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Jumping and moving around: other jumping activities

Possible learning activities

Sack relay

In a grassed area, arrange the students into pairs. Give each pair a sack and two marker cones, which they set ten metres apart. Each student takes a turn to stand inside the sack and jump from one cone to the other before passing the sack onto the next person.

The sack relay can be varied by increasing the distance between the markers or by putting obstacles along the track for the students to jump around or over.

In their pairs, the students could design a course for another pair to complete (using existing school equipment and facilities and establishing some ground rules for their use).

Triple jump

In a large open space, arrange the students into small groups and give each groups In the triple jump, the student each group three ropes, which they stretch out one metre apart. Each student stands at the first rope and hops over it (using the same foot) then leaps over the next rope (onto the other foot), and finally jumps over the third rope and lands on both feet. The students can repeat this sequence until they feel confident about doing it.

This activity can be extended by the students using:

  • a single run-up step before the first hop;
  • a three-step run-up;
  • a five-step or a seven-step run-up.

For each group, mark out the three different run-up distances with cones. When the students have tried all three distances, they can decide for themselves from which starting point they want to run. Extend the activity again by moving the ropes further apart. Alternatively, have the students finish the sequence by jumping into a sandpit or onto a mini mat.

Long jump

Review the techniques that students have already identifies as effective for:

  • jumping longer and higher;
  • taking off from one foot and landing on two.

Ask the students, in pairs, to trial a jump along the ground from a standing-still position or, if it is easier, taking a one-step lead-in. The students should take off from one foot and land on two. Working in pairs, they can watch each other, offering helpful suggestions (peer critiquing) about the most effective ways to jump as far as possible. Each pair can then demonstrate their jumps to another pair and repeat the peer critique.

The students can now try a short run-up and jump using the same techniques or a better one that they have learned from their peers, for example, swinging their arms forward to gain more height.

Transfer the jump to a sandpit or end it on a mini mat. The students can choose the distance from where they want to start their run-up.

When the students have practised and gained success, their jumps can be measured for distance. A take-off board, a mat, or a marking could be placed before the pit to indicate to the students where they must take off. When measuring a jump, begin the measurement at the front edge (the edge closest to the landing area) of the take-off board or mat.

This is a useful place to introduce the word “motivation”. Motivation could be described in terms of self-motivation - improving your own performance by working towards your own goals. Explore the meaning of this word with the students, developing a definition that is appropriate for their understanding.

Ask the students to think about whether their motivation has increased or decreased as a result of participating in a measured long jump task while their classmates watched. The students can stand in a circle. Ask them to take three big steps into the centre if they found they were more motivated to participate under these conditions; to take one step in if their motivation didn’t change; and to stay where they are if their motivation to participate decreased (they were less keen to participate).

After the activity, in small groups, the students can share how they felt about participating in long-jump activities when their jumps were measured and while others were watching their performance. Alternatively, the students could use one of the activities described in Knowing how you are going. Discuss with the students their ideas about how competition can be managed in a way that makes it a positive experience (3B4).

Assessment opportunity

Groups of students jointly identify the variations that trialled and say which were most effective in extending the height or length of their jumps (3B1).

Observe the students' assessments of their own motivation after a competitive activity and discuss with them how competition can be managed to make it a positive experience (3B4).

Teachers' notes

The triple jump is often referred to as the "Hop, Step, and Jump". In the triple jump, the student must make three different consecutive movements. The first is a hop, the second is a leap, and finally the student jumps into the jumping pit. A hop is from one foot onto the same foot. A leap is from one foot onto the other foot. A jump is from one foot onto two feet. The students focus their eyes forward and maintain a forward movement throughout the leap. During the flight of the jump, they should bend their legs slightly, each student should land on two feet, with bent legs, and without losing their balance. Set some physical education homework. Ask the students to teach an older family member how to do the triple jump.

Ask the students to run away from the long-jump pit as quickly as possible and to note where they are when they reach their maximum speed. this will help them to find their starting point for the run-up to the jump.

Suggested learning outcome

Students will participate in competitive activities and describe how competition can affect motivation (3B4).

Socio-ecological perspective

Identifying and reflecting on factors that influence people's choices and behaviours relating to motivation.


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