During my pre-internship I am doing a mini unit on the geological structures and formations of rainforests with a great group of grade one students. In order to learning mapping, I thought it be a great physical activity to pretend every individual was a globe (or our world). At our heads is the North Pole, at our hips is the Equator, and at our feet was the South Pole. The students had previously learned that polar bears live at the North Pole, rainforests are grown near the Equator, and penguins live at the South Pole.
As a lesson I decided that it be great to include physical activity. So I had the students stand up behind their chairs and played a game around the idea of Follow the Leader or Simon Says. I had explained to the students that our bodies were the earth and that our head, hips and feet are parts of the world and compared it to a globe in the classroom. I then prompted with the cues North Pole, Equator, or South Pole and that would be the place the students had to move their hands to on their bodies. I then challenged them by naming things that are located at each place. I continued this until all understood a bit more about how to read a globe or map and the locations of things around the world. My focus was for the students to understand that rainforests are located near the middle of our earth or the middle of a globe, near the Equator.
I found this lesson to work really well to get the students up off their chairs and participating alongside myself in a bit of a physical activity. After this activity the students than work really well in their seats. I found that incorporating movement with learning really helps improve concentration and learn a lot about a topic quickly. The movements the students did can help them remember where things are located on our world, and helps with kinesthetic learning.
|This map, locating rainforests around the world, was done in addition to our physical activity.|