By: Melinda Wilson, 2017-2018 SHAPE® Dance Teacher of the Year
Curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds. Restlessness and discontent can instruct us in ways that less intense emotions never do. Active citizenship is a viable solution and can creatively connect students to immersive performance group activities.
Relationships & Character Building in PE
Let’s inspire students with creativity by letting them shape the performance. Through collective experiences, students will form a community where they will hold each other accountable. The performance will enhance student’s passions and foster compassion.
Performance group activities can even generate after school clubs, promote democratic practices, and transform our schools and communities. Teachers can encourage students to create projects based around the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice. It is important to remember that our students are more likely to have traveled or migrated across borders. They have instantaneous access to forge friendships with people from around the world through social media, where they are exposed to many different views. This is a special time where technology has allowed us to connect to every part of the world.
PE Class: Flash Mob Performance
What can you do in your classroom? Physical education and dance, embrace multiple learning styles, celebrating intelligences that are unique to each learner. Each class builds on spatial, auditory/musical, linguistic, kinesthetic, mathematics, interpersonal and intrapersonal learning styles. One example of a group activity would be to introduce a flash mob performance curriculum based around active citizenship. Students would be given a chance to focus on issues of common concerns while seeking solutions, moving the community to create a collective experience. Students and teachers can connect experiences to varied subject areas while keeping in mind the SDGs. This would enable schools to contribute to sustainable development by promoting societal, economic and political change as well as creating transformative behavior.
In recognizing the power and enthusiasm of audiences and students I personally suggest the use of props. I have used the following products by School Specialty to enhance the atmosphere, convey meaning and create color and excitement:
- Gynmic Giant Hop 66 Spring Ball
- Wham-O Frisbee World Class Ultimate Flying Disc
- Califone PA919SD – A Powerpro SD Wireless System
Setting the PE Class Tone: Building Student Engagement
So, while we are preparing our classrooms by providing a stable routine that sets the tone for the school year, let’s creatively use the vitality and enthusiasm of our students. Let’s have them find out that they can move the global community through their engagement. We can give our students the skills that will carry them across cultural communities by promoting active participation and helping them build the confidence to shape our global communities. The might of a child armed with a good education is unparalleled.
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