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Building teamwork through Physical Education

Mr. Chris Tenkin’s fourth grade physical education class is participating in a “Team Building” unit. The students take a moment to pose for this picture while levitating one of their classmates nearly twelve inches off the ground. Each student is only using two fingers to complete this task!

Mr. Chris Tenkin teaches physical education (K-5) here at Union Elementary school. Currently, the unit of study his classes are working on is “Team Building.”

“What is team building, and why would we teach this to elementary students?” Team building is the organized act of bringing two or more people together to work cooperatively in order to accomplish a specific task or tasks.

Believe it or not, team building begins in the home with your immediate family. Team building is also found on all sports teams, in school—amongst grade levels, classrooms, and smaller subgroups within classrooms. Team building is also found in the workplace, and as well, throughout many other areas of life.

Some of the team building skills that are introduced and practiced in physical education class are as follows: listening, speaking, problem solving, cooperation, creativity, trust, courage, bonding, ice-breaking, and the ability to change one’s thinking from selfishness to selflessness. Some of the activities we had accomplished in class were: Hula-Hoop race, Human Knot, Gravity Ball, Willow in the Wind, Class Seat, and Stranded on an Island.

As adults, the importance of team building is clear when attempting to successfully accomplish tasks. In today’s ever changing, complex world, jobs are becoming more and more specialized, and the need to bring these specialists together to form a team becomes even more important. However, for elementary students, the concept of team building is abstract, challenging, and even frustrating at times. Through age-appropriate teaching and conditioning, students will learn and succeed as they learn the art of team building.

In conclusion, one of our obligations as educators is to prepare our students for the twenty-first century while thinking globally. Team Building skills for all children will continue to be an integral part of their education, and at the elementary level, we will continue to teach these skills through fun and creative problem solving activities.



Written by: Chris Tenkin, Physical Education Teacher
Posted: Dec 17, 2010 by Jennifer Williams

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