December 7, 2012

Go BIG This Holiday Season

Holiday Projector Activity

I am the kind of teacher that likes to spice things up during the holidays. My theory is that if the kids are going to be excited and anxious, then why not throw something at them that will blow them away. Holiday activities are an easy way to do this. Many of these activities can be molded to fit your classroom or changed slightly so that it is just different enough to do again.

For Halloween we tried out a new activity that my co teacher found on another blog we follow called Kinesitechnology. We tried it and it was such a huge hit that we have designed our own Christmas Holiday version to try out this upcoming holiday season. This is just a small snip-it of what this activity looks like.

The activity requires one or two LCD projectors that instantly turns the gym into an obstacle course.  We had to borrow one from a friend, but are in the process of trying to find old projectors that are not being used in the district.  We used Power Point and displayed it life size on the wall to make the animations. Students look at their shadow against the wall and try and make it across the screen without hitting any of the obstacles.
This is one of the configurations that you can use. You can
put the projectors on any wall you want so that it will work
with your gym.

Depending on how many students and how much space you have, you can use one or two projectors. We added extra obstacles (hula hoops, balance beam, scooters) on the floor between the screens so that students would be spaced out more and not have to wait in lines. The students move counter clockwise around the gym. The biggest problem I saw with the activity at Halloween was when the students got to close too the screen. If they get too close they will not be able to see the animations on the wall, which then defeats the purpose. This time, we helped out the students by putting a line on the floor to keep them the right distance away from the wall. Another thing we are really pointing out during this activity is to face the wall. When students do this, they tend to slow down and can see what they are doing more clearly. When they face sideways they tend to run through hitting all of the obstacles, because they are not able to see them as well. With these modifications and being able to do this a second time, we are expecting great things out of this activity!

Below I have provided the PowerPoint we are using for this activity. If you are looking for something new, this might be the activity for you. Just like any idea, make it work for you. (monitor and adjust) To view the PowerPoint presentation we used, click the picture below. If you decide to try this activity, use this PowerPoint or you can easily make your own for any season or occasion.

Other Obstacles We Used

Below are pictures and short descriptions we used around the gym between the two screens. These are just some we came up with using our existing equipment. The signs are made from a batting tees wrapped in streamer paper. Then, we cut out letters, glued, laminated and taped the top to the post. The snow around the bottom is just bulletin board paper. You can use old fabric or even cheap sheets for this effect too.

Students have to cross the the Seas of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops
 by walking over the balance beam one at a time then jump from
hoop to hoop on two feet.
Students have to follow the dotted line from the green line to the red.
 K-2 uses a locomotor skill of their choice, while 3-5 uses a floor scooter.
Students leap from hoop to hoop from one end of the forest to
another. You can use what ever locomotor skill you like.

If you have any questions or want to share what activities you use during the Holidays, please comment below. I encourage comments, because I love to learn too!


  1. I did this about four years ago with a little twist and turned it into a throwing activity with students required to strike the objects which were moving on the screen to receive points. At the end of the nominated time the students received a score. Well done, I think you will agree its well worth the effort in setup

  2. We were thinking of changing it up for a second time around. Right now we are working on fleeing and dodging and change it up to striking. As the students walk thru the screen they will try and jump up or duck and actually touch the objects instead of avoiding them.

  3. I love this idea. I might try it with my TMD class!

  4. How do you make these powerpoint presentations?