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East Meets West

Updated on August 2, 2012

An Adaptive PE Lesson Plan

“Hello and good afternoon students!” My name is _________________ and I am your PE instructor. Today we will be engaging in lots of vigorous activity, so I hope you have lots of energy! The first thing we are going to do is a dance. After that we will be performing some gymnastics and then delivering jewels.”

Warm Up:

Name of Activity: A Blurring of the Line

Grade Level: 4

Activity Area: Gym/Outside weather permitting

Academic Integration Content: Social Science, the Arts

Equipment/Materials Needed: 1 CD of traditional Chinese music, 20 paper fans made of plain white paper

Physical Education Standards:

1.1 Movement Competence and Understanding: Identify the major characteristics of mature loco motor, nonlocomotor, manipulative, and rhythmic skills

Lesson Objectives:

Psychomotor: Students will demonstrate their sense of balance, flexibility, and coordination

Cognitive: Students will learn about Chinese culture through dance

Affective: Students will enjoy social interaction and teamwork

“I want you all to form a line, please. Up here in my bag I have paper fans. I want you all to come up and take one fan from the bag. After you have your fan, I want you to spread out and form 4 lines, with enough space between each person so that you don’t touch the person next to you. Please do not play with the fans, but be looking at me. When the music begins, I will lead you in a traditional Chinese dance, and you must follow my lead. We will be learning to move as one.”

The teacher will select track 12-“The Family’s Joy” for the warm up.

The Dance: The teacher’s back will be toward the students. With fan in hand, they will raise their dominant arm up and shake the fan in a sideways motion like a fish tail, then tilt the wrist down so their palm will face the ceiling. They will then turn their dominant foot in a crescent, or half circle, turning 180 degrees. Next, make figure 8s with the fan. Finally, balancing on the toes, take two steps backward while moving the fan like a fish tail and turn right. Repeat. The steps can be varied depending on the teacher’s preference. The teacher should call out which move is next to the students so all will know what to do if they cannot see the teacher. If there are disabled students involved, they can still have a fan and shake it and enjoy the music. Perhaps a peer can help them with the dance. Always encourage disabled students to participate.

“Now, how was that? Fun? It’s always interesting to learn about different cultures. I want you all now to put our fans away in an orderly fashion. I must remind you to please not play with the fans, but keep them still in our hands. Will the first line please come up and put their fans back in the bag? Thank you. Please go against the left wall by the door. Will the second line please come up and put their fans in the bag? Thank you. Please go against the wall with the others. Third line please. Thank you, please join your mates. Back line, please! Thank you. Now, these fans will become yours. You will be able to decorate and make them your own in art class.”

“Now I need 4 volunteers to help bring out the mats! Anyone?”

The teacher will select 4 people who raise their hands. If not, the teacher will choose.

“Two people to lift and unroll a gym mat, please. I need 5 mats in all, evenly spaced in the middle of the gym, with 2 arm lengths between mats.”

“Now we will be performing some gymnastics. We will crouch and roll and learn 3 different jumps. Watch me as I demonstrate each. We’re going to be gymtastic!”

Name of Activity: Gymtastic

Grade Level: 4

Activity Area: Gym

Academic Integration Content: Literacy

Equipment/Materials Needed: 5 large gym mats

Physical Education Standards:

2.3 Physical and Personal Wellness: Recognize the benefits derived from regular, moderate, and vigorous physical activity

4.1 Prevention and Risk Management: Identify and describe the benefits, risks, and safety factors associated with regular participation in physical activity

Lesson Objectives:

Psychomotor: Students will demonstrate coordination skills

Cognitive: Students will increase their vocabulary by voicing words they know that begin with a specific letter

Affective: Students will enjoy participation

“The first thing we’re going to practice is the crouch and roll or as I like to call them tuck n’ rolls. Watch me as I demonstrate.”

The teacher crouches down on a center mat in front of the students. He/she places both hands palms down on either side of his/her head and tucks his/her chin to the chest. He/she then executes a roll, coming out of it in a crouch. For a physically disabled student, they can come up with words that start with the letters given to give to their teammates or a peer can help them roll across the mat as well or if in a wheelchair, a peer can push them down the mat while they say words and demonstrate jumps with their arms. This activity is very fast, so reminders always help. If a student has a cognitive disability, the teacher can prepare them by telling them what is coming next.

“It’s really important that you tuck your chin first before rolling. If you don’t, then you’ll either roll off the mat, or you can break your neck. It’s really important that you protect your head and make yourself like a ball. Then, you can roll. I want you to say a word that begins with the letter “t”. You can’t say the same word twice. Got it? You will each go down the mat once. Once you are done, go to the end of your line and sit down. Do not go until the person in front of you has cleared the mat. In doing all these moves, it is important that you keep your upper body straight and also keep both your legs straight when doing the jumps. Tuck your chin when doing the tuck n’ rolls. We will begin with these. After you have made your way down the mat, return to the end of your line. After the tuck n’ rolls, we will be doing the pipe jump, the split, and the scissor leg. Be sure to encourage your teammates! We will be very careful about what we’re doing, right? Can anyone repeat to me and to the rest of the class about safety when doing this? When I yell “Halt!” everyone will return to their lines and we’ll move on. Any questions? Please form 5 lines, one in front of each mat with 4 people per team.”

