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Grade 5

Adventure Challenge 2019


Central Idea:

  • Teams can adopt a variety of strategies to solve problems and support human progress.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Identity:

    • Accept and appreciate the diversity of cultures, experiences, and perspectives of others

    • Identify causal relationships and understand how they impact on the experience of individuals and groups

  • Interactions:

    • ​Reflect critically on the effectiveness of the group during and at the end of the process

    • Independently use different strategies to resolve conflict

    •  Work towards a consensus, understanding the need to negotiate and compromise

    • Take action to support reparation in relationships and in the environment when harm has been done


  • Rather than doing the usual Adventure Challenge route of creating progressively more difficult team challenges with the goal of 'working as a team', I really did want to take this unit into a more authentic, deeper approach where students solved a real problem and had to work as a team to create different strategies to solve said problem. Read on for how I did this.


Lesson 1: 

  • This was the first lesson/unit of the year and therefore needed to establish the Essential Agreements. The school decided to create a school-wide essential agreement - the 4B's:

    • Be safe​

    • Be respectful

    • Be responsible

    • Be compassionate

  • After establishing this, we had our first challenge. The Plank Challenge. Simply put, I broke the class into 2 teams, got them to lie down in a circle and they had to hold 2x 60s planks. Once the two sets were done, they switched. 

  • Afterward, I introduced the kids to the year-long unit - Physical Literacy. This was their first assessment to determine their core strength as per the guidelines put by Physical Education and Health Canada's initiative - Passport for Life. This is a tool that can help increase awareness of Physical Literacy. 

  • To help the students understand what this means, I created the three posters below.

  • We then did the Lateral Bound assessment that looks at their balance. I recorded both the Core and Balance assessment to help with my observations.

  • We then played a quick game of Stuck in the Mud to get our hearts racing a bit.

    • 2-3 catchers​

    • Catchers touch a runner and the runner freezes with the arms out to the side and legs apart

    • To unfreeze someone, a non-stuck runner crawls underneath the stuck person's legs.

  • Afterward, we took a brief look at the Central Idea and I asked if any words jumped out at them.

  • Students mentioned 'teams', 'solve problems', 'strategies' to name a few.

  • We then got into a game of Stuck in the Mud Teams:

    • The same premise, however, the class is broken into 3 teams.

    • You can layer it by letting any team help anyone or make it more difficult and strategic by having teams only able to rescue their own team members.

  • We reviewed the lesson and linked how Stuck in the Mud Teams links with the central idea.

Lesson 2:

  • We briefly touched on the Essential Agreements, the Central Idea and also Physical Literacy itself. I showed them the poster below to lay out what we will be aiming to achieve with respect to Physical Literacy.

  • This lesson's challenge would be difficult. It involved a circuit to assess their final fitness skill - Aerobic capacity. The circuit is shown below with acknowledgment from PHE who developed this assessment. 

  • I could only assess 7-8 students at a time, therefore I broke the class into 3 groups. 

    • Group 1: Did the circuit for 9 minutes​

    • Group 2: Gave support and helped me run the circuit by fixing any pieces of equipment that got knocked over

    • Group 3: Unpacked the Central Idea

      • Find examples of the unpacking below.​

  • The circuit took a large chunk of time and had no time to review the lesson, unfortunately. 

Lesson 3:

  • We started the lesson by reviewing the Essential Agreements and Physical Literacy. We unpacked a bit more of what physical literacy means and how being able to move competently and confidently now can impact our lives in the future. 

  • I then used this workout from in a relay format as a way to find links to the central idea. The first student on the team ran to the other side of the gym, did the first exercise, ran back, tagged the next and they did the next exercise, so on and so forth.

  • After one set, I gathered the students to discover how the central idea links to this challenge.

    • Problem to solve: How can we finish first?​

    • Strategy: Use each other's strengths.

    • Human progress: We are getting fitter and healthier.

  • We then finished 2 more sets.

  • Afterward, I introduced the Race of Warriors to the kids. This race is a way for me to develop their basic fundamental skills rather than simply drilling them in an old-school fashion. 

  • I created an informative video to help the students understand what they were going to face. However, I did not give this out until a week prior to the race. The reason being, I wanted the kids to train according to the category of each station. I.E.: Muscular Endurance - they find exercises that can help their muscular endurance. The video can be seen here

  • Teams were made somewhat randomly through Team Shake but then tweaked to make them fair.

  • Teams then got together to create a plan to 'solve' this new problem by 'adopting a strategy' - Central Idea in work here.

  • I had a variety of equipment left out to allow them to start training for the race, i.e.: basketballs, soccer balls, weights, medicine balls, etc.

Lesson 4:

  • I was thinking of ways to link Physical Literacy with Adventure Challenge. It was one of my goals to promote Physical Literacy throughout the school and figured if it was a problem for me to solve, why don't I get my grade 5s to promote it as well? Now, I had a genuine problem for them to solve. All they needed was to get into their teams and create their own strategies to solve them. 

