Grade 4

Health and Fitness 2019

Central Idea:

  • Recognizing the factors that affect health and fitness can help improve people's well-being.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Identity:

    • Reflect on their own cultural influences, experiences, traditions, and perspectives, and are open to those of others.

  • Active Living:

    • Identify how different physical activities affect the body and contribute to physical fitness and good health.

    • Understand that there are substances that can cause harm to health

    • Based on the principles of training, develop and act on personal fitness goals which include interests, self-assessments, and feelings when participating in physical activities.

    • Assess their level of exertion during physical activity, using simple self-assessment techniques and explain how intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect the exertion required to perform physical activities

    • Explain how the body's capacity for movement develops as it grows in relation to the body systems.​

Lesson 1:

  • I started off the unit with a new initiative called Moving Time.

  • Since we have no transition times built into our timetable, and I have had some issues of kids dawdling into class, I give the kids 3 minutes at the end of the previous class to get to my class.

  • I start a 5-minute timer, which is their Moving Time.

    • E.G.: Previous class ends at 9:10, I start the timer at 9:13.

  • I leave a trolley out with basketballs, handballs, tennis balls and jump ropes.

  • ​The kids can use any piece of equipment during those 5 minutes, but they just need to keep moving.

  • They put their IDs, laptops, coats, water bottles in their respective areas and get moving!

  • If they’re late to class, less Moving Time. On-time, more Moving Time!

  • When the timer finishes, a chime sounds, and the kids pack away the equipment back to the trolley and know to sit in the discussion area, also known as, “The Green Zone” (I taped the area using green tape).

  • New unit! New provocation activity. We did the Sally Challenge.

  • See the video below to see what we did.

  • The Sally Challenge usually involves push-ups but I modified it to Plank Get-Ups.

  • To the song of Flower by Moby, every time you hear the word, “Up” you push up, “Down” you go down.

  • Afterward, after the complaining, I asked the kids what they thought their new unit was.

  • I then showed them the Central Idea Poster. Click on the image for a larger version.

  • We broke into 4 groups and spent 7 minutes unpacking the central idea.

  • The kids copied down the central idea onto an A4 paper and as a group discussed what they think it meant. Most used mind mapping, others reworded the central idea, some predicted the learner profile and activities we would do.

  • The kids then stuck the unpacked central ideas onto the board and I demonstrated the next activity – Darebee Relay:

    • ​We used this Darebee Workout

    • In their teams, the first person of the group does the first exercise in the workout, runs back and tags the next person. This repeats until all teams have done 3 sets.

  • We ended the lesson there with the Central Ideas to be discussed in the next class.

Lesson 2:

  • We started the class with their Moving Time.

  • We then spent a couple of minutes presenting each groups’ central idea that they unpacked in the previous class.

  • We then honed down onto the word, “factor”, what does that mean and how does it relate to our unit?

  • I then wrote down on poster paper, “Factors affecting health and fitness”.

  • The kids then spent 5 minutes researching on their laptops that above statement and mind mapping it.

  • Some responses were: being lazy, sleeping late, junk food, sweet breakfast cereal, drugs, etc.

  • We would use this mind map for a later lesson, but I did want the kids moving.

  • I asked them, “If I asked you to run 10 laps around our gym, what would your first response be?” Most answered, “NO”, with a couple saying, “YES, I love running”.

  • I then said, “Don’t worry, we won’t but we will play a game of Stuck in the Mud.”

  • “YEAH!” They replied.

  • We played and after a few minutes, they came running back, huffing and puffing.

  • It was here they realized that they basically ran ten laps without realizing it. The main difference was that it was fun.

  • We did another round but then we changed the rules that when you’re stuck, you get into a plank position.

  • We then came back to the “green zone” and I showed them this website:

  • I asked the kids to spent 5 minutes on it and to discuss what they found.

  • They were flabbergasted, particularly when I changed the map from adults to children and they saw the rates for China.

  • We didn’t have time to discuss it too much but we will get into it, next class.

