Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Wii Obstacle Course Brain Break

I can take absolutely no credit for this brain break - I learned this from Erica Peplinski at IFLT this past summer (in turn, she may have learned it from Annabelle Williamson). She even has her own blog post where she references this. In many ways, it is such a basic brain break, but wow, it is actually really fun - the Wii Obstacle Course. Today is the second day of school, and I thought I would try it out - it went well!

The brain break is basic: project a Wii Obstacle Course video, and have your students run the course! You as the teacher are running the course with them and yelling out commands in the target language.

The only target language TPR commands which you need are:
  • run (currite - Latin)
  • jump (salite - Latin)
  • to the left (sinistrorsum - Latin)
  • to the right (dextrorsum - Latin)
  1. Project the Wii Obstacle Course video on the screen. I use the following video, but there are SO many out there - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIYK-5xbA38
  2. On the settings tab, change the playback speed. The "normal" setting goes too slow - Erica Peplinski says that the 1.5/1.75 playback speed is the best.  
  3. Have your students stand up.
  4. Tell students that they are going to run (in place) the Wii Obstacle Course with you.
  5. I start the video at 0:13. From 0:23-0:30, I have students "stretch" along with the character on screen.
  6. From 0:38-1:40, we "run" the course as a class, and yes, I am participating with them! I am also yelling out commands as we "run" - you can do the course for longer amounts of time or run different parts of the course. 
  1. Erica Peplinski does this with elementary school students, so I was a bit leery about doing this with high school students, because I thought that they would think it would be stupid. I was actually surprised by how many got into it!
  2. I had a number of students who wanted to do more levels of the obstacle course, but I was winded after running it with them and yelling out commands!
  3. You as the teacher need to ham it up with your students for this to work!
  4. When Erica demo'd this at IFLT, all of us teachers who attended her presentation had a lot of fun with this!

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