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Thai Chi Unit: Clouds floating by , Adapted Physical Education Prek-12th grade

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Kathrin Simmons
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Thai Chi Unit: Clouds floating by , Adapted Physical Education Prek-12th grade

In my Thai Chi- Unit :  Clouds floating by

 I want my students to explore their inner calm through the moving meditation of Thai Chi. Thai Chi can supports students well-being physically and emotionally in  a non- competitive way. Outcomes should include: Students learning to calm themselves and slow down, relax, loosing themselves in slow movement, improving their concentration, finding rewards within themselves. In order to help students to calm down there will be high level activity games to the beginning of each class, ( freeze games, ball games, dodging, catching, locomotor relays) with the main activities focusing on meditation and Thai Chi movements through play interpretation, slow motion games and body awareness games. I like to use picture books in my classes and choose a book for each week during the Thai Chi unit to read and act out with my students. My unit addresses pre -school through 3rd grade students but can be adapted to 4th and 5th grade students or secondary students in regular and special education classes.

Equipment: music, poly spots,  visuals, scarves, group stretch blanket, group rope, parachute, small toys/stuffed animals/ rubber duckies, visuals,: picture book  “Listening to my body” by Gabi Garcia, “Breathe” by Linda Tenenbaum, “Let the rain fall down” by Donna Henderson, “Thai Chi for kids: Move with Animals” by Stuart Ave Olson

Main Activities:

week 1 Body awareness and meditation: using “Listening to my body” by Gabi Garcia

  1. Using the group stretch blanket , all students  and teacher sit inside the blanket stretching it out ,  teacher /students close blanket on top (“we are a huge big cloud floating in the sky, students move arms and body slowly pushing against the stretch fabric), open up the blanket (“What do you see far  below…?”) close up blanket again keep floating
  2. rubber ducky breathing (students lay down on their back and place their rubber ducky on their belly “ let it swim up with your breath in, let it swim down with your breath out”)

week 2 Yin-Yang and feeling Qi energy using: “Breathe” by Linda Tenenbaum

  1. Yin/Yang push and give (partner balance game, sitting back to back try and stand up, partners have to move while holding a balloon between their bodies)
  2. Throwing an imaginary ball back and forth, first a small ball, then a big ball, “I am going to press the slow motion button” , repeat in slow motion
  3. Playing with the Qi ball ( “everybody plays with their own ball in slow motion”, “ First it is just a small ball and it looks like you are forming an imaginary snow ball, but when there is a lot of snow that ball gets bigger and bigger and with the sun it melts back down to a small size”, repeat) , let students describe the sensation in their hands

week 3 Thai Chi forms using: “Let the rain fall down” by Donna Henderson, Singing the Qi song”

  1. Tree roots:  “ Feel the earth beneath my feet. Stand up straight and tall. Breathe in make my belly big. Breath out make it small, it small”
  2. Living tree: “Little footsies touch the ground. Little hands reach high. Feel the breeze look all around. Reach up to the sky, the sky.
  3. Floating arms: “Flap my wings up like a bird. Float down to the ground. Flap them up and down again. Make a tweet tweet sound, tweet, tweet.
  4. Qi ball: “Feel a ball between my hands. Breathe in make it big. Breathe out make it small again. Make it small then big, then big. Make it small then big!

week 4 Thai Chi forms using: , “Thai Chi for kids: Move with Animals” by Stuart Ave Olson

  1. Frankenstein Move (“In slow motion, let your hands float up to shoulder level, then let your hands sink down to an imaginary table)
  2. Wave hands like clouds, (“Move your arms like puffy clouds in big circles to the left and to the right” to stay on your ,so slowly that a butterfly would not be afraid to stay on your hand)
  3. The rooster stands on one leg, (“Lift knee and arms to on side and to the other”, go “cockiduledu”)
  4. Clean up pose (“Push everything out of the way, swipe the table, push everything out of the way”, lunge right, horse pose center, lunge left)

California Physical Education Standards addressed:

1.2  Travel forward and sideways while changing direction quickly in response to a signal. 
1.3  Demonstrate contrasts between slow and fast speeds while using locomotor skills. 1.4  Create shapes at high, medium, and low levels by using hands, arms, torso, feet, and legs in a variety of combinations. 1.5  Create shapes by using nonlocomotor movements. 
1.6  Balance on one, two, three, four, and ve body parts. 1.7  Balance while walking forward and sideways on a narrow, elevated surface. 1.8  Demonstrate the relationship of under, over, behind, ne t to, through, right, le , up, down, forward, backward, and in front of by using the body and an object. 1.9  Perform a continuous log roll. 1.10  Travel in straight, curved, and zigzag pathways. 
1.16  Perform locomotor and nonlocomotor movements to a steady beat. 
1.1  Travel within a large group, without bumping into others or falling, while using locomotor skills. 1.17  Clap in time to a simple, rhythmic beat. 2.1  Explain the difference between under and over, behind and in front of, next to and through, up and down, forward and backward, and sideways. 
2.2  Identify and independently use personal space, general space, and boundaries and discuss why they are important. 
2.3  Identify and describe parts of the body: the head, shoulders, neck, back, chest, waist, hips, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, ngers, legs, knees, ankles, feet, and toes. 2.4  Explain base of support. 
3.5 Stretch shoulders, legs, arms, and back without bouncing. 3.6 Sustain continuous movement for increasing periods of time while participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. 5.1  Identify the feelings that result from participation in physical activity. 
5.2  Participate willingly in physical activities. 5.3  Demonstrate the characteristics of sharing in a physical activity. 5.4  Describe how positive social interaction can make physical activity with others more fun. .5 Participate as a leader and a follower during physical activities.