At Cooperstown Elementary School, we take every opportunity for experiential learning. And that means we sometimes mix reading with physical education class.
Norma Jean, Jumping Bean is a delightful book about a girl kangaroo who loves to jump. The story tells how the girl learns an important lesson: That there is a time and a place for jumping, but it can interfere with everyday activities if taken to extremes.
In kindergarten through second grade, our physical education teachers Mr. Lippitt and Mrs. Herzig recently used this book as part of a literature unit to inspire children to explore the many ways to jump and to use their bodies. They started with five stations to depict scenes in the book. Each day in PE, more of the story was read and more stations were added until all the stations were in the gym.
By the end of the book, there were fourteen stations set up in the gym and the children moved in a clockwise direction from station to station, acting out the story. There was jumping out of bed; jumping over puddles; jumping to school; jumping down the stairs; building and knocking over towers; hurdles, egg and spoon challenges; sack races; long jump; high jump; wheelbarrow races; rope climbing; and playing catch.
The children had a wonderful time visiting each station and acting out what Norma Jean and her friends had done in the book.