We (Alex Sota and myself team teach Grade 3) have just finished our Invasion Games unit and I wanted to share and reflect on the unit. We started off the unit posing the key question 'What skills are necessary to succeed in Invasion Games?' As we teach multiple classes we started off with the first group sharing their ideas, and then the next class would try and unpack the first classes ideas. This enabled the students unpack and get a deeper understanding of the ideas and concepts more quickly.
The unit started off as we had initially planned, playing a variety of invasion games like Capture the Flag, Beanbag Thieves and Benchball. We actively encourage students throughout our units to use the Wonderwall, the wall provides a space for students to post their wonderings and also encourages investigation and creates intrigue.
Whilst the wonderwall is great for shining a light onto what some of the students were thinking, we wanted to open this up to the rest of the grade. We used the wonderwall comments/questions as a communication prompt, these go out once a week through the homeroom. The communication prompt was done through padlet and this enabled students to expand on what their wonderings in the unit so far.
When reviewing student responses through padlet, we saw that a common area that needed to be addressed was the role of 'captains' in a team. Due to this we adapted the unit, we wanted to create a unit which enabled us to focus on teamwork whilst still having students understand the big ideas of Invasion Games in Grade 3, managing and creating space. We decided that students would spend the remainder of the unit working in small groups; no more than 3-4, on creating their own invasion games.
Students worked in their groups, sharing their favorite invasion games and what aspects they liked of them, with the idea of taking their favorite parts and creating their own (semi) original game. Intertwined with this we also asked students to complete a Frayer Model on what being 'leader' meant for them, we encouraged the use of this word instead of captain, as we felt it is less authoritarian and there can be multiple ways in which you can lead.
When students had the basis of their game, we paired them up with another group who they had to present their game to and play, the other group gave feedback on how the game was presented and how it was to play. Roles would then be reversed. The feedback was used to make any needed changes to the game and presentations, prior to sharing their games with the class. As part of their assessment the students created a diagram, equipment list and a QR code which led to a video of them explaining their games.
When completing this unit, we were pleased with the progress the students had made on their understanding of team roles, especially relating to teamwork and leadership. The games that were created were semi-original and showed a good understanding of invasion games. We have now adapted this unit for next year to have the Adventure Challenge unit focus upon creating a simple tag game, for a recent job-a-like I put this to Kath Murdoch's inquiry cycle which I will post share soon.