This project is the brainchild of the brilliant David Bosarge. His creative genius helped to formulate the foundation of this revolutionary webquest. He has also volunteered to personally fund this project, including any legal fees induced from poor instruction during the project.
The project is to introduce students to what is no longer a main stream sport in track-and-field. The heptathlon is an event that gauges overall athleticism. Students will be creating a new heptathlon that can be done in their P.E. class. Focus will be on group dynamics, creativity, and fun fitness.
This project is designed for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in a Physical Education class. Project could easily be modified for late elementary school or early high school. Lesson also uses Language Arts and Technology.
Learners will need basic computer and internet surfing skills. Many fundamental to intermediate motor skills will be used.
Sunshine State Standards Addressed
- The student demonstrates competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few forms of physical activity. (PE.A.1.3)
- The student applies concepts and principles of human movement to the development of motor skills and the learning of new skills. (PE.A.2.3)
- The student achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness. (PE.B.1.3)
- The student demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity. (PE.B.2.3)
- The student understands how participating in physical activity promotes inclusion and an understanding of the abilities and cultural diversity of people. (PE.C.1.3)
- The student understands that physical activity provides the opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, self expression, and communication. (PE.C.2.3)
- The student uses the reading process effectively. (LA.A.1.3)
- The student writes to communicate ideas and information effectively. (LA.B.2.3)
This lesson will focus on innovative thinking, compare and contrasting, teamwork and creativity.
You will be split into groups of five by your coach. The teams are predetermined. Requests to change groups must by typed in paragraph form and given to the coach by the second class meeting during this project. - Be sure to create groups that have a variety of learning levels and athletic ability. Do not put buddies or cliques together. Only allow children to switch if they meet the above criteria and have a valid reason.
Each group must determine individual roles: group leader, captain of information, presentation foreman, equipment manager, technology mediator. It will be up to the individual groups how you delegate doing the events. All members can work together on all events or divvy up events to individual members. - This is mostly up to the group. Monitor to make sure the groups decide roles together and that all members are somewhat satisfied with their roles.
Each group will need to research the current format(s) of the heptathlon. There are more than one. Look at the Olympics, the NCAA, and USA Track and Fieldwebsites to gain information about heptathlons. These websites may or may not be the easiest to learn from. You are allowed to use any school approved website in your research. - The websites given here are not overwhelmingly great for children to learn from. They will give a baseline of information, but encourage exploration in the research.
You may find it easier to search for information on the events individually, they are: 60 or 100 m hurdles, long jump (this site is addicting, be careful), high jump,pole vault, javelin throw, shot put, and races of 200, 800, and 1000 m. Why do you see more than seven? Because there is more than one format for heptathlons! Take notes on the 'real' events and discuss what you like and dislike about them, and how you could possibly change them for your group's heptathlon. Your group will be given one full class period for research. - The websites for the individual events are much better suited for learning. The long jump site is a game that children may have to be encouraged to move on from. Encourage note taking and discussion while researching.
Begin brainstorming events. Check out Zoom to get a few ideas for creating new activities. You can use this to learn, do not steal! Discuss what you would like to be a part of your heptathlon. Do you want it by the book or super silly? Do you want to focus on athletic achievement or fun with fitness? Be sure to discuss all possible parameters: safety, fun, equipment, judgeability, and whatever else you can think of! There are even ways to do your brainstorming online. These may or may not work for you and your group. - This part should be the fun part, but it may become frustrating for some individuals if the group is not taking in their personal ideas. Constantly drift from group to group and facilitate when needed.
As your group narrows down what you want you want your events to be, begin putting concrete plans on paper. You will need an Event Description Form for each event. Put down as many details as you can. You can tweak them as you go.- Make sure groups fully fill out the forms. The children should understand that someone brand new to their event should be able to execute it if their form is properly filled out.
Go outside and play. You will need to request equipment from you coach. Test your events and see how well they meet your goals. - This is the really fun part. Learning, playing and getting fit all at the same time. Give the kids everything you have (within safety concerns) for their events regardless of how silly or trivial it may seen.
Plan your presentation. The presentation must be between five and eight minutes. Be prepared to showcase and defend you events. WHY are your events the choice for our heptathlon? You will be showing off your heptathlon to the rest of your class. Decide on roles within the presentation. There are many resources available to help your plan your presentation. Remember, your presentation will be done outside! - Help the children focus their presentation on being a short exhibition then verbal defense of each event. Offer time for other groups to ask questions.
Finalize and prepare. Fill out your final Event Description Forms, create a cover page and whatever else you think will increase the value of your presentation. Practice, practice, practice.
Each group will pull a number out a hat and present in that order. Presentations must be between five and eight minutes.
The class period after all groups have presented, as a class we will perform the heptathlon the receives the highest overall grade. - The instructor may choose to do one event from each group, or divert from this guideline in some other way as needed. Do what is best to create the best heptathlon for your class and reward the students' efforts.
This webquest should take between 4-6 class periods. The first class should be introduction and research. Allow one or two class periods for extended research and trials. Presentations will take one or two periods as well. On the last period of the project, do the best heptathlon with the class.
Possible hiccups: The group dynamic as mentioned above. Some groups may not try very hard to be innovative and take the easy way out will very simple modifications.
The instructor's main role will be to facilitate and monitor. Keep the group dynamic fair and encourage creativity.
If for some reason your class can not get to a computer lab, the research could be done in the library or at home. Event description forms would need to be copied.
The Inspiration program could be made available for brainstorming and organization.
- Access to computer lab and printers.
- Inspiration software if available
- At minimum one computer for each group.
- All P.E. equipment than can be used safely within the guidelines of this project.
- All websites listed below in credits and references.
|No events present any explicit safety problems.|
While safety, judging and equipment are all key components to the project, the instructor should focus his or her attention on creativity and fun. The goal is for children to produce creative and innovative games that will be fun to play and increase fitness levels. If each group has one or two truly creative events then the project is a success. If most groups have modified current heptathlon events to use available equipment then guidelines should be reviewed and changed before repeating the webquest.
This activity is designed to serve two main purposes. The first is to help kids discover an event in the Olympics. As the Olympics are no longer as popular as they used to be, it may be the first time some students are exploring the world-wide phenomenon. The second purpose is to encourage kids to find creative ways to play. Kids today are often stymied when a specific game is NOT put in front of them. This activity will help children discover new ways to play, at school and at home.
Last updated on Oct 1, 2009. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page