unit.


My Teaching Assistant supervised the Javelin, I supervised the Long Jump, and the kids were given stopwatches and an iPad to help them independently attempt the 400m.

We wrapped up the lesson through a class discussion by reflecting on the lesson.

Lesson 3

After Moving Time and a review of the Central Idea, its keywords, and the previous lesson we got to explaining the upcoming lesson. This lesson was about baseline testing, discovering what the kids can achieve as their first attempts for each of our events. They spent a couple of lessons on trying out the events, today was about recording their initial results. We managed to complete the high jump, shot put, and 50m testing.

At the end of the lesson, we reviewed what we completed and the purpose for today's testing.

Lesson 4

After Moving Time and reviewing the Central Idea I introduced the Driving Question to the unit. This question's purpose is to drive the inquiry within the unit and discover a meaningful and purposeful response to it. Our Driving Question for this unit was, "How can we improve our skills?" I wanted them to attempt to respond to this question using their existing knowledge but to also attempt to use the Central Idea to help them answer it, such as using the keywords of 'feedback, skill, mastery, etc.' I received the usual responses of practice hard, practice every day, but I responded by asking them, "how do I know if I am practicing correctly?" "Will I be using my time wisely by practicing hard but not the right way?" "How do I know if I'm practicing correctly?" This question will be responded to every lesson and in greater detail as I reveal the remaining elements of the unit - the Learner Profile, and the two AtLs (Approaches to Learning).

We spent the rest of the lesson baseline testing the Long Jump, Javelin, and 400m with a review at the end of the lesson.

Lesson 5

After Moving Time and our Central Idea review I posed the Driving Question to the class. I encouraged them to use the keywords from the Central Idea to answer the question. I didn't spend much time on this considering we had a bit more cognitive work to do for this lesson and I didn't want to spend the entire lesson sitting down but rather outside training.

I then introduced the Training Journal to the class.

This journal is our key evidence collector for the unit. This journal will be used by the kids to track their progress during their training. It will require them to record their data (AtL: Data Gathering and Recording), analyze their skills as well as their partner's skills (AtL #2: Analysis), goal setting, and respond to some reflective questions.

Once we handed out the training journals and gave the kids a little bit of time to familiarize themselves with it, they needed to write their name and class on it and then turn to the first page.

I then projected this screen up on the screen introducing them to the first AtL of the unit: Data Gathering and Recording.

I projected their first attempt data on the screen and the kids were required to read the table, find their name and relevant event and copy down their first attempt data onto their training journal. Once they did this they then had to make a very important decision - which three events will they choose to focus on for the unit. They are allowed to choose one track, one jump, and one throw. However, they cannot change their mind after they make this decision.

Once this was done, they went outside, started training and recorded their data in Week 1 Lesson 1 in their training journal.

Lesson 6

After Moving Time we did our usual 'jump up' review routine and then posed the Driving Question to the students. However, it now needed to include AtL #1: Data Gathering and Recording - how does data play a role in this unit?, how does this help us improve our skills? This still needed some unpacking but still early days in the unit.

I then introduced the second AtL for the unit - Analyzing. The kids were quite familiar with this term already since it has been a big focus during our swimming lessons where we broke down the different strokes - freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. To kickstart this use of analysis in Track and Field, I projected up the 6 different events as gifs and asked them to analyze these skills and write down 3 important details of their events that they can practice today. They also had access to the PowerPoint on iPads to help them.

Once this was done we headed outside for the kids to apply their analysis into their training. They filled in Week 1 Lesson 2 of their training journal.

Lesson 7

Once Moving Time was complete we settled down to our current unit review and then posed the Driving Question with responses needing to include both AtLs - Data Gathering and Recording as well as Analyzing.

We then looked at Goal Setting and how it can help motivate us. To avoid impossible scores such as 1 second 50m sprints, I offered ranges as guidance for each of the events such as the Long Jump we can be looking at 1-3m, High Jump 1-1.3m. This actually went quite well since the kids already had some training sessions underneath them which gave them some familiarity with what is realistic. They completed the bottom of the analysis page in their training journal.

With that done, we went outside to train and the kids filled in Week 2 Lesson 1 of their training journal. I also spent the rest of the lesson focused on the High Jump kids. Whoever chose the High Jump would be with me where we would analyze the high jump in more depth using the PowerPoint. We broke down the steps, focused on each one, and applied it. I would be doing this for each of the events as the unit progresses.

Lesson 8

With Moving Time done, and the 'jump up' routine completed, I introduced the final element to the unit, the Learner Profile.

We discussed this in more detail by including examples of how it can be applied in training as well as competitions. It is not just about 'cheating' to get ahead in competitions but that being honest in your efforts during training can help your performance.

The kids went outside to train and completed Week 2 Lesson 2 of their training journal and I spent the rest of the lesson with the Long Jumpers where we analyzed this event in more detail with the PowerPoint and applied their learning 

Lesson 9

As can happen in Beijing, we do get the occasional pollution day and today was it. Fortunately, we had access to a gym to continue our training.

