Grade 4 Adventure Challenge
Capable team members collaborate effectively
Develop a shared plan of action for group work that incorporates each individual's experiences and strengths
Discuss ideas and ask questions to clarify meaning
Use understanding of their own emotions to interact positively with others
Lesson 1: Pre-Assessment
This unit exposes students to a variety of team challenges that allows them to learn how to be part of a team. It is a great unit that has a big focus on social and communication skills.
I started this unit with the Human Square Challenge as a pre-assessment:
Students are scattered around the playing area.
They are each given a blindfold.
With the blindfolds on, they need to find each other and lie down in a large square.
They are given 5-10 minutes to complete this challenge.
Once they are all down and are satisfied with their efforts, I take a picture.
The challenge is not finished though, I nominate two students to take off their blindfold and ask them what their thoughts are on the square.
These two students will now do their best to fix their square.
They are not allowed to touch the blindfolded students but rather can only verbally communicate
They have 5-10 minutes to fix the square
At the end of this, I take another picture.
I upload both pictures on their Seesaw accounts.
Upon completing the challenge, I gather the students around and find out how they felt they did on the challenge. To help them, I projected the two pictures onto a whiteboard. I asked them questions in relation to their communication skills:
“How were you speaking to each other?”
“Did you share ideas effectively?”
“The people who could see, how were you talking to your classmates?”
“Blind people, did the communicators have clear instructions?”
It is here that I showed the Central Idea. We briefly unpacked it by initially identifying any unfamiliar words and defining them. By this stage, we were running low on time so we finished with a game of Shark, which also has a large emphasis on teamwork.
Initially start the game with 2 catchers – they are the sharks
The people have 2 islands to run back and forth to initially
Once a shark catches a person who runs out of the island that person turns into a shark.
As the game progresses and there are more sharks you can include additional islands.
Afterwards, I asked:
“How does this game relate to our unit?”
“What are some ways the Sharks can improve their teamwork?”
We reviewed the lesson and inquired if there were any questions.
A key part of unpacking a new unit is making everything explicit. How can we assess our students effectively if they do not know what they are being assessed upon? Therefore, I really needed to ensure my students knew what we were going to undertake and knew what they were being assessed upon.
After reviewing the Central Idea again, I got stuck into the different ATL’s:
I briefly introduced these to the students and then we got into first challenge of the day – Cross the River:
Break the class into 4 teams using Team Shake
Give each group 4-5 hula hoops
They need use the hula-hoops as stepping stones to reach the other side of the playing area
If they step out of the hula-hoops, that group loses one hula-hoop
After the first attempt, it was evident to see some teams were working better than the others. Therefore, I asked the students to reflect on ways they could improve. We went again.
Once completed, I gathered the students around and we went into a bit more detail on the skills.
“What does it mean to accept responsibility?”
“What responsibilities did we have in Cross the River?”
Once these were made explicit, we went to our next challenge – Team Dead Ants.
One team are designated as the catchers
The others are Ants
Scatter 5 hula hoops around the playing area
The catchers run around and try to catch as many ants as possible
Once an ant is caught, they are dead. They lie on their back with arms and legs in the air
4 live ants can revive the dead ant by carrying one extremity each and taking the dead ant to one of the 5 hula hoops
This game can keep on going so I usually set a time limit. But on occasions, the catchers do such a good job there are less than 4 ants alive, which makes it impossible to revive anymore ants.
We gathered around for the final time for the lesson and discussed how the skills we discussed are relevant to the Team Dead Ants challenge.
To start the lesson, I divided the class up again into 4 teams and replayed Team Dead Ants a couple more times. After the first round, we did a quick review of what it means to be an effective team.
Once the second round finished, we gathered and discussed in more detail the Central Idea and the ATLs (Approaches to Learning). I then introduced the Learner Profiles:
I asked the students what these mean to them and how they are relevant to the unit.
We then started our next challenge – Caterpillar:
Similar format to the Cross the River challenge however, I dispersed 4 beanbags of 4 different colors around a playing area.
The teams are positioned in 4 corners of the playing area
Using their hula hoops, they navigate around the playing area picking up their respective colored beanbags
Once they collected all of their bean bags, they make their way back to their relevant base and stack their hula hoops into a neat pile
If a team member touches the area outside of the hula-hoop, their ‘caterpillar’ shortens by 1 hula-hoop
After our first round, we gathered and discussed how the Learner Profiles are relevant to this unit. I then briefly introduced them to the attitudes of the unit:
With all of this in mind, which is a fair bit, we went back to do a second round of Caterpillar. I reminded the students during this challenge of the Learner Profiles and Attitudes.
By this stage, the students were becoming somewhat aware of the skills, learner profiles and attitudes they were working on in this unit. But rather than just talking about it and half-heartedly applying it into our challenges, I really wanted them to reflect on it. We were to do so in the next challenge – Blind Caterpillar:
Exactly the same format as our Caterpillar challenge we completed in our previous lesson but rather the head of the caterpillar is blindfolded
Each student in the team is in a set position and each has a set responsibility
Just like in a real caterpillar, the torso cannot move in front of the head, etc.
The blind student is the head of caterpillar. They put the hula hoop down, takes the first step forward and retrieves the beanbag
The blind student cannot be pushed forward or touched, rather they need to be told where to move
Throughout this challenge, I emphasized every single aspect of the unit they are working on – particularly being principled. This is because there are a lot of ways one can cheat in this challenge.
Once this challenge was over, I got the teams to sit together and complete this self-assessment. You can find it here. This worksheet allowed them to reflect on each aspect of the unit and how well they were applying them in our challenges. It really did help me determine how the students felt they were achieving the key elements of the unit. I also shared this information with some homeroom teachers to give them an idea of how some students were fairing in PE.
This lesson was dedicated to finding areas of improvement in respect to the key elements of the unit. We were going to do so by completing the Blind Beanbag Challenge.
Break the class into 4 teams, I used Team Shake
Each team has their own playing area, divide the gym into 4 areas
Scatter 8-10 bean bags in each playing area
One hula hoop is placed in 1 corner of each playing area
One student is standing in the hula hoop and is given a blindfold
They put on the blindfold and attempt to pick up 1 bean bag and bring it back to the hula hoop
The other team members are on the outskirts of the playing area giving the blind person instructions
Once the blind person successfully places the bean bag into the hula hoop, they take off the blindfold and give it to the next person
If any of the rules are broken, the team loses one bean bag and is thrown into the playing area to be collected again.
For this challenge, each playing area had an iPad recording them. Reason being, at the end of this challenge, the students were given the same worksheet as the previous lesson but rather than it being a self-assessment, it was a peer assessment. Watching the challenge on the iPad allowed the students to find examples of each of the elements being taught in the unit. You can find the peer assessment here. I also uploaded their videos onto Seesaw to allow parents to see their kids in action.
After completing this lesson, I sent a private message out to the parents on Seesaw explaining everything we have covered so far. I made the ATLs, Learner Profiles and Attitudes explicit to them as well so we could work on it together. Along with this message, I uploaded the students’ self-assessments onto Seesaw.