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Before starting the gymnastic unit start at the easiest level and progress in a sequential manner and then stop to adapt the skills to each grade level and ability. Add other domains such as track and field , rhythm gymanstics , skateboarding and an obstacle course/ circuit .
GAMES/ACTIVITIES


FREEZE FRAME

Set up the class in a circuit of five activities that are arranged side by side. Theywill be the following activities:

Jump over folded mats in a hurdling position

Hop scotch through 9 hula hoops

Jump on and off a vault horse

Crawl through a series of obstacles

Jump to each side of a balance beam

While the students are performing the skills play some upbeat music and then turn it off trying to freeze them at their last position . Repeat often and the protocol is for each student to go to the next line to their left until all have had a turn at each place .
MAT ATTACK :

Distribute 4-6 mats around the gym area with one student kneeling on the mat and his/her teammates pulling around the gym. The object is for one of e kneeling mat students to tag/touch another mat . At that point that team must wait until a different group can set them free by just bumping against that mat. The object is to set the most teams free or not to be tagged at all . Change new students on the mat often. As a variation the mats may be times in a race to the other end of the gym and then repeat to improve on a previous score.
MAT PUSH :

Arrange the mats in an upright folded position while the students are paired in groups of four leaning their backs and sitting on the floor . Each group will try to push another group to a contact line . Switch groups often for more variety . NOTE : The mats aren't upright standing but folded just enough to assure that the students backs touch the top .
NEWSPAPER CHALLENGES : give each student a newspaper(24) and have them place it on the floor in a safe area. This will be a good time to review locomotor and non-locomotor skills along with an integration of language arts(reading). By using the written word along with the skills the students will perform the activities such as:

S- slide , skip

R- run around the paper

H- hop

G- gallop

L- leap

W- walk

A- around

O - over

B- between

Also , have them balance the paper on body parts(arm , head , knee , etc.) and have them run with the paper keeping ot pressed against their body. The students may perform the skills but trade places with another paper. If there is limited space, such as an open classroom, make activities with the newspaper with partners holding the sheet at hip level for the students to go under the paper; over the newspaper , which is now held at a low level at about knee level. Or, line up the students in partners so they make a pathway with the newspapers . Make a game with one student chasing another through the newspapers. Call out new tasks each time:Above the head(airplane); tunnel( at knee high) or bridge( at hip level). The students are arranged in small groups , which means there will be 5-6 rows/road made in a scattered position. If the newspapers aren't appropriate , try jump ropes, hula hoops,dyna bands or anything that keeps the set up about arms length apart.  The students can be arranged side by side or facing each other. Have more than one chaser and runner and change positions often so they have a chance to be in all positions. More alternatives is for the students with the newspapers is have them move in unison to face another direction. Make signs on the wall for east,west,north and south.
ANIMAL TAG :

Practice mimetics before the main activity such as:

Frog , log , dog

Snake , crab , bear

Crane , kangaroo , mule kick

Place a picture or the word of the animal on cones that are scattered around the area. Each time the students get to a cone they must perform that skill and then go on to the next one. Chose a few "ITS" to try to tag them as they move to the next cone. If tagged they must exchange places . Establish a time limit or wait until all get to a cone before starting again.
SNAKES :

Chose 2-3 students who will crawl like snakes inside the half court area of the gym. make all endlines and sidelines out of bounds. All other students must do a locomotor skill that was practiced to escape from the snakes. If tagged they become a snake and help the other snakes . Play until there is only one snake remaining . Repeat the process and change locomotor skills each time .

stations.jpg

Try setting up the stations to give the students an opportunity to challenge themselves in a myriad of body positions and movement.
Set up a vaulting horse at the appropriate level , and use a ruether(beat) board to help them jump on or over the horse. If the vaulting horse isn't available , then try using (3-4)folded mats . The landing area should be a "crash" mat for safety concerns. From this arrangement , each student will run up to the horse and jump/vault over or on the top, stand up, and then jump off. The non-locomotor skills are practiced with jumps and twists in various directions , either 90, 180, or 360 degress, which is east and west , and landing south. This was a carry over from the integration with social studies.
The hula hoops are set up and taped onto a traffic cone or any safe object. The first hula hoop is taped parallel to the floor. Here, the students will go the first one; and the second one, which is taped straight up and down. Add an alternative by slighting moving the hula hoop off the ground , and give them a choice of ( under or between).This was integrated with language arts and prepositions.
The third set up was used from a ball throwing game ,where you throw a ball ( attached rope) onto the slats for a score. Here, the students can move between or under the object. The other set up was a golf tube onto traffic cones and the students must traverse, under or over(hurdle), or jump over the golf tube. Add stepping over for those students who may have trouble with jumping or landings.
The stations/circuit are placed in free space, and if possible,have as many objects to use for more activity.There was a pre-requisite activity , called Loco License to make the skills fun and inspired movement. The game was as follows:
The students are in free space inside the lines on the gym floor as boundaries. First, practice the skills , and beforehand set up the objects as obstacles as they will be practicing locomotor skills,too. The teacher( police) must catch the drivers(students) in a position of not -freezing.The police would like to hand out the drivers licence to all students. The police calls out the driving lesson.
    Driving skills
  • Windshield wipers - jumping jacks
  • Stuck in the mud - jog in place
  • Icing - slide /chasse' sideways
  • Emergency - stop,look and listen in place
  • Repairs - go under an object
  • Pot hole - jump over an object or line
  • Crash - move in between an object to safety or jump in between two lines on the marked floor.
When the police call out , " red light", all students must freeze. During the action, the police may say to change directions , like drive ( east,west,north ,south), which was integrated from social studies. If caught, that student gets a ticket . Three tickets means driving school , which means going to a selected object out of the area and perform a task , and then returns immediately and all tickets are taken off.
The police will try to trick the students by calling two, consecutive skills to make them lose control of their car, and this makes them be at the wrong place at the wrong time, which is a driving point against their license. To make it more fun with the stations or game, add music to the activity.

EDUCATIONAL GYMNASTICS

SKILLS / ALPHABET ACTIVITY / RHYTMICS/APPARATUS