Lesson Plans

Fall 2009 - Winter 2010

CARTWHEELS
September 28th - October 23rd

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on the cartwheel and the skills that are needed to build on cartwheels.

Cartwheels are one of the basic moves in gymnastics. Practicing cartwheels will strengthen your child's upper body and legs to help them in learning later tricks such as round-offs, walkovers, handsprings, and more.

Basic Cartwheel skills for those still learning a cartwheel will be:

  • Cartwheel
  • Walking Cartwheel
  • Cartwheels over ropes/blocks/buckets
  • Kneeling Cartwheels

For the students that already have the basics of the cartwheel:

  • Hand-on-wrist Cartwheels
  • One-Handed Cartwheels
  • Running/Skipping/Galloping Cartwheels
  • Opposite Cartwheels
  • Round-offs

Every week the children will review the cartwheels they have already been working on and they will try different techniques to improve their cartwheel. Through repetition, the skill will become easier for the child to work on and practice.

**While focusing on specific tumbling skills, the children will continue to learn skills and improve tricks on balance beam, vault, and single bar.**

FORWARD SKILLS
October 26th - November 20th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on skills that work in a "forward motion" and small variations of these forward skills.

The forward roll has a tremendous number of applications outside of gymnastics. In a forward fall, most people will sprawl out. Practicing and getting completely comfortable with a forward roll will change this reaction. In a forward fall, rolling out will greatly reduce impact and allow for a continuation of movement getting one to his/her feet with little or no interruption. Just performing the forward roll improves kinesthetic awareness and engages a large number of muscle groups.

Basic Forward Skills for those still learning Basic Rolls will be:

  • Forward Roll
  • Free Roll
  • Straddle Roll
  • Dive Roll
  • Pony Kicks/Handstands
  • Front Scale, Forward Roll
  • Tuck and Roll

For the students that already have the Basics of the Forward Skills:

  • Front Handspring
  • Handstands
  • Forward Roll, Stand without using Hands
  • Forward Roll, Cross Feet
  • Forward Roll, Step-Out
  • Forward Roll into Splits
  • Handstand, Forward Roll

Every week the children will review the forward skills they have already been working with while adding a new skill or variation. Through repetition, the skill will become easier for the child to work on and practice.

**While focusing on specific tumbling skills, the children will continue to learn skills and improve tricks on balance beam, vault, and single bar.**

BACKWARD SKILLS
November 23rd - December 18th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on skills that work in a "backward motion" and small variations of these backward skills.

In gymnastics, one of the first tumbling moves to learn is the backward roll. Although your child may be familiar with a forward roll, doing one in reverse takes a little more courage and practice. With practice, a child can learn to perform a backward roll quickly and with confidence. Learning a backward roll also opens the door for a wide variety of backward skills for a child to practice and master.

Basic Backward Skills for those still learning Backward Rolls will be:

  • Backward Roll
  • Backward Straddle Roll
  • Back Kick-Over
  • Backward Pike Roll
  • Mini-Back Handspring

For the students that already have the Basics of the Backward Rolls:

  • Backward Roll, Step-Out
  • Backward Roll to Knee Scale
  • Backward Roll to Plank
  • Backward Roll into Splits
  • Back Kick-Over, Land One Leg at a Time
  • Back Handspring

Every week the children will review the backward skills they have already been working with while adding a new skill or variation. Through repetition, the skill will become easier for the child to work on and practice as well as increase upper body and abdominal strength.

**While focusing on specific tumbling skills, the children will continue to learn skills and improve tricks on balance beam, vault, and single bar.**

HEALTH & NUTRITION
December 21st - February 12th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on Health & Nutrition while incorporating Gymnastics into a healthy lifestyle.

With pediatric obesity at an epidemic level of 13% in the United States, getting children away from television or computer games and into physical activity is a terrific first step toward a healthy lifestyle. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report that youth have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity over the long-term when undertaking lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity, reduce the intake of high-caloric foods, and involve parents. Gymnastics is perhaps one of the most comprehensive "lifestyle exercise programs" available to children, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline.

