Athletics

2016-2017 Central Idea:

  • Independent training, intrinsic motivation, and self-belief can enhance body control for movements in Athletics.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • ​Demonstrate greater body control when performing movements

  • Identity:

    • Motivate themselves intrinsically and behave with belief in themselves

    • Work and learn with increasing independence

2017-2018 Central Idea:

  • A clear plan and optimism can help us develop new skills to overcome challenges

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • Demonstrate greater body control when performing movements​

    • Plan, perform and reflect on movement sequences in order to improve

  • Identity:

    • Motivate themselves intrinsically and behave with belief in themselves​

    • Work and learn with increasing independence

Synopsis:

This unit is slightly complicated so I will list the steps briefly here and then you can read below to see how I broke it down:


  • There are 3 categories:

    • Track

    • Jump

    • Throw

  • In each category are 2 events

    • Track:

      • 50m & 400m

    • Jump:

      • Long Jump & High Jump

    • Throw:

      • Discus & Shot Put

  • Students choose 1 event from each of the categories

  • They research it, train, reflect, collect data and then ultimately compete

  • Athletics carnival consists of all of grade 3 and grade 4 classes competing against each other.

  • Champion class gets matching headbands

  • Champion students in each event gets a medal presented at assembly


Lesson 1: Pre-Assessment

  • This has to be the most powerful and exciting unit in the entire PE calendar. I feel the students gain the most from this experience since it involves a great deal of independence but yet strengthens camaraderie, it encourages a lot of research but also pushes the students’ fitness levels – and best of all, the entire school gets behind this unit. It is that big of a deal.



  • If your kids are not excited for the unit after this video, then they are made of stone. I love this video. I swung around the whiteboard and had the new unit in big letters – Athletics. Then I wrote down a date on the board and in a big voice I announced, “In 6 weeks, on this date, you will be competing in your own Olympics. It will be your class against all of the other grade 4s.” They were pumped. But then I added on, “Also, you will be competing against the grade 3s.” The kids were then a bit surprised by this. Some asked, “why? They are smaller than us.” I told them that “the grade 3s have nothing to lose and everything to gain. When someone is fighting with no fear, you need to watch out.” This put those grade 4s down a peg and hopefully will encourage them to push harder with their training later on.


  • I did not go into too much detail with the Central Idea since we will have plenty of chances to unpack it later but what I wanted to emphasize is that this unit is all about pushing yourself to be a new you – discover strengths that you did not realize you had before.


  • After this inspirational chat, we went out for a team run. Afterwards, I gathered the class around and told them about the different events:


  • Grade 3 and 4 Athletics:

    • Track:

      • 50m

      • 400m

    • Jump:

      • High Jump

      • Long Jump

    • Throw:

      • Discus

      • Shot Put


  • I asked the kids this question, “how do we know if we are improving?” Fielded a few responses such as, “better scores”, “stronger”, etc. I then told them that we needed to test all of the events so we know where to start and how to improve. We then started testing our track events.



  • We ended the lesson with a short debrief of the day and told them to post their times on Seesaw.

Lesson 2:

  • The day before their lesson, I uploaded onto Seesaw a short fitness program they will do after they finish their Long Jump testing – an anchor activity.


  • However, before they do the fitness program, we started out the lesson with a new warm-up, Indian Sprints. I broke up the class into 4 groups and emphasized that this is not a race. The groups jog in a line and then when the front person yells ‘go’, the person up the back sprints to the front and subsequently yells, ‘go’ for the next person.


  • Afterwards, we gathered and we broke down the Central Idea a bit more. We looked at the three key words: Intrinsic motivation, independent training and self-belief. I asked the kids if they knew what were the connections between those three words. There was silence, so I asked probing questions for each word:

    • Intrinsic motivation: “Who is being motivated?” “Who is being pushed to become better?”

    • Independent training: “Who is being trained?” “Who is doing the training?”

    • Self-belief: “Who is being believed?” “Who needs to believe in their abilities?”


  • Then it dawned on them. This unit is all about, “yourself.” Motivate yourself, train yourself, believe in yourself.


  • With this in mind, we did Long Jump testing. Since we only have one pit and each person gets two jumps, testing took the whole lesson. Fortunately, the kids had the fitness program they could do individually/pairs/in groups. I emphasized the students to encourage each other but to also focus on motivating, training and believing in themselves.


  • After the testing was done, I airdropped the students a document where they can record their results from the days testing. You can access it here. This format is in PDF, but I gave them a Pages document so they can easily edit it on their iPads. I uploaded the days results onto Seesaw and they can check to see if they recorded their results correctly onto Pages.

Lesson 3:

  • This lesson ran pretty much the same as the previous lesson. We reviewed the big idea from last lesson, which was about “yourself”. Today, we looked at one of the words in a bit more detail, “intrinsic motivation.” “What is it that will push you to become better?” “Do Olympians wake up one morning and become champions?” “What will push you to improve?”


  • Afterwards, we went out to test the high jump. Again, I did not give specific key points, apart from safety, jumping off one foot and clearing the bar. I did not tell them where to jump from, how to approach, etc. We started the proceedings at 80cm, every person gets 2 jumps if they do not clear it the first time. We went up by 10cm each time the class finished to ensure we finished on time.


  • Once a student completed their testing, they entered the results into the Results Pages document and then they could either do the new fitness program I put up on Seesaw or they could watch their peers reach for glory.

Lesson 4:

  • This was the final testing day. We reviewed the big ideas we covered so far and then moved to the next big idea – independent training. I told them that I will not always be there for them when they are training and then I asked them for ways they could improve their technique and fitness outside of PE.

  • I then showed them this video about Julius Yego – Mr YouTube who taught himself the javelin and ended up being champion in the Olympics.

    • “What is the purpose of this video?”

    • “How does it relate to what you’re embarking on now?”


  • I asked the students to start thinking about what events they would like to do and to look at their testing results. I asked them to take a quick note in Seesaw on what their goals would be for the three events they are going to choose for the carnival.


  • Once they did that, we went outside and did our throw testing. I did not tell them how to throw the 3kg shot put or the 1kg discus. I did one demonstration each, a safety run through and basic rules (staying within the throwing box, etc.)


  • Just like last time, once they completed their throw, they needed to record their results, upload onto Seesaw and then follow a fitness program that was on Seesaw.


  • With 5 minutes left of the lesson, I announced their homework:

    • Select their 3 events and create a goal distance/height/time for each of those events.

To read more about this unit, please click here.

 

©2020 by David Cooney