by Joey Feith
I have a confession to make.
To those of you who know me, this will come as no surprise.
I’m a dork.
Growing up, I was a big fan of Pokemon. I was a little older than most Pokefans, but that didn’t change the fact that I loved everything about the game. I watched the show, I played the video game (Blue), and got into the cards when they came out (which scored me my first job at a hobby shop where I worked the cash and ran tournaments on Saturday mornings).
I’m not sure exactly what it is about Pokemon that has always intrigued me. I mean, they’re cute and all, but I don’t think it was that. Looking back, I think it was the combination of being surprised when you found one in the game along with the challenge of “catching ’em all” as they say.
Anyway, all that to say that I like Pokemon and (unashamedly still) think they’re pretty cool.
Ok, so why am I saying this?
Two years ago, I was on recess duty at my school. We’re really lucky at St. George’s School of Montreal to have a sweet school yard: a nice turf field, lots of playground equipment, a nature trail, and even school gardens. All this to say that, as I stood there on duty, I started wondering how many different types of insects live in our school yard.
I challenged some students to go find as many different bugs as they could. As I joined in on the hunt, I came up with the idea of creating a template where students could register and document the different insects they observed. I thought it would be cool if we named the template NatureDex, after my beloved PokeDex of yesteryear (a PokeDex is the tool you use in Pokemon to register all of the Pokemon you catch and get clues on those you haven’t yet).
As I toyed around with the NaturedDex idea, I realized that this idea was something that I could use in physical education class. Instead of bugs (which I’m not a real fan of anyway), it could be a tool where students could register and document the different types of activities they experienced. Just like a PokeDex, it could help inspire students to go out and look for new ways of being active.
And that is how I started to work on The ActivityDex.
The ActivityDex is an interactive Google Slides template that anyone can use to keep track of all of the different ways they are active throughout their life. The challenge is to submit entries for as many different activities as possible. In other words, you gotta live ’em all!
To add a copy of the ActivityDex to your Google Drive, use this link: http://bit.ly/activitydex
Once you’ve added the ActivityDex to your Drive, you’ll see that the tool organizes activities based on the environment in which they traditionally take place (just as a PokeDex can help you view Pokemon based on their type… I was always a Grass-type trainer). Pro tip: Use the links throughout the document to quickly navigate to where you want to go (I spent a lot of time on those links, so enjoy them!)
When you have not yet experienced a physical activity, that activity’s slide will have a placeholder image.
When you engage in a new physical activity, you can fill in the placeholder information for that activity to complete your entry.
Listen, typing and reading is cool and all… but this would be way more fun if we had some kind of “Professor Oak Introduces Us To The World Of Pokemon” video, but for the ActivityDex…
CUE MY MUSIC!!!
Yeah, I spent my weekend making this. So what!? When’s the last time you scratched something off your bucket list!? (I’m only half joking)
How Can This Be Used?
There are a lot of different ways you can use the ActivityDex in your teaching:
You can have your students start their own ActivityDex that they can keep and update on their own. Although this doesn’t need to be used for any kind of assessment purposes, it could come in handy when assessing different standard three and/or standard five outcomes.
You can create a friendly competition to see who can experience as many different physical activities within the school year by creating an ActivityDex for each grade/class you teach. Each student within that grade/class can contribute to their grade/class’ ActivityDex. You can set this up in the sharing settings in Google Slides.
Get your entire school community active by putting out a school-wide challenge. Create a public ActivityDex and encourage students, faculty, staff, admin, and families to contribute! Think of how fun it would be to browse through all of the different ways people are active within your school community!
Who are we kidding? You’ll probably want to start your own ActivityDex (or at least one for your family). Adventure awaits!
The Team #PhysEd ActivityDex
Ok, so I’m way too excited about this idea of a group ActivityDex, so let’s start one. I’m inviting everyone from Team #PhysEd (that means you) to contribute to our very own “Team #PhysEd ActivityDex”! To contribute, bookmark this ActivityDex and feel free to upload whenever you can! Let’s have some fun with this!
Thank you so much for reading! Again, I just really want to say thank you to everyone for your ongoing support!
September 12, 2018
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