  • Their homework was to download the new PowerPoint for the unit. You can click on the image to access it:

Lesson 3:

  • Usual Moving Time start.

  • We then opened up their laptops and loaded up the PowerPoint.

  • I asked the kids to choose one of the warm-ups on the second page of the presentation.

  • I wanted them to explore the PowerPoint in a bit more detail.

  • I broke the class into 3 groups and then showed them how the gym was setup.

  • It was divided into 3 sections, each representing an area of fitness we would be exploring: cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and flexibility.

  • For 10 minutes the kids would explore their respective areas of fitness using the exercises in the PowerPoint.

  • The aim of the lesson was for them to determine the difference between each area of fitness. How does cardiovascular endurance differ from flexibility, etc.?

  • We discussed it after each rotation.

Lesson 4:

  • Moving Time.

  • We then attempted the Nutbush Challenge as a way to show them that exercise does not need to be boring or the same all the time, but that it can be fun and unique.

  • This is the Nutbush Challenge:

  • This is what we achieved:

  • We reviewed our past lessons and then aimed to dig deeper into “Factors” and our Learner Profile for the unit, “Thinkers”.

  • I stuck up the mind map poster they made with all the factors that affect health and fitness.

  • I then pulled up the Global Obesity Observatory website.

  • This showed them the factors and one consequence of not addressing these factors – which links with our concept of, “causation”.

  • In my gym, I have these Learner Profile posters stuck up underneath the whiteboard and are easy to read. You can click on the image to access them:

  • I asked them which Learner Profile really focuses on creating solutions.

  • We determined it was, “Thinker”.

  • Therefore, each student got a post-it note and I wanted them to write down a solution for one of the factors that affects health. Obviously there needed to be some detail, rather than simply writing, “Exercise more”, or “eat more vegetables.”

  • A couple of responses were:

    • ​“Problem: Exercise, Solution: Make exercise more interesting, make it games, so people want to exercise more.”

    • “Problem: Junk Food, Solution: Bring your own food from home, make sure there are vegetables, fruit and eggs.”

  • You can see the results here:

  • I then instructed the kids to choose one area of fitness on their PowerPoint and train.

  • I walked around and helped out with techniques, encouragement, IT issues, etc.

Lesson 5:

  • We didn’t do Moving Time today but I did want to know if they were getting familiar with the exercises in the PowerPoint.

  • We did this session: All the exercises were from the PowerPoint.

  • Several students were not familiar with some of the exercises fortunately, some of their peers were and helped them out. Plus, they could always refer to the PowerPoint later on. But, this did indicate I needed to be more vigilant with helping kids out.

  • We investigated the workout we just completed briefly and connected what we learned from the previous lesson of the 3 areas of fitness.

  • I then introduced them to how we were going to take action in this unit.

  • I showed them this tweet that came from our school.

  • And then told them that this was going to be them this year.

  • I told them that they were going to be personal trainers and make the school community fitter and healthier. For an entire school day, they would be personal trainers to the school and train anyone from grade 1 all the way to grade 12, teachers, parents, anyone who wants to get fit.

  • After a mixture of responses, their trainer training began.

  • I pulled up the PowerPoint and came up to this screen.

  • I asked them, “why do we have tests for our clients?”, “What are we collecting from our clients when they do the tests?”

    • ​Hint: So, we know what they are good and bad at. Collecting data from them.

  • I then demonstrated the Core Muscular Endurance Test and asked them to pair up and test each other.

  • After we got our results, we worked out how to read the standards and find their ratings.

  • Towards the end of the lesson, I asked for volunteers to help join the Warrior Fitness Committee.

  • This group would help plan and execute the day the grade 4s would train the school community. Two students from each class would join, creating an 8 member committee.

  • This is an additional way of empowering students with leadership roles. They are trainers and also event managers.

  • This committee would meet as needed but once a week regularly. We would also be collaborating and sharing work on Microsoft Teams.

  • If they were interested they would fill out a survey on Microsft Forms.

  • Work that needed to be done was:

    • ​Location booking

    • Designing the space – location of tables, running track, sit and reach boxes, entrance, and exits, etc.

