Grade 4 Adventure Challenge
Continued, lessons 6-8
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
This lesson was dedicated to really finding areas of improvement in each of the students. We had a lot to get through so we skipped the warm-up and reviewed the previous lesson.
I got the class back into the groups they were in for the previous lesson and handed back their peer assessments. Since we did not have much time to give feedback properly last lesson, we did so today.
Anything that was listed as ‘no’ was brought forward to the group and they found ways to improve. I dropped by each group briefly and determined exactly what each person needed to work on.
Once this was done and each person had a solid idea of what they needed to work on, we got stuck into the next challenge – Team Pac Man.
In Team Pac Man, all students can only run on the lines of the field.
One team are the catchers, they have 1-2 minutes to determine a strategy to catch all the others.
The other students have to spread themselves out across the lines of the field and attempt to avoid being caught – but they can only run on the lines.
When a person is touched by the catcher, they sit down on the line exactly where they got tagged – they are now blocking that line.
Only the catchers can pass the blocked path, the others cannot pass.
The catchers are timed.
Fastest team to catch everybody wins the challenge.
This challenge poses a lot of opportunities for people to cheat, i.e.: skipping lines, cutting corners, going around seated players, etc. Therefore, after each round, I emphasized what each student was working on, to ensure it is drilled into their mind. May it being principled, or cooperative, etc.
There were more conflicts in this challenge than I would have liked such as alleged cheating, poor teamwork resulting from poor communication and social skills. Therefore, this was a golden opportunity to pull up the Central Idea again and find out the shortcomings of each team. We determined that some students are not principled, some are unsure of their position in the team, some have poor tolerance of others, which can cause some students to lack confidence, etc. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done but at least now we know what each person needs to work on – thanks to the self-assessment and peer feedback.
As a matter of fact, once I messaged the parents and posted up the self-assessments on Seesaw, I got quite a bit of ongoing conversations with parents who were interested in seeing how they could help. It really does pay to go that one extra step and keep the parents updated on what you are doing in class, since as specialists, we can get overlooked.
After the previous lesson’s eye-opening incidents, I determined that the kids really needed to learn what it means to trust one another – trust that each will do the right thing, trust that they will follow the team plan, trust that each person will do their best to finish the challenge successfully. Therefore, we did a simple trust challenge that can be layered multiple times – Cars.
Prior to this activity, I stressed that this challenge is all about trust. We clearly defined what trust means and how easy it is to lose but how hard it is to be gained.
Cars – Layer 1:
Students are split into pairs – cue Team Shake
Clearly define the playing area, preferably half a basketball court. However, if your class need more space than do so – safer the better for this exercise
One person is a car and they are blindfolded
The other person can see, stands behind the car and has their arms outstretched, holding the car’s shoulders
The car is a passive participant and is gently guided around the playing area - essentially being driven by the driver
I emphasized safety repeatedly
Once each person had a chance to be a car and a driver, we gathered around and discussed the challenge.
“How did it feel being blind and driven?”
“How does trust play a role in this challenge?”
Cars – Layer 2:
We switched pairs – Team Shake
Using the same playing area and same premise, I altered the challenge slightly
Rather than holding the car with two hands the entire time, the driver now uses gentle tapping to move the car
The speed of the taps indicates speed, I.E.: slow taps = walk, fast taps = run (running blindfolded is very unnerving, but trust your driver!)
The location of the taps indicates direction, I.E.: left shoulder tap = turn left, between shoulder blades = straight
Two hands on the shoulder and a pullback = stop
It is important that you reemphasize the purpose of this lesson. For some kids, it could be just a laugh for them and they forget the purpose. Therefore, ensure they know WHY they are doing these activities.
Cars – Layer 3, final layer:
Switch pairs again
The object of this layer in this challenge is to switch drivers without the car knowing when it happens
Therefore, rather than holding the car by the shoulders or tapping rapidly, the driver is slowly and gently switching their own hands repeatedly to mask when they actually switch cars
There is no talking in this challenge
The drivers need to make eye-contact with the other drivers to communicate with each other
It is best if the drivers use the same hand movements on all of the cars
After several minutes, I make the cars guess who their new driver is
We wrapped this lesson up by reviewing what we accomplished and what trust means to them. I also asked them to discover other areas in their lives where trust is important. It is imperative that we put things into context outside of PE.
By now, I have mentioned their final challenge several times, which I planned for lesson 10. They do not know what challenges lay in store for them, but all I told them that it could include some challenges they have already done and it typically takes 20-30 minutes to complete. Every time I mention the final challenge they get so excited and start guessing what could be in it.
To test how much they know about the unit, I decided to play a simple game of Hangman.
I wrote down the Central Idea, Learner Profile, Attitudes and ATLs on the whiteboard but replaced some words with gaps. Using Magic Hat (a randomizer app), I randomly selected kids to complete any gap of their choosing. Unfortunately, a couple of classes killed a couple of Hangmen, but a couple of other classes completed it easily.
We then got stuck into a next challenge where my main theme of this was ‘tolerance’. Reason being, I have noticed quite a few times that when one student makes a mistake, several other kids whine excessively causing some discomfort within the team. I find these moments particularly aggravating and was keen to find another way for these students to express themselves appropriately.
Next challenge: Foot Passing:
Arrange 4 cones along one end of your playing field
Arrange 4 more cones on the opposite site of the field, approximately 20 meters away
Divide class up into 4 teams using Team Shake
Allocate one team per cone along one side
Give one beanbag per team
Using only their feet, the students need to pass the beanbag to each other and get it to the other cone.
If the beanbag touches the ground, they need to restart from the beginning.
Replace the beanbag with any other object you can think of that is harder to pass. I used a bowling pin.
After about 5-10 minutes I gathered the students around and discussed why they think I made being tolerant a key component of this challenge. Straight away, hands went up and they were on the money:
“When some people make a mistake, you should not get angry.”
“This person keeps complaining when we make a mistake.”
I then asked them what is a better way to solve this problem:
“Encourage the other person.”
“Find a solution.”
“Maybe our plan needs to change.”
These were just a few responses, but it does show that they were aware of the shortcomings that comes with a poor tolerance level.
They continued on with this challenge and we ended with a quick game of Dead Ants to wrap things up. Once again, I reminded them about the final challenge and that this challenge could or could not be included.