All posts by Elixa Neumann

November 18th – Individual and Dual Sports

Today, we taught our Individual and Dual Sports class. I really enjoyed this class and concept as too often it’s difficult to gather a group of people together to partake in a sport. My favorite sport is kayak polo; however the number one rule to paddling is that you should never paddle alone.

In saying this, I had no idea how many individual sports were out there! Bowling, Archery, Kayaking, Rowing, Boccee, Bodybuilding, Boomerang, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Croquet, Darts, Diving, Dance, Fencing, Figure skating, Golf, Gymnastics, Knife Throwing, Pilates, MMA, Sailing, Skiing, Shooting, Snowboarding, Squash, Skateboarding, Swimming, Yoga… and the list goes on and on…

It’s good to be reminded that there are still a variety of activities that we can take part in to maintain our physical literacy and set personal goals for development without having to find several people to be involved at the same time.

Oct 7 Movement Journal

Last class was my first exposure to the idea of TGFU: teaching games for understanding. I really appreciated the way in which Steve introduced this concept at the end of class and the games used were unique and creative! The whole class was active and having fun, however we were able to learn different physical literacy skills by means of these activities. With this concept in mind, I did more research after class to examine what TGFU consists of and how to approach it as a teacher.

  • Teach games through games.
  • Break games into their simplest format – then increase complexity.
  • Participants are intelligent performers in games.
  • Every learner is important and is involved.
  • Participants need to know the subject matter.
  • Need to match participants’ skill and challenge.

Originally, this program was designed to tap into children’s inherent desire to play. Children learn through curiosity and inspiration, however with so many activities taking place outside of school or parents busy with their own work, many children are not able to experience play in its natural form. Using TGFU, it is possible to break down a common game into smaller games which are still fun, but target the development of basic foundational movements. TGFU games usually follow in one of the following categories: target games, net/wall games, striking/field games and territory games. These games help to create activity appreciation, tactical awareness, decision-making, and develop performance strategy.

In my practicum at Maple Ridge, we will be expected to teach half hour PE units outdoors with minimal equipment, engaging three grade 5 classes. I hope to use the concept of TGFU games in order to help develop physical literacy, all the while keeping each child active and engaged. Thank you teaching lesson group for introducing this brilliant idea!

Ophea. “Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) Approach.” PlaySport. Ophea, 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.

September 23rd, 2015 – A Reflection on Physical Literacy

Cycling on my way to school, I passed a small elementary private school in Kitsilano. As I was cycling by, I watched the children in PE class, running laps around the field while the teacher followed in behind on her bicycle. The children did not look enthusiastic about the idea of having to run around in circles, but they still plugged away on their journey around the field. On my way home, I saw four children after a soccer practice, practicing their interception techniques to steal the ball and run away from the other children. They laughed and enjoyed one another’s challenges.

As much as we may not like fundamental elements of physical activity such as running, it’s a crucial part of Physical Literacy to be able to know how to use and control our body to develop further into other elements of sports. Our journey along the path of development within this form of literacy is unique to each one of us. Some will excel in certain areas where others may struggle. But part of Physical Literacy is teamwork and leadership and learning to help others and provide opportunities for them to also learn about the health of their body.

Our class presentation gave a unique example of this by means of the badminton exercise. Having the class constantly move courts and rotate among our groups exposed us to different skill levels which encourages diversity of practice and movement. Through this, students who had a more difficult time were given equal chances to work on their movements, often with the encouragement and support of classmates and peers which is a development of Physical Literacy, and students who admired a good challenge were able to take it to the next level and challenge their timing through rotations and shot techniques to make the overall rounds last longer.

Being Physically Literate is a lifelong journey as we progress through our lives with an every changing body and mind.