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Stilts - Poutoti

Learning experience 5, Activity 4

Intended outcome(s)

The students could:

  • access and use information to make safe choices when undertaking poutoti (stilts) activities (HPE 4 A3)
  • demonstrate consistency and control in poutoti (stilts) activities (HPE 4 B1)

Suggested approach

The students make poutoti (stilts) from wood and identify possible dangers when using poutoti by themselves and with others. They identify ways they can avoid hurting themselves in the case of a fall (forwards, backwards, sideways).

The students are given opportunities to develop safe landing skills by practicing off gym equipment, playground equipment, and using the poutoti. The students should be able to land safely in any direction when using the poutoti.

The students work in pairs with one set of two poutoti. One of the pair mounts the poutoti with the aid of the partner (who is holding the poutoti from behind) and attempts to walk with hands-on support from the partner, until they can walk unaided. Each student can challenge their partner to see if they can walk 10 metres unaided.

The teacher could discuss with the students other suitable stilt activities, such as creating a stilt sequence to music, and the safety issues involved.

The students reflect and discuss in their pairs what they found easy, difficult, scary, how their partner helped them and how this felt, and the concept of trust in this activity.

Complete the activity with a class challenge, either in the form of a relay or a game involving the use of the poutoti.

The students look at photos of other cultures that use stilts as part of their dance tradition. For example, the African tribes of the Ivory Coast use stilts sometimes 2 metres high cut from the banana tree because of its strength, lightness, and flexibility. The stilt walkers wear long trousers to cover their stilts, and they perform dances to the beat of small drums and shake rattles. Rapid steps, crossing of legs, leaps, and pirouettes are carried out to the point of overbalancing.

The symbolism of the stilts dance is humankind overcoming earthly obstacles.

Stilts - Poutoti

Duration: 00:32