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Name of Activity:
How to Catch a Star (Literacy and Yoga in PE)
Purpose of Activity:To engage students in a literacy-oriented approach that targets developmentally appropriate yoga poses, social emotional learning and growth mindset.
Prerequisites:Students must have been taught the basic posture/poses for yoga.
Suggested Grade Level:K-2
The book How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers (links out to Amazon) (optional: use a projector to display a YouTube video of the book).
Yoga mats (can also be done without).
Copy of the guided relaxation story "A Night's Sky." I have also made an audio version.
Description of Idea
This activity allows young children to “Be the Story” to promote reading linked with being active and choosing positive movement. Some of the poses incorporate teamwork as well. This idea can be used on “World Read Aloud Day” to show how P.E. can bridge in the importance of this special day to promote reading across the world.
Explain to students that this activity will combine reading and movement (yoga poses). Emphasize the "mind body connection.”
Read "How to Catch a Star" by Oliver Jeffers. The premise of the story is "with a little flexibility and determination, you can reach your goals!" A perfect GROWTH MINDSET book choice!
The teacher can read the book or project a video of the book onto the gym wall.
As you read certain pages, pause to add in MOVEMENT (yoga poses). Pairing “Growth Mindset” themed songs for each movement can be a great addition.
Partner Boat Pose
Rocket Ship Breathing
Starfish Relaxation Pose (pictures in book below).
After reading the story and discussing the book’s message with students, have students work on a PARTNER YOGA POSE called STAR to work on TEAMWORK, BALANCE, STRENGTH, & FOCUS.
End the activity with a GUIDED RELAXATION STORY for cool-down. Students listen to the descriptive words in the story and use their imagination on this journey to relax).
“A Night’s Sky” (I paired this with the book because of its similar theme and growth mindset impact as well).
A Night’s Sky Poem:
Imagine you are lying in your bed at night.
Look up at the ceiling and imagine the roof opens up so you could see the night’s sky.
An owl flies above you “hoo hoo.”
The moon shines into your room and makes everything glow.
Up above you is a sky full of stars.
They twinkle and shimmer like diamonds.
Can you count how many there are?
Do you see any shapes that the stars make or constellations?
Suddenly you see a shooting star.
You must be very lucky to see one so make a wish.
Now imagine that you are a star.
Your arms, legs, and head are each point of the star.
You shine and twinkle just like a star in the sky.
Relax and know that YOU ARE JUST AS BRILLIANT as the stars in the sky.
More Information and Pictures of Poses
Thicker yoga mats or doubled mats
Large screen projection can help make the book visually accessible for all students.
Observation of students form for each yoga pose.
Follow-up questions about the story and meaning of the book (growth mindset message).
(After ‘Rocket Ship Breathing’) Ask students, “When would be a good time to use this technique?” (angry, sad, stressed, etc.)
Encourage students to work on the yoga poses at home. Challenge students to read books at home and come up with their own movements, poses, and exercises that go along with the story. Great way to foster using their imagination, being creative, and being active at home.