The idea for this unit came from a presentation at the Illinois State P.E. convention about 7 years ago by a middle school physical education teacher from Crystal Lake, IL named Susie Johannesen. The basic premise for the unit (5-7 class periods) is that students come in to class, grab their booklet and pencil, then spend the class attempting to accomplish various challenges. Classmates witness and initial each other’s booklets after each completed challenge. We took this idea and adapted it for our classes. We continued to add new challenges along with student-suggested challenges each year. We had two sets of challenges; making it developmentally appropriate for students in grades 3-5 and 6-8. Our students absolutely loved it!
Last school year, my colleague (Joe Schallmoser) and I decided we could enhance this unit even more by combining “Challenge Me” with the idea of earning “money” by completing challenges. Earnings could be used to purchase other challenges. Along with the obvious physical benefits of this unit, the focus of character building through honesty and perseverance are most impressive! We decided that if we were going to make this unit about honesty, why go through the trouble of printing fake money? A simple spending log allows students to track their earnings and spendings along the way (Unit Presentation Introduction) If we, as teachers, can effectively communicate the importance of honesty and character, our students should be able to track their own earnings and spendings without overcomplicating it with cash… besides, who uses cash anymore?
The possibilities for this type of unit are endless! I would love to hear from other teachers who have done something similar or ways in which we could improve upon this unit.
Here are all current resources for the unit: The Fightin’ Seahorse Challenge Unit Resources Please feel free to download, copy and modify these resources to fit your Physical Education program.
This is awesome! I was trying to do something similar, so this is a huge help. The money idea is great.
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