    • Shirt design

    • Equipment count and order – how many stopwatches, jump ropes, sit and reach boxes, etc. and find out if additional ordering needed to be done.

    • Client bookings – how do we book in the homeroom classes

    • Training procedures – how do our trainers greet clients, train clients, etc

    • Exercise program template design

  • It is a big job but I had confidence in my grade 4s to pull it off.

Lesson 6:

  • Moving Time

  • I then announced the committee members. Quite a lot of students applied but the school is really busy with the kids being in many different clubs, such as Choir, Eco-Warriors, Student Council, etc. I could only accept kids where clashes wouldn’t happen on the day of those other clubs.

  • We then reviewed our past lessons and then the kids learned how to execute the Cardiovascular Endurance Test (800m run) and the Upper Body Muscular Endurance test (1-minute push-ups).

  • Using the PowerPoint the kids read through the testing protocols.

  • I demonstrated how to conduct the 800m run but also told them about the heart-to-heart technique where your heart is always facing your client’s heart. This shows you are engaged and focused on the client.

  • The kids then paired up and switched after completing the test. We compared their results with the standards and took note of what we needed to work on.

  • I then demonstrated the 1-minute push-ups. The trainer would place their fist on the ground and stick their thumb up. The client needs to touch the trainer’s thumb with the chest to make the push-up count. The trainer decides on whether the client can do the test on their toes, knees or using the bench.

  • Once we completed the two tests and compared results we discussed what we would do with the data. The kids worked out that it would help the trainers decide what the clients really need to focus on in order to improve their health and fitness.

  • We were halfway through the unit at this point and I wanted to know if they were really tuned into the unit and could start working out how to be healthy. I asked them to do this task:

  • The whole reasoning behind this is to discover whether using imagery could be used as a way to develop critical thinking within students. Imagery is incredibly accessible because there are no words, which could be a potential limiter for students who aren’t as competent as others with their language.

  • This approach also allows for discourse. Students have different perspectives and are able to express their viewpoints and justify. They are accessing their knowledge related to the unit, may it be learned from the unit or from past experiences, to express themselves and their perspective about the image.

  • Critical thinking is a must for all students and should be as prioritized as much as being able to add or being able to read

  • You can see some responses below:​ (Click on the image for a clearer image)

Lesson 7:

  • After moving time, we reviewed the previous lessons and discussed the image as a class.

  • Using dialogical teaching, I was just a conduit of discussion, facilitating and allowing anyone who wanted to share could do so. I was really impressed with the discussion and affirmed my belief in using imagery as a method of promoting critical thinking.

  • We pulled up our PowerPoints and learned how to conduct a flexibility test by using the Sit and Reach box.

  • We collected all of our data, compared it to the stands and the next step was to interpret it.

  • We discovered that interpreting data means to discover the meaning behind the data. What is it telling you? Or in this case, what do you need to train based upon your results.

  • The kids worked out what they needed to focus upon and then using the PowerPoint followed the relevant program.

Lesson 8:

  • After Moving Time, we reviewed what we achieved so far and how to run your session (heart-to-heart, positive leadership)

  • We then paired up and partner 1 was the trainer and partner 2 was the client.

  • Partner 1 leads the session and tests partner 2 with all tests: 800m, 1-minute push-ups, plank test, and the sit and reach. The trainer records all data and interprets the data to discover what the client needs to work on.

  • At completion, switch.

Lesson 9:

  • This lesson was the last class before Christmas break and frankly, the kids already switched off and were in holiday mode. It also didn’t help that there was a massive basketball match happening next to our gym.

  • Therefore, we did a very brief review and discussed why we were doing what we were doing.

  • We then had some fun and kept active at the same time by playing a game of Hula Hoop Hut Dodge Ball.

    • ​Divide the class into 4 teams

    • Divide the gym into quadrants

    • Each team gets 3 dodgeballs and 6 hula-hoops

    • Teams make a hula-hoop hut in the corner of their area

    • The object of the game is to knock over other teams’ huts

    • Players have to stay in their quadrant. They cannot go over the boundaries.

