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Health and Fitness

Grade 1

Central Idea:

Having self-belief and perseverance towards set goals can help achieve a healthy lifestyle

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How self-belief and perseverance can improve health and well-being

  • How to take ownership of personal health and to promote health to others

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This was a brand new approach to this unit with the grade 1s. I wanted to put more emphasis on the holistic approach to PE by targeting the cognitive and affective self. As opposed to my usual grade 1 classes which is largely games based, this unit was more project-based. Their project was to become an ‘expert’ in an area of health and fitness and teach it to their grade 4 buddy. They needed to create a plan and also learn how to use PowerPoint on our iPads. Overall, it went really well but with a lot of areas for improvement. Read on and let me know your thoughts through the feedback form.

Lesson 1:

We started our new unit with 5 minutes of Moving Time. This is where I have a variety of balls and equipment available for the kids to use – a play-based warm-up. The only stipulation is that they need to be moving.

Afterwards, I unveiled the new unit poster.

We did not unpack the central idea but we attempted to read it. There is a lot of unpack in the central idea, particularly for grade 1s. We gradually unpacked the central idea as the unit progressed. We did a small discussion on what Health and Fitness means.

I then played the video about Arthur and how yoga helped him achieve a healthy lifestyle.

21PE_PYP_PSPE_G1_Health and Fitness.png

This story is incredibly powerful and fits in really well with this unit and our central idea. Not only is his weight loss achievement incredible but also his persevering mindset is something I would like my students pay attention to.

After the video, we discussed the video and the meaning behind it. I asked questions such as:

  • What was this story about?

  • What did Arthur do to change?

  • Did he give up?

By this stage I was very aware that we hadn’t done much movement in the lesson but we did have a challenge to face followed by a game. The challenge was a 5-minute run. I wanted the kids to experience what it means to not give up – to persevere. I laid out a small running track on the field and the kids literally had to run for 5 minutes without stopping.

Once the challenge was over we discussed what perseverance means and what would have happened to Arthur if he did give up.

We finished the lesson with a couple games of Stuck in the Mud and a short review of our new keyword (perseverance), Arthur’s story, and our new unit.

Lesson 2:

Since the Grade 1s have PE once per week I have generally struggled to create holistic units and lessons that target all domains of the self simply due to the short amount of time I see them. I was determined to not only get the physical domain of self but also the cognitive and affective. I have found that having an explicit tangible goal at the end of a unit that students work towards engages students more. This has worked with my older grades and I wanted to see if this could work with the grade 1s.

I introduced the project for the unit. Students were to explore a variety of active activities and select one to become an expert in. They would then create a plan of which they would then teach to their grade 4 buddy. Just by looking at this project you can see my goal of attempting to create a holistic PE program: Physical self is targeted by the students engaging in the activities, the cognitive self is developed by learning about their activity and creating relevant plans, and then the affective self is engaged by them teaching it to other people.

After this project introduction I showed the kids the 6 stations they would be exploring for the next few weeks. At each station there was a relevant PowerPoint or video where the kids could interact with.

  • Darebee Workouts

  • Jump Rope

  • Speed Training 

  • Gymnastics

  • Throwing and Catching

  • Yoga

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10 minute Simple Yoga Flow for All Levels _ Sarah Beth Yoga

10 minute Simple Yoga Flow for All Levels _ Sarah Beth Yoga

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I divided the class into 6 groups. With the short amount of time we have for each lesson the kids could only do 3 rotations. We continued the remaining rotations in the next lesson.

We reviewed the lesson and the new project and then were led to their next class.

Lesson 3:

We started off with 5 minutes of Moving Time and then gathered to review the unit and the project. We also unpacked the central idea a little bit more. Our list of keywords included Health, Fitness, Perseverance and now self-belief. The students were beginning to understand the connection between self-belief and perseverance how these two things can help achieve a healthy lifestyle. We used the example of Arthur to really solidify the connection.

We continued where we left off by resuming the final 3 rotations. During this time I did need to help the students learn to use the PowerPoints on the iPads appropriately (not deleting things off the presentation, following the examples, etc.. This is their first time using PowerPoints, to be expected!)