  • To ensure we kept PE somewhat active, I had a brainstorm session combined with a relay. The kids got into their teams and did the first exercise, then ran to the whiteboard and wrote their ideas on the board in response to the question, "how can we get our school physically literate?"

  • After 2 sets, we came together and found the most commonly written solutions and put them into categories. 

  • The final 2 sets of the challenge were used to focus our ideas into the 4 categories. Among the 4 classes, the most popular idea was to create a training day as they did in the previous year when they were personal trainers. We left the brainstorming there for now and it was time for them to prepare for the Race of Warriors. 

  • I left equipment out and the Race of Warriors map to allow them to train and prepare for the race.

Lesson 5:

  • As a warm-up, I made a 3 station circuit where they did this in teams again.

    • 10x figure-8 basketball dribbles​

    • 20x soccer ball toe taps

    • 10x medicine ball push-ups

  • Afterward, I airdropped the PowerPoint for the unit. Click on the image to access it.

  • I love how PowerPoint has really opened up huge opportunities for independent and empowered learning. You can find my other presentations here that I have used in the past.

  • It was then time to plan for their action. We were going to hold another full day of training the school how to be physically literate, but I feared that would be too similar to our Warrior Fitness day in the grade 4 Health and Fitness unit. Instead, the kids wanted to train kids during recess times. Therefore, we came up with the solution to run small 20-30 minute sessions during our recess times throughout a week towards the end of the unit. 

  • Using the PowerPoint, own experiences and equipment, the kids started brainstorming what they wanted to achieve with their session.

  • Once they gave these initial draft plans, they started training themselves for the race and gradually becoming more physically literate by being more proficient in basic fundamental movements.

Lesson 6:

  • As you may have noticed, the kids had two problems to solve

    • How to make our school physical literate through their 20-minute recess sessions​, and

    • How to perform competitively in their Race of Warriors.

  • This lesson was dedicated to 2 groups piloting their session, for argument's sake, let's call these teams Team A and Team B, to the other two groups, Team C and Team D.

  • Team A and Team B had 15 minutes to do final planning and preparations. Meanwhile, Team C and Team D used the PowerPoint to train for the race.

  • A key ATL for this unit was "Evaluation" and it was one that they were focused on in the homeroom as well. After Team A and B ran their sessions for the other two teams, we held a discussion and evaluated the sessions and gave appropriate feedback. We completed a Pro's and Con's table to help run the discussion.

Lesson 7:

  • This lesson was a reversal of the previous lesson. Team C and Team D trained Team A and B.

  • We evaluated and gave feedback.

  • At the end of the lesson, I announced to the classes that the following week is "Physical Literacy Week" - a first for the school! Throughout the week, each grade 5 team would run a session during their scheduled time. To ensure they had the equipment they needed, students filled in a Microsoft Form telling me what they needed exactly. 

  • It was almost time for them to take action.

Lesson 8:

  • This lesson was spent on the kids to make final preparations for their race. 

  • We went through the race map and ensured the kids knew the structure of the race. The informative video of the race would be released once all grade 5s had their two PE lessons of the week to keep it fair. 

  • I left all the equipment out and the teams prepared accordingly.

Lesson 9: Physical Literacy Week

  • The race was supposed to be on Monday with the Physical Literacy sessions running afterward, however, pollution got the better of us and we had to postpone. A headache but we managed.

  • The race was excellent. Some groups were definitely better prepared than others but every single student gave 100% during the race. I always find that having a tangible goal to work towards gives the kids direction and focus. We had a photographer on deck but I have yet to receive the photos. You can see these images below in the meantime.

  • Throughout the week, these grade 5s ran their sessions to promote physical literacy throughout the school. These sessions were especially popular in the grade 1 playground. 

Lesson 10:

  • This last lesson of the unit was spent reflecting on the unit. I did not want it to be completed during the lesson, but rather they had to a week to complete it and hand it in via Seesaw, email or directly to me.
















Student-led action:

  • I always aim for students to have some sort of action that is not teacher-led. Running the physical literacy sessions and running the race was all teacher-led. However, having students training their parents, friends or siblings after-school is student-led action. However, two of my students want to run a weekly physical literacy session where they will have different drills for different sports. This is all in the planning stages but stay tuned. I am so excited to see how this unfolds.


Unit reflection:

  • I absolutely loved how this unit truned out. It was a genuine problem that needed solving and the kids went in different ways to solve the problem. 

  • I also loved how the race gave them a tanglible goal to work towards - becoming physically literate.

  • However, I would like to have seen more of a variety of strategies when it came to solving the physical literacy problem. It didn't need to be all relays or games. This is an avenue I would like to try out next year. Perhaps a group could create their own PowerPoint, or own TEDtalk, which one student wanted to pursue but his group shut him down. 

  • The Physical Literacy Week coincided with the grade 4 Final Challenges. My teacher assistant and I were really run off our feet. We will need to reassess how to run the week more efficiently and perhaps with more fanfare, not many teachers even know what it means. 

  • Overall, I felt we just found a new way to run the Adventure Challenge unit.

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










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