The teacher will wait until this is accomplished. There should be an even amount of students in each line.

“Alright you may begin when I say go; ready-go!”

Students go through this exercise until everyone has gone once. Once the teacher sees that everyone has gone, he/she will yell “Halt!” and move on to the next move.

“Ok I need everyone’s attention back up here, please! The next move is called a pipe jump. Stand with both feet together. Sort of hop on the balls of your feet and then jump, bringing your legs up and straight out in front of you, like an “L”. Watch me as I demonstrate.”

The teacher demonstrates the pipe jump.

“Consequently, after each jump, I want you to say a word that begins with the letter “L”. Are there any questions? Are you ready? First person, go!

Again, students will move through this exercise until everyone has gone once. The teacher will then yell “Halt!” and can go onto the next move.

“OK-second jump: the split. Again, stand with both of your feet together, hop, then jump and spread your legs as far apart as you can in the air. Your toes should be pointing to the sides and your arms out over your legs, palms down. Watch me as I demonstrate.”

The teacher demonstrates the split.

“After each jump, I want you to say a word that begins with the letter “d”. Are there any questions? OK go!”

Students will move through this exercise until everyone has gone once. The teacher will then yell “Halt!” and move on.

“The final jump you will be doing is the scissor leg. This is where you have one leg stretched out in front of you and one leg stretched out behind. This jump is used in ballet and is similar to leaping. Begin with your feet close together. Step with whichever leg you want to go behind you. Hop on it, and then stretch the opposite leg in front of you. Keep both your legs and your upper body straight. Watch me as I demonstrate.”

The teacher demonstrates the scissor leg.

“The third thing we need to come up with are words that begin with the letter “s”. Remember to keep your upper body straight, otherwise you won’t land on your feet and you’ll fall. Are we clear? OK-go!”

As before, students will go through the exercise until everyone has gone once. The activity shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, 20 maximum. The teacher will then yell “Halt!” and transition to a new activity.

“Halt! Now, we’re going to play a game……..”

Name of Activity: Deliver the Jewel to the Queen

Grade Level: 4

Activity Area: Gym

Academic Integration Content: History

Equipment/Materials Needed: 10 whiffle balls, 5 large gym mats

Physical Education Standards:

1.2 Movement Competence and Understanding: Provide and receive feedback to and from peers using the major characteristics of mature loco motor and manipulative skills

2.3 Physical and Personal Wellness: recognize the benefits derived from regular, moderate, and vigorous physical activity

Lesson Objectives:

Psychomotor: Students will demonstrate manipulative and coordination skills using both hands/feet

Cognitive: Students will learn about a monarchy

Affective: Students will enjoy participating, social interaction, teamwork, roleplaying

“This game is called “Deliver the Jewel to the Queen”. I am the Queen and the bag that I’m holding is full of jewels. A thief has stolen some of my jewels and you must return them. They are most precious to me and provide the safety of our kingdom. There are armies on our borders that are waiting to invade. The stolen jewels will help them succeed and we must protect our kingdom at all costs! I beg this of my footmen and ladies in waiting. Please find the jewels and return them. There are 10 jewels. You will be in pairs, your partner being the person standing to either your left or your right. Since there are 5 lines, one team will have to go twice. The team on the far left: divide yourselves into pairs, please. The far right line, pair with the person on your right. Got it? Each pair will receive a whiffle ball; this is your jewel. Each partner will either sidestep/slide down the mat, gently tossing the jewel back and forth. It must never touch the floor lest it lose its shine. If fumbled, the person who dropped it has to do a pipe jump. You don’t have to come up with a word, just keep going. Neither partner is allowed to stop going if the jewel is fumbled. While one person jumps, the other keeps sliding. The team with the least fumbles will get a prize, so keep count! Once you deliver the jewel to me, go and sit to my left along the side. Be sure to cheer your teammates on! I will alternate between lines and teams. I will start with the pair on the far left. I’ll call out either left or right side and you must be ready to go. The direction I call will be either your right or your left. But tell me…how will we toss the jewel?”

Students should answer that the jewel is to be tossed gently. This is a 10 minute game. The prizes are pencils for the winning team. The teacher should also keep track of the number of fumbles each team has through observation. After all balls have been returned, the teacher will then ask everyone to gather round and sit facing the board on the wall.

For a physically disabled student: a peer can go down the mat with them, catching the ball and throwing it back.


The teacher places a meditation CD in the player and will select track 6-“Dance of the Fireflies” after everyone is settled.

“Now is a chance to rest. How did you like what we did today? Why did you like or not like not? Is there something in particular? What was your favorite/least favorite thing we did today? Why? How did the activities today help us learn about ourselves? What did we do to make ourselves healthier?”

The teacher should gather the opinions of his/her students

“Close your eyes. Relax. Breathe deeply and clear your mind of all thoughts-a silent activity and a cleansing one.”

Note: the CDs used in this lesson are: Music & Menus: China 2 Compact Discs and Lifescapes: Best of Massage and Meditation 2 Compact Discs


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