    • If you get hit by the ball, nothing happens.

    • If the hut is knocked down, that defending teams need to quickly build again.

    • This is also a great game for Adventure Challenge and can be varied in so many different ways to suit different needs.

Firsts Day Back After Christmas Break:

  • During my time in Sydney, Australia for the Christmas break I saw the effects of the bushfires. We actually stayed in Mollymook, New South Wales for a few days and could see the bushfires on the horizon, ash raining down on us and were forced to stay indoors due to hazardous air quality.

  • The feeling of helplessness was palpable with everyone I spoke to and I felt it myself.

  • Leaving my home to go back to Beijing was horrible. My home was burning and I was leaving. I had to do something.

  • After some discussions with our Head of School and Principal, I discussed an idea with the Warrior Fitness Committee with everyone agreeing.

  • We would turn our Warrior Fitness event into a charity event. We were asking for a minimum of 20RMB donation per session. We made this poster which was sent through Class Seesaw, emailed and through WeChat.

  • Also, one of the committee members finalized the exercise template and we were all happy with it. It would be presented at the next PE lessons.

Lesson 10:

  • We did a quick review of everything we accomplished so far – at this stage, the kids didn’t know about the charity event as of yet. Only the Committee did.

  • The two committee members from each class presented the exercise program template that would be used on the day. You can click on the image to download a copy.

  • I am really impressed with the logical approach to it and required minimal input from me.

  • With the classes familiar with it, we paired up and partner 1 would run the entire session – from the introduction, testing, training and providing recommendations. Basically, from start to finish.

Lesson 11:

  • We didn’t do Moving Time today because the committee would present the Australian Bushfire charity. They showed them this video and announced that we would be raising money to help Australia fight the fires.

  • All of a sudden the event had even more meaning behind it for them.

  • Same partners as the last lesson but partner 2 would run the session.

Lesson 12:

  • Today’s lesson would be the last practice session before the event.

  • New partners and choose who would be the trainer/client.

Lesson 13:

  • The Warrior Fitness Committee got to school early to help prep the gym.

  • The school’s property management team was phenomenal and organized the boundaries and tables for us to use.

  • The Committee helped distribute all of the stopwatches, pencils, training programs, clipboards and t-shirts to each corner of the gym where each of the grade 4s would be based.

  • During the whole event, the Committee members were ushering classes to their trainers, meeting classes and clients at the entrance and attending to the needs of anyone needing help. I was most impressed with their professionalism and maturity. They were empowered with their role and could see that their decisions and actions mattered – student agency at its best.

  • The majority of the trainers on the day were fantastic. Of course, you need to allow for allowances since the trainers are 9-10 years old, however relatively speaking, they were awesome. However, I did hear from a couple of my grade 5 students that 2 trainers were eating snacks, SNACKS, during the session. Again, can’t expect seamless performance from grade 4 students.

  • Each student in grade 4 had at least 4-5 sessions on the day. When they weren’t training a client, they had to be ready to attend to a client if a committee member had a drop-in, a client that wasn’t booked in but came in for a session. If this didn’t happen, I gave the kids an anchor activity to do – their reflection for the unit. See the image below.

  • In the end, grade 4 ran over 450 40-minute sessions with clients ranging from grade 1 students to grade 8 students, teachers, administrative staff and parents. All lead and run by grade 4 students. They took action and made our school community aware of their health and made them fitter.

  • We also raised 17,380RMB / A$3,670 that was sent to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Lesson 14:

  • The last lesson for the unit.

  • After moving time, we debriefed our experiences for the day.

  • Overall, the kids had a great experience and loved the opportunity for really making a difference – not only for raising the health and fitness standards of the school but for raising money and awareness of the bushfires.

  • We played a game of Hula-Hoop Dodge Ball for half of the lesson.

  • The second half we spent on our reflections with me walking around helping those who needed it.

  • They could hand in their reflection the following week.

  • Questions, comments, please let me know at the contact page here or through the chat window.

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©2020 by David Cooney