These last two lessons involved a lot of activity. They were certainly sweating by the end of these lessons!

Lesson 4:

After a review of the unit, project, and central idea we looked at the term “lifestyle”. We discussed the meaning and the different types of lifestyles there are. We used Arthur’s example again since they already had that connection.

Today’s lesson was about choice. They could choose any of the activities to explore further. Furthermore, they could hopscotch around because the next lesson would require them to choose 1 area to focus on and to start creating their plan.

During this exploration time I continually reminded them to use their time wisely, to use the iPads appropriately, provided feedback, just general supervision. There was a lot of activity!

We gathered, reviewed, and then were dismissed.

Lesson 5:

After our usual 5 minutes of Moving Time and reviewing the unit the kids were introduced to the concept of planning. Although this was not one of our AtLs, I have changed the following school year’s POI to reflect this, I believed this project required it. We discussed what it means to “plan” and I showed them the planning template they would be using. See them below. Click on the image to see a full image.

The kids went through their planning templates and to keep things simple they only needed to circle the activities they would want to teach their grade 4 buddy. Once they showed me their plan they went off to practice their chosen skills.

We collected their plans, reviewed the lesson, and then went to their next class.

Lesson 6:

This lesson was spent finalizing their plans and practicing their movements. My teaching assistant and I spent a lot of time with each student going through their plans and ensuring they know what is expected of them.

We then spent some time on how to teach someone skills and some words they could use to show encouragement. Phrases like “good job”, “well done”, “that’s okay, try again” were such examples. We went through our plans and found that we should start with the easiest movements first and then to the more difficult ones.

Lesson 7:

With our plans almost complete we did a test run of our new expert skills. Today’s lesson was spent doing short lessons with each other within the class. We paired off the class and each person would spend 10 minutes teaching a peer and then switch over. After 10 minutes we gathered to give feedback to each other and to review ways we could improve our teaching. This was a bit difficult since some kids were giving feedback on how their “student” did, not how the grade 1 “teacher” did to teach the student. But we worked through it. We then did our final switch for the lesson and were more focused on the teaching rather than trying to do the skills.

Our next lesson would be where we put everything together by inviting the grade 4 buddies to learn how to do the grade 1 expert skills.  

Lesson 8:

With the school’s incredibly full and complicated schedule, getting a grade 4 and grade 1 in the same room is tough, let alone doing this 4 times for each of the grade 1s and 4s! But after much logistical contortions we pulled it off.

The grade 1s and 4s were sat down, albeit with A LOT of excitement. I then projected this PowerPoint up on the screen.


I did a brief talk about the unit and what the lesson would look like. The image of Arthur was familiar to the grade 4s since we have used his story in all of their Health and Fitness units. This really helped the 4s understand the purpose of the day. In reflection, I actually want to have a couple of grade 1s introduce the project to the 4s. For next year.

The 1s collected their plans along with their grade 4 buddy and got to work! There was a lot of activity, excitement, some mischief from both the 1s and 4s, but overall it was great! We spent about 10-15 minutes on this since I could tell after a little while that people were getting off-task. It was time to wrap up project itself but we still had a wrap-up game to end with.

I gathered everyone together and asked how it all went. I selected a few grade 1s and 4s to share their thoughts and reflect on the lesson.

We ended the lesson with some partner balances shared with me from the PE Geek. This is always great fun and was thoroughly welcomed by all the students… and teachers.

Unit Reflection:

As mentioned previously, I have struggled to include a holistic approach to PE with the grade 1s simply due to the lack of time I have with them. I felt that this unit did target those domains but obviously there is room for improvement.

I did need to focus more on goal setting. We only glossed over it and in the end it got lost when the project started heating up.

Some of the kids were getting bored with their expert area whereas others were super into it. Maybe I could include some flexibility into the project and the kids could create a plan involving multiple activities.

I would like some of the grade 1s to be included in the opening of the grade 4 buddy teaching day.

My planning templates were rushed and need to be designed better, both aesthetically but also some of the activities were not that engaging.

This approach to the unit is brand new for the grade 1s so there was definitely going to be some learning curves but I do feel this unit is on the right track. Let me know your thoughts through the feedback form!

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