On your mark. Get set. GO!
With that, the Episcopal first graders began the 2017 Healthy Selves Triathlon!
The first leg of the race required six year olds to swim the entire length of the pool. With stripes, polka dots, flags and fish themed bathing suits the children took to the pool with joy, excitement and surprisingly little splash. Meanwhile, parents cheered from the stands and coaches helped the swimmers cross the 25 meter pool. Afterwards, it was onto the bike lap which meant strapping on helmets and shoes and heading for the back of campus.
As they rounded the path, the youngsters were met by their classmates and friends from Pre-K and kindergarten who eagerly yelled through the playground fence. Once around, the students dropped their bikes and began the running lap. This is where they were met with the full force of the older Lower School students. Second graders chanted “Go 1st grade!” Parents and friends held posters and everywhere cameras were snapping. For the grand finale the students got to finish the triathlon with a run through the official Episcopal Knights football tunnel. What a day to be in first grade!
As the students told parents and staff before the triathlon began, the three sport event is the culmination of the Healthy Selves project based learning unit. Over the course of five weeks the students focused on what it means to be healthy. Students learned what constitutes a healthy plate, how to grow lettuce, how to make healthy snacks and smoothies and even how to stop a bleeding nose. There were yoga lessons, experiments on how germs spread and visits from a neurologist and dentist.
A project of this size requires tremendous collaboration between a range of teachers and staff. The PE teachers and coaching staff were all very involved along with the school chef, dance instructor and school nurse. The project truly highlights how project based learning touches every aspect of the child’s day and creates a team of school staff members ready and willing to help.
The hope is that such emphasis really makes an impact on the students and that the information is retained. Besides, how many six year olds can say they’ve completed a triathlon?!
To learn more about project based learning at Episcopal click here.