Noodle Transport Activity for Elementary PE

noodle transport PE

My name is Kyle Bragg and I teach at Anasazi Elementary School, Scottsdale, AZ.

Creating meaningful, relevant lessons that students can apply in multiple settings is a trademark in my program. It is important to empower students and give them the autonomy they need by providing them a voice/choice. This promotes a shared, progressive climate, where students can be innovative. This activity, “Noodle Transport”, fits all that criteria.

In this lesson, I asked them, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They give examples like teacher, doctor, professional athlete, etc. Then, we discuss how in all of those careers, it’s beneficial to be creative and cooperative, which helps with student motivation. It is important to empower students and give them the autonomy they need by providing them a voice/choice. This promotes a shared, progressive climate, where students can be innovative. By asking questions like, “Without using your hands, how many ways can you and your partner transport a noodle from wall to wall?” This allows students to collaborate and demonstrate creativity, testing out ideas in an emotionally safe environment. Not only have they learned how to collaborate and expand their mind, they taught me new ways to move the noodle.

Skills: Cooperation, communication, creativity, risk-taking

Age group: K-5

Equipment: 3 foot pool noodle for each pair

Video

Lead-up Discussion

Before starting the activity, I pair up students randomly through Class Dojo. By doing this, they get to work with different type of students, demonstrating open-mindedness. I have them discuss why it’s important to demonstrate good teamwork and listen ideas of others. They respond with ideas like, “To make people happy” or “So people feel valued.” I then ask them, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They give examples like teacher, doctor, professional athlete, etc. Then, we discuss how in all of those careers, it’s beneficial to be creative and cooperative, which helps with student motivation.

noodle transport physed

Instructions For Noodle Transport

I give the students one basic direction.

Level 1: “Without using your hands, how many ways can you and your partner transport a noodle from wall to wall?” Before they start, they brainstorm for a minute for ways they can do this. Then, I provide them four minutes to do it. Then, students reflect on how they did.

Then, I have them do Level 2 (if they are ready), which is hands or arms. I let them brainstorm again, and provide them four more minutes. This allows students to collaborate and demonstrate creativity, testing out ideas in an emotionally safe environment. Not only have they learned how to collaborate and expand their mind, they taught me new ways to move the noodle.

After level 2, I have students discuss for a minute what they liked about their partner during that activity (he listened to my ideas, he smiled, he helped me up when I fell, etc.). By having them discuss positives, it connects happiness and physical education, which creates excitement about returning to PE class next time.

Examples:

“I liked it because we were in charge. We came up with our own ideas.”
“I was able to work with someone new. She was really nice and had great ideas!”
“It was fun to be creative. We worked as a team, which felt good.”

To finish, students do this self-assessment using their Plicker magnets, as I discuss the importance of being honest.

Assessment

Plicker student self-assessment:

plickers assessment tool

Shape America Grade Level Outcome addressed (all grades did this activity):

SHAPE standards assessment

I think it’s important to use the visual of the Plicker Assessment and the Shape Grade Level Outcomes. It is really important that there is a purpose to this. Too often, teachers do activities but don’t really have an outcome they are working towards, or don’t have an assessment/reflection. This has all three, which makes it a powerful activity. I can now use the assessment to help drive future instruction. Ex: Do we need more cooperative activities or did they grasp the concept?

Variations

You can use ANY equipment. Put out rubber pigs, deck rings, foam balls, etc. Let them pick! Can they do it with 2 items at the same time? Can they do it with one student blindfolded while the other student leads in them in the right direction? I came up with Level 1 and 2. Let students discover new ways to make “Level 3, 4, 5..”

About the Author:

Kyle Bragg PE teacherMy name is Kyle Bragg. I am a National Board Certified Teacher, as well as the 2018 Arizona Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and the 2019 Arizona Innovative Physical Education Teacher of the Year. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 from Illinois State University, where I played collegiate golf. I earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning in 2013 from Nova Southeastern University. In class, I utilize technology to create developmentally appropriate lessons, which allow students to experience success and improve their physical literacy. I incorporate Social Emotional Learning as well to help establish a safe, loving classroom climate. Beyond the classroom, I strive to inspire teachers by writing for journals and blogs, as well as presenting to groups on the local, state, and national levels. Twitter: Kyle Bragg (@ElemPE1)

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