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More Stretching, Less Stressing - An Aesthetic Movement Unit

Most recently taught: May 2024

Teachers Pay Teachers link for the unit task sheets (Formative and Summative)

Key Concept: Change

Related Concepts: Balance, Choice

Statement of Inquiry: The choice for balance may change your health and well-being.

Global Context: Identities & Relationships (health and well-being)

Learner Profile: Balanced (Students will recognize the different ways balance applies in this unit. From Yoga balancing to the importance of balancing your daily activities to thrive in multiple aspects of your life)


Unit Outline

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 A and B, 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.

Learning Experiences

Lesson 1

  • Introducing what is Pilates, and completing a circuit of basic Pilates movements

  • Muscular Endurance Challenges (Partner hop, back to back sit-up, Roll over ball pass)

Lesson 2

  • Introducing main principles of Yoga, and teacher led Sun Salutation, followed by Seated Yoga

  • Yoga Relays (Warrior Two - Lunges, Mountain Pose Run, Downward Dog Run, Tree Pose Hop, Wheelbarrow)

Lesson 3

  • More in-depth look at the principles and muscles involved in Pilates

  • Review previous Pilates movements, and introduce more challenging Pilates movements

  • Students given new Pilates card to learn and lead to rest of class

Lesson 4

  • Warm-up games with muscular endurance and flexibility components

  • Students in small groups and each given a different salutation. Learn and then lead your salutation.

Lesson 5

  • Balance Puzzles - students hold poses using different parts of body

  • Are you vulnerable to stress Quiz and discussions on stress relief, followed by meditation

Lesson 6

  • Criterion AB Formative Yoga/Pilates Routine Creation

  • In small groups, students choose to create their own Yoga or Pilates routine, and practice once planned

Lesson 7

  • Each group to lead their created formative routine

  • Focusing on demonstrating correctly and sharing the key points of each movement as planned.

Lesson 8

  • Youtube Pilates Video - 10 minutes

  • Small Group Yoga Challenges (Boat, Tree, Dancer, Windshield Wipers, Team Push-up)

Lesson 9 - 11

  • Introduction of Summative Yoga/Pilates AB Routine, students choose the PYP class they will create a routine for

  • By end of lesson 10, students should have their key points and movements on the planning document

  • In Lesson 11 students will lead another group through their routine, then switching. 

Lesson 12

  • Each student group teaches their routine to a younger grade that has come for a 10 - 15 minute Yoga/Pilates lesson.

  • Yoga related games if time

Formative Assessments

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. (Criterion AB)

Summative Assessment

Criterion A: Knowing and understanding

Throughout the unit, students will learn the knowledge to perform a wide variety of yoga and Pilates movements, the benefits of performing these types of exercises and have a look at how they can lower stress. This knowledge should be evident in the planning and performance of their summative movement routine. As included in their script, the terminology should use key terms and all chosen movements identified with the key points.


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, the 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.

ATL’s focused on in this unit

Communication - Use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences

In order for students to plan for performance (Criteria B):  students will use a variety of speaking techniques to communicate with a variety of audiences by identifying the keywords of yoga/Pilates movements, ensuring their tone and terminology are appropriate for the grade level. They will use a mix of initial instructions, followed by prompts during the routine to guide their audience. 

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-Use a variety of speaking techniques: students brainstorming the differences between communicating with classmates, kindergarten or middle primary. Recognizing when to use detailed explanations or focus on key points using few words. 

-Communicate with a variety of audiences: In the unit students will be an audience for each other, have teachers as an audience and practice their routine with a younger grade before a final summative performance. 

Research - Use memory techniques to develop long-term memory

In order for students to apply and perform (Criteria C):  students will use memory techniques to develop long-term memory by learning the fundamentals of yoga and Pilates, being able to recall the benefits and breathing techniques. 

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-Use memory techniques: focusing attention, avoiding cramming (adding information slowly in each class), reading out loud, and having each group organize information on paper. 

-Develop long-term memory: we will analyze what students know about yoga/Pilates at the beginning and again reflect on our memory in the middle and near the end of the unit, recognizing how our knowledge has grown. 

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 a 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.

Self-Management - Practise being aware of the 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.

Teacher Reflection

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 to 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.

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