Motor skills are actions that control how muscles move the body. Gross motor skills are those that control the large muscles of the body which are used to walk, run, crawl, sit, jump, and other large muscle activities. Preschool teachers and daycare providers can enhance gross motor skill development through effective lesson plans that include gross motor activities.
When developing curriculum, preschool teachers and daycare providers must include age-appropriate activities for young children that develop physical gross motor skills. Shark in the ocean is an activity that will promote major muscle coordination and enhance rebound activities and spatial relationships.
Children learn gross motor skills through practice. Activities which involve hopping, jumping, and climbing as well as games which involve catching and kicking balls are great examples of activities that promote the development of gross motor skills.
This “Shark in the Ocean” lesson plan includes the preparation instructions, procedures, and materials list for this activity. It also provides age-appropriate learning objectives and a sample of the simple supporting verbal cues necessary to encourage participation and support learning. This activity is also a great activity for summer and to include in summer lesson plans.
Shark in the Ocean Activity Materials
- Large colorful parachute
- Spacious activity area
Shark in the Ocean Activity Preparation
- Clear an activity area that is large enough so that all children have proper space while performing their movements.
- Lay the parachute flat.
Invite the children over to activity area and explain that they can play a fun summer game with a parachute.
Ask the children to sit on the floor holding the parachute and their legs stretched out underneath it. Encourage the children to pretend they are sitting on the ocean floor with their legs in the water and that the parachute is the water. Let children shake the parachute to create waves.
Select one child to be a shark and to go under the parachute. The selected child (the shark) then moves around under the parachute as the children makes the waves. The “shark” chooses one child and touches his or her foot feet and the child then goes under the parachute, so that there will be no sharks. Continue until there are no children left making waves.
Objective 1: To promote whole arm movement as well as hand and wrist control.
- Verbal Cue A: Can you shake the parachute to create waves?
- Verbal Cue B: Let’s shake the parachute fast to make small waves!
Objective 2: To create the opportunity to engage in relay activities.
- Verbal Cue A: Tommy, can you tag a new shark?
- Verbal Cue B: Jane you are now a shark. Do you want to select another shark to join you?
Objective 3: To develop spatial relationships (body and space perception) using the prepositions forward, backward, and straight ahead in verbal cues.
- Verbal Cue A: Can you crawl straight ahead underneath the waves?
- Verbal Cue B: Crawl forward and select another shark.
Please keep in mind that this is not a competitive activity, it is simply a fun, skill building activity. Therefore do not enforce rules that promote competition.
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