The next unit in Physical Education is Project Adventure. Project Adventure is a unit that offers games, activities and challenges that require students to use teamwork, cooperation, communication, and problem solving in order to be successful.
Students start with low element activities which are challenges and activities that are done as a class and everyone must complete in order to move to the next challenge. These are considered low element activities because they are done on or near the gym floor.
Once all of the low element activities are completed, each class in grades 6-8 will move to the higher element activities. These are the rope activities that involve climbing and require students to wear the appropriate safety gear such as a harness and a helmet. Students are encouraged to try each activity that they feel comfortable attempting. They are also encouraged to try their best and can stop at any time. These activities include the rock wall and flying squirrel for grades 6-8, the centipede for grades 6-7 and the balance beam for grade 8.
New to the Project Adventure unit this year is a technique called the “Australian Belay.” This technique was learned by the department at a Professional Development Workshop last school year. This technique has the students belaying each other where one student will be climbing while 5 other students are attached to the other side of the rope. As the student climbs, the belayers back up to keep the rope tight. This way, if a student slips or falls, the 5 students belaying will be able to hold their weight and keep them safe. We also have two students behind the belayers making sure that the rope is kept tight and the area is clear of any objects that might cause them to trip. This technique is great because it involves up to 12 students participating in each climb and builds trust amongst the group.
Prior to starting the unit, the students will be instructed on the expectations that they should display each day during this unit. Mainly, there are 4 behaviors the students need to show in order to be able to participate in Project Adventure. These behaviors are to be safe, be ready, be supportive and communicate. Each student will sign a poster board agreeing that they will show these behaviors each time they participate in physical education. If students are not showing these behaviors, they will not be allowed to participate in each of the activities and challenges that project adventure has to offer. The poster board will be displayed on the wall outside of the gym to remind students of their expectations each time they come to class.