Integrating diversity and various cultures into your existing physical education plan can teach students about the ways in which people from other countries keep fit and spend their time. There are children in the U.S. whose heritage stems from all areas of the world. Incorporating a celebration of traditional activities from various cultures may increase awareness and appreciation for those cultures.
Belly dancing, the Hawaiian Hula, the Tarantella, the Hora and even square dancing are all multicultural dance options promoting physical activity. Study the cultures, history and origin of each dance as well as the steps to properly execute it. Many multicultural dances move very quickly, enhancing heart health while some are comprised of short, quick movements or interpretive messages that can improve tone of the body and mind.
Various sports played in other cultures or those that have been "Americanized" can be incorporated into physical activities. Handball, Gaelic football, rugby, curling and cricket are only a few of the team sports that may be taught in physical education classes. Instruct students on the history and rules of the sport as well as the methodology of how to play. Challenges of introducing multicultural team sports may include acquiring the necessary equipment to play.
Cooperative Physical Games
1, 2, 3 Dragon is a physical education game that arranges participants into a line while holding shoulders and moving quickly around the room in various and twisting directions. The goal of the game is to avoid the head, or leader of the line, touching the tail, or the last person. The game is adapted from a Chinese cultural tradition of the Chinese Dragon, which symbolizes guardianship and viligence and is often used in celebration to bring good fortune and rain to crops. Celebrate Chinese culture with a dragon game.
Boomerang throwing is an Australian tradition and can be adapted into a physical education lesson to strengthen the body. Instruct the correct technique and integrate a boomerang-throwing contest to add an entertaining element to the activity.
Celebrate the culture of Native Americans when studying archery. Use extreme caution with arrows, bows and children as to avoid any injury. In Welsh cultures, the broad jump hop is a common individual physical activity that instructs students to jump as far as they can landing on both feet and twice more only on one foot. With a stick in his hand, he stretches as far as he can to press the stick into the Earth. The students may compete with one another as a game.
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