More Stretching, Less Stressing
Key Concept: Change
Related Concepts: Balance, Choice
Statement of Inquiry: Multiple aspects of your health can change positively with a work/life balance and choosing to stay active.
Global Context: Identities & Relationships (personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health)
In this unit, students will be exploring yoga and pilates movements, alongside identifying causes for stress and how to better manage this stress. We will meditate, perform movement sequences, and learn more about the muscles frequently focused on in these disciplines. The benefits of stretching and correct posture and balance will be a constant theme. As the lessons progress students will learn how to create a flowing yoga/pilates routine, using specific terminology. The summative assessments will be Criteria B and C, creating a yoga and/or pilates routine that they will then teach a younger class and being assessed on their technique when executing these routines.
Teacher-led Yoga Sequences
Small-Group Balance Puzzles
Discussions on stress relief/meditation
Mini Yoga/Pilates Routine Creation
Discussion on the main principles of yoga and pilates.
Learning about muscles being frequently used.
Pilates Circuits (individual and partner)
Dynamic vs Static stretching
Pilates Peer Coaching
Teacher observation as students perform yoga or pilates circuits. You will be able to provide individual feedback on areas for improvement.
Students will self (and peer) assess both their yoga skills and pilates skills.
Mini routine teaching to other members of the class. In order to prepare for the summative, students will create and teach short routines to the rest of the class. I will include guidelines such as: audience is in Grade 1, or have them be less skilled at the discipline, needing the student teachers to provide additional support. This will give me (and the students) an idea of what is needed to better reach summative goals.
Class discussion on lifestyle choices to relieve stress, manage stress, and feel healthier. In health classes, I can take this information to design better-focused activities to ensure understanding.
Criterion B: Planning for performance
Students will work in small groups to design a movement routine that uses either Yoga, Pilates or both. They will plan their routine for a selected audience and must adjust the difficulty appropriately. The group can choose from inviting Preschool students, through to Grade 5. Each group will have the choice of what roles to take on, format for creating their plans (written, online, video, etc), and the movements they wish to include. Key points and prompts should be planned based on the audience they are leading through the routine, keeping it age and skill-appropriate.
Criterion C: Applying and performing
In the last week of the unit, students will perform a circuit of both pilates and yoga movements. The teacher will assess if they are performing the movements and balances correctly, using breathing techniques while focusing their mind and body, and doing it for the correct amount of repetitions or time length. The chosen movements will range in difficulty allowing the opportunity for all students to find some degree of success.
ATL’s focused on in this unit
Self Management - Plan strategies and take action to achieve personal and academic goals
Day to Day Connections: Students will learn and try strategies to improve their pilates movements and yoga poses. When in groups students will learn to delegate tasks and take action within various roles. Towards the end of the unit, we will reflect on what has worked for different students and why these strategies were successful at helping them achieve their goals.
Summative Connection: Students will be working in small groups to create a routine for younger audience to participate in. They should have open communication with each other and set up a plan to ensure they are ready to present by the correct date and/or to learn the yoga movements for Criteria C assessment.
Communication - Use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences
Day to Day Connections: As students create mini routines in class and present them to the rest of the class I will give them different targets. What language is better for preschool children, vs grade 5 students? I will challenge students to focus on keywords when talking during the movement, and then use greater detail when reflecting in class discussions.
Summative Connection: Students will choose a grade level to teach their yoga/pilates routine to. They will need to adjust the pace of their speaking and words accordingly to ensure understanding.
Research - Use memory techniques to develop long-term memory
Day to Day Connections: At the beginning of the unit we will have a class discussion on how students remember important information. With the goal of remembering the names of yoga poses and how to do them, students will practice the different strategies. Strategies may include: reading aloud, keywords, rehearsal, note-taking.
Summative Connection: Students, and groups, will use the memory techniques that suit them best to ensure they have their words and movements memorized for their performance. It is also important to remember the principles of pilates and proper breathing techniques for yoga.
Self-Management - Practise being aware of body-mind connection
Day to Day Connections: To start in this in the unit, we will research and learn what this means. Then we will progress to actively focusing on being aware when performing yoga and pilates. I will ensure the environment is suitable for students to relax and focus on this connection, improving their performance ideally.
Summative Connection: Through cues and modeling, each group will work with their audience to encourage them to connect their mind and body during the movements, and focusing on their own.
Thinking - Practise observing carefully in order to recognize problems
Day to Day Connections: Through teacher demonstration, partner, or in groups, students will be able to observe each pilates movement and yoga pose that is performed. They will support their classmates giving constructive feedback or use these observations to help inform their own movements.
Summative Connection: Students will combine this practice of observation with their memory techniques to ensure they are performing the yoga poses correctly and avoiding the problems they have previously observed.
This is a very inclusive unit, and I was happy with the effort and what students were able to achieve. Students were able to work at a level that was appropriate for them and still achieve the outcomes.
It was a unit that required very little equipment but could be enhanced in the future with exercise balls, therabands, and a few more yoga mats. I have since ordered these things and look forward to expanding with the resources in the future.
I definitely recommend getting another class to come learn the created routines as it helped emphasize the importance of the communication ATL mentioned above. Also, it expanded the planning phase with another thing to consider.
On a personal level, I definitely want to improve my yoga abilities to do a better job at demonstrating the difficult yoga poses
Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel., I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.