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This lesson was designed for a grade seven class in physical and health education. This activity was used to promote classroom cohesion and cooperation. The teacher basically stands in the middle of the gym and gives hand gestures to signal different activities, keeping the students constantly moving and maximum participation throughout the class as the activity was centered around group involvement. It also promoted paying attention to certain cues and gestures made by the teacher as well as other peers in the classroom. Students were given instructions non-verbally through pictures and visuals as well as demonstrations prior to the actual activity.


The students gathered in the center of the gym where I explained that I would be using hand gestures to signal different movements and by pointing to my eyes and to myself I informed them that “all eyes must be on me”. Next, the students were shown six different hand signals, which meant doing six different activities. For example, a picture of a hand with one finger up and an arrow pointing to a student skipping meant that when I held up my first finger in the middle of the gym, students would begin skipping on their own until another signal was given. Two fingers up, according to my diagram, signaled getting a partner and skipping around the gym together. Three fingers indicates finding a group of three and spin around like a “tornado”. Flashing three fingers on my hand meant students had to stay in their group of three and play tag with two people designated as “it” and the other person had to keep away from them. All three group members play tag by using a shuffle step (side to side). Four fingers up signified finding a group of four and creating a beach scene, and holding their position until everyone in the gym had completed their creation. Five fingers meant getting into a group of five and making a “train” by getting themselves into a line and holding onto one another’s shoulders with their hands. The object then was to try to grab hold of another group’s “caboose” and link on. The teacher stays in the middle and switches from one number to the other. (ie. Holds up 3 for 10 seconds then switches to 1.) At any time when the teacher needs to get the students re-focused, he/she holds up five fingers and drops one finger at a time indicating the students have 5 seconds to get to the teacher.


1) to encourage group cohesion
2) to develop non-verbal communication skills
3) to create community within the classroom
4) to keep the students physically active for the whole lesson
5) to promote learning through visuals and demonstration
6) students will learn how to work within a group to reach an objective (holding up four fingers)

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Have the following pictures and descriptions up on the board in the gym: (pictures were used instead of words)

· 5 fingers up then counting down without verbal communication = make your way to the teacher in less than 5 seconds
· 1 finger up = skip by yourself
· 2 fingers up = skip with a partner
· 3 fingers up = tornado spin with three people
· 3 fingers up and flashing = play tag by shuffling 2 on 1
· 4 fingers up = make a beach scene with a group of 4
· 5 fingers up = get into a group of 5 and make a train and try to catch the others’ caboose

Grouping Strategies

The students will have a chance to work by themselves, in pairs, and in groups of 3, 4 and 5 people. By doing so, each student is able to participate fully in the lesson, which promotes inclusion.

Assessment Strategies

A rubric was used to specify the level of participation and enthusiasm of the students. The rubric was made by the students, for the students, on what they thought each level was comprised of. Most students achieved a level four, which was “being respectful of your classmates, being attentive and following instructions.


Since the lesson used non-verbal communication, all learners were able to see the visuals in the gym as well as the non-verbal demonstration on each number listed. This made it quite easy for learners at all levels to comprehend and participate in the activity. By drawing out each symbol, the students were quick to pick up on what each one signified.


· A rubric on a piece of chart paper indicating each level

· Several pieces of chart paper with the activity pictures and descriptions


No resources were used in this lesson. N/A

Submitted by: By: Nancy Hamel

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