The following Health & Nutrition activities will be worked into Gymnastics:

  • Cardiovascular Activities
  • Working the importance of fruits and vegetables into each class while asking the children to try new healthy foods.
  • Incorporating food names into the gymnastics skills worked on each day such as Veggie Rolls, Banana Splits, Fruit Roll-ups, Cardio-Wheels, Veggie Scales, and Fruit Medley.
  • Giving your child a new physical activity to do each night at home instead of sitting watching television or playing video games.
  • Using "Food Props" during class to help explain the differences between healthy foods and unhealthy foods.

Beginning a physical activity such as gymnastics at an early age is no guarantee of a healthy lifestyle, but active children are more likely to grow up to be active and healthy adults. By incorporating health and nutrition into our program we are doing our best to motivate children to lead a healthy lifestyle as adults.

MOTOR SKILLS
February 15th - March 12th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on skills that combine with gross motor skills.

Gross motor skills involve:

  • Balance - the ability to maintain equilibrium
  • Body Awareness - for improved posture and control
  • Crossing of the mid-line
  • Laterality - awareness of the left and right sides of the body
  • Major Muscle Coordination
  • Spatial Orientation - Awareness of the body position in space and in relation to other objects or people

Without reasonable gross motor skills, children often struggle with the fine motor skills that are required for formal schoolwork. There are many activities that are incorporated with gymnastics that improve gross motor skills in children.

The following Gross Motor Skills will be covered:

  • Animal Walks (Bear, Monkey, Camel, Inchworm, Crab, etc.)
  • Marching
  • Galloping
  • Skipping
  • Chasse (Gallop with Straight Legs)
  • Side Chasse
  • Balancing (Scales: Front, Side, Tree, Y, etc.)
  • Throwing
  • Catching

The Gross Motor Skills will also be combined with Gymnastic Skills such as Rolls and Cartwheels.

**While focusing on specific Gross Motor Skills, the children will continue to learn skills and improve tricks on balance beam, vault, and single bar.**

COMBINATION SKILLS
March 15th - April 9th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing teaching the children tricks and skills in succession with each other.

While watching gymnastics on television, it is amazing to see the gymnasts piece together a variety of different tricks to form a routine. Learning individual gymnastic skills is the core of a youth gymnastics program while learning how to fit the skills together is the more complicated area. Not only do children have to remember which skills are in succession, they also have to successfully execute the connecting skills.

The main connecting skill taught these 4 weeks is a "step-out".

A Step-Out will be paired with the following skills:

  • Forward Roll
  • Backward Roll
  • Straddle Roll

Along with working on step-outs, different skill combinations will be taught each week in accordance to your child's skill level. Different combinations may include:

  • V-Sit Combination (forward roll, touch toes, v-sit, straddle roll)
  • Forward Roll, step-out, Cartwheel
  • Forward Roll, step out, Pony Kicks
  • Forward Roll, Straddle Roll
  • 2 Forward Rolls in a row
  • Forward Roll, Free Roll

Every week the children will review the combinations they have already learned and either learn a new combination or build on the previously taught routine. The children will also learn combinations on single bar and balance beam including a mount, core skill, and dismount.

JUMPING
April 12th - May 7th

This set of 4 weeks will be focusing on different methods of jumping and incorporating jumping into gymnastics.

5 basic jump forms include:
  • Jump - jumping from and landing on two feet
  • Hop - jumping from one foot and landing on the same foot
  • Leap - jumping from one foot and landing on the other foot
  • Assemble - jumping from one foot and landing on two feet
  • Sissonne - jumping from two feet and landing on one foot

Jumping is a basic skill for all children as they grow. Once a child learns how to jump, it is then incorporated into almost all physical activities he/she may participate in.

The following gymnastics jumps will be worked on and incorporated into tumbling skills:

  • Straight Body
  • Straddle
  • Tuck
  • Pike
  • Half-Turn
  • Full-Turn
  • Leap

**While focusing on jumps with tumbling, the children will learn to incorporate jumps into their tricks on balance beam, vault, and single bar.**