30-Day Challenge - Writing

Day 18: Challenge Unit

Monk Fryston Olympics by Tim Green CC BY

Region Challenge Unit 

With more eLearning to come, our department has had to work out how to complete the academic year. If we were in school, we would be working on Olympic Day classes or Track and Field focus and much more direct instructional teaching as students start to tire and are not as interested in Inquiry or student-led long units – they need limited choices and more support to get them through May. eLearning is looking to be somewhat the same!


This unit is designed for us to focus on Student Engagement and Activity by offering them a different activity under week-long themes and then hosting ‘live’ Zoom Region Challenges each Thurs and Fri to earn Region points.  Students who are not available for Zoom time can upload FlipGrid videos of them doing the challenges. 

We will split students up into the 8 regions, and have G6 and G7-8 compete in their Region Teams to gather participation points each week. We may offer some ‘bonus’ points each week that is based on engagement and collaboration and fun, not on fitness or ability at this point.  

Carlos Galvez shared this Tweet about a Virtual Olympics he did at SISS for G5 students, this offered us some ideas of what we might do over a 4 x 1 week and how we might leverage participation and peer support and endorsement and community (possibly including parents or other family members too). 

Nanjing International School had a Torch Relay that we all really liked and thought that this might be a fabulous way to Launch the unit!


The discussion we had suggested that we don’t have time to do the 30-day challenge authentically based on the change in our school calendar and assessment timeline.  

This unit is designed for students to try different skills, activities and to build community by sharing both FlipGrid and live on Zoom. 

Proposal is: 

Each week to have specific focus – ex. Week 1 might be hand-eye coordination and muscular endurance 

Mon/Tues/Wed each week for practice of the chosen isolated skills that relate to the ‘themes or focuses of the week’    (Ex. Week 1 might include Juggling, Jumping Jacks, Wall toss w a ball, mountain climbers) 

Thurs/Fri would include a 15min Zoom call for each of the lessons we would normally teach.  The two teachers (or all of us who would be in that block?) then hold a 15 minute Region Challenge that incorporates those Week skills (Ex. Week 1 might be a circuit where they do 1 minute of juggling/1 min of jumping jacks/ 1 min of ball toss/ 1 min of mountain climbers OR 20 juggles/ then jumping jacks x 3 and then 30 throw/catch ball toss and 20mountain climbers x 3 – we need to decide what works) 

FlipGrid would be set up by Keith (thanks!) with 8 Grids – one for each Region 

Each Grid would have Tasks for each week – students can upload to the correct grid for participation points.  FlipGrid allows for co-pilots, we can have other PE teachers inside each grid to help monitor and feedback. 

A discussion that was had with some Middle School students was about ensuring variety in the tasks shared; that everyone was included and that we didn’t make people feel they had to be on FlipGrid or in Zoom (they don’t like people watching them, this has become increasingly more apparent with time away from friends and teachers).

We are super excited to share this unit starting May 11th – to have different colleagues responsible for the content over the four weeks, it means that we are using great content from the team and bringing our 400 students together to share and work together! I can’t wait to see how we can involve the MS teachers and the MS parents too so we can get more involvement with the community.

More to come!

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