With our unit elements complete, we spent a bit more time unpacking the Driving Question.

Since this was an indoor lesson we divided the gym into 5 areas and introduced the 'Extra Drills' section of the PowerPoint to the kids. You can access the PowerPoint for this unit by clicking on the image below.


Since this was an indoor lesson we divided the gym into 5 areas and introduced the 'Extra Drills' section of the PowerPoint to the kids. You can access the PowerPoint for this unit by clicking on the image below.

Area 1: Long Jump indoor drills, which included A skips, Standing Long Jumps, etc.

Area 2: High Jump indoor drills: Knee Arm Pop, Single Leg Hops, etc.

Area 3: 50m and 400m: due to space issues we just focused on the starts to 20m distance

Area 4: Shot Put: Seated or Kneeling throws with a whole bunch of mats lining the wall and floor

Area 5: Javelin: No run-up, only focusing on the release with drills such as the Lean Back Release, or Easy Release.

These drills really refined the more technical parts of their events, particularly with the throws. Kids realized they needed to activate their core more intensely during the Shot Put due to them needing to sit down during the throw. For the Javelin, the kids really broke down critical aspects of it such as having their palm up during the throw, the javelin pointed at eye level, and not flicking the wrist until after the javelin is released. These technical elements really refined their throws and overall performance. Furthermore, they started to appreciate the technicality behind it rather than muscling their way through the throw.

We gathered at the end of the lesson, reflected, and then dismissed.

Lesson 10

The kids were really into their training. Therefore, we moved all of our lessons from start to finish to our outdoor learning space on the field. This gave them the chance to do Extra Training Time rather than Moving Time. I brought some footballs, volleyballs, jump ropes, etc. for those who wanted to do Moving Time, but in the end, the majority of kids went to do some extra training instead.

Once this 5 minutes was over we sat down in our outdoor learning space and reviewed the unit using the 'jump up' routine and responded to the Driving Question.

This was a fairly straightforward lesson. The kids were starting to get the hang of the bigger ideas behind the unit and were training quite well. I spent the rest of the lesson with the javelin throwers and then the shot putters by honing their skills with the PowerPoint at hand.

Lesson 11

After Moving Time or Extra Training Time and the usual unit review routine, we spent a bit more time on unpacking the 'feedback' part of the Central Idea. Our activity involved partnering up and then spending 10-15 minutes being a coach and providing feedback to their partner for all of their selected events. Once time was up they switched roles. The kids filled in the relevant sections of the 3 feedback pages of the training journal.

Lesson 12

We were approaching the business end of this unit and I wanted the kids to really understand what resilience looked like. Even though this was not one of our AtLs, I still felt it needed to be introduced and witnessed. After our usual lesson starting routine I shared with them what resilience meant. I shared the AtL definition as seen below.

We briefly went through what it meant and then I shared with them this video about Heather and her 600m run.

The kids were in awe. I then asked them how did Heather show resilience?

With this in mind, the kids went out and trained hard, fully inspired by what Heather demonstrated.

Lesson 13

With the final class before their Track and Field Carnival upon us, I felt like I needed to pump them up a little bit more. After their 5-minute Extra Training Time or Moving Time and their 'jump up' routine, I played a slideshow of last year's event. The kids recognized a few of the older kids and were really excited about what they would soon experience.

I explained the schedule of the day and what would be required of them - clothes to wear, water bottles, independence, etc. I then shared with them their Divisions for the day (Division A, B, or C) which would dictate which event they should be at and at what time.

To ensure they remember this the kids needed to fill in the final page of their Training Journal.

They then went off to to do their final bit of training

Lesson 14: Track and Field Carnival

It was during this lesson that we had our Carnival. Throughout the unit, we harped on about independence and self-management skills, etc. and this worked quite well. We ensured that all information was available to the kids by including class lists and divisions on a whiteboard as well as the schedule. My laptop was connected to a large TV that had the time available as well as the spreadsheet that kept track of all results which updated with class scores.

I created a live spreadsheet complete with all students and their chosen events. We had homeroom teachers, their teaching assistants, as well as the EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers help us run different stations. All they needed to do was enter the students' results and the spreadsheet would do the rest. All this data would feed to the main Dashboard which was shared on the TV and would calculate class points. Considering this was a live document it was continually updating.

However, as with anything involving the outdoors we were at the mercy of the weather. In Beijing, it's the pollution. Fortunately, we were able to run all of the divisional rotations with minimal fuss (the school-wide internet outage certainly did not help, but Hotspot certainly did!). Unfortunately, pollution went over our school policy and we were unable to run our Finals.

Lesson 15

We moved back into the gym for our final lesson of the unit and reflected upon their experiences at the Track and Field carnival. They had one more task to complete before wrapping up this unit - their written reflection.

This reflection required the kids to look through their training journal data and find their first and best results. They then needed to reflect on their skill execution and how they improved throughout the unit. Finally, to sum everything up a final response to our Driving Question.

This took about 20 minutes to complete, some a bit longer but that is where I could work with these kids individually while their Teaching Assistant ran a game of Castle - a school favorite.

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