Back to Front | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Back to Front

    Physical Activity Level
    • Moderate Vigorous

    • Classroom

    • Multipurpose

      • Appendix B

      • Instruments (e.g., tambourines, rattles, drums)

    Safety Considerations

    Before starting, inspect the activity area to eliminate any potential hazards. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others.


    Students will actively and safely explore activities that incorporate locomotor movements and First Nations culture.

    Warm Up

    Walkin’ Talkin’ Warm-Up

    • Call out “Walk”, and students walk silently, anywhere in the activity area. When you call out “Talk”, students face the person closest to them.
    • Provide students with a topic to discuss while they walk in place; topics could relate to any subject area or could simply encourage social interaction (e.g., “What is your favourite sport?”, “Do you like fishing?”). If the students speak their traditional language, encourage them to use it. Members of the pairs take turns asking and answering questions.
    • After 1 minute or less of talking, call out the signal “Walk” again, and continue the activity, with students gradually increasing their walking pace as they walk and talk.
    • Finish with students forming groups of 3–6, and taking turns leading their group around the activity area in a way that starts with the first letter of their name (e.g., Twisting Tom, Swimming Stephanie, Jumping Jordan).
    Getting Active

    Back to Front 1

    • Students spread out around the activity area, face the front of the space, and walk quickly in place.
    • Ask students a series of questions that can be answered with yes or no. Topics could be related to First Nations cultures, other themes that are being taught, or just general questions (e.g., “Are you Mohawk / Cree / Ojibway?”, “Do you have brothers or sisters?”, “Is the Turtle clan one of our Nation’s clans?”).
    • When answering “Yes”, students do a half turn to face the back, and walk quickly on the spot. When answering “No”, students continue to face the front and walk quickly on the spot. With each question, students continue to do a half turn if they answer “Yes” or stay in the same position if they answer “No”. When facing either direction, they continue to walk quickly on the spot.
    • Every few minutes, restart the activity but give them a new move to do, (e.g., alternate knee lifts, jump and twist, leg kicks, “skip rope”, free choice).

    Back to Front 2

    • Students work in pairs, standing one behind the other.
    • Call out “Front” to have the student in front lead their partner around the activity area, using a variety of speeds, directions, levels, pathways, and movements.
    • Call out “Back” to have the students change positions, so the student at the back is now facing the front to become the new leader.
    • After a few minutes, call “Switch” to have students find a new partner. Continue to call “Front,” “Back,” and “Switch.”
    Cool Down

    Robotic March

    • Students march around the activity area pretending to be robots, without touching anything or anyone.
    • As students continue to make robotic movements, ask them to pretend that they are: marching on egg shells, making their way through a pot of wet spaghetti, walking on the moon, up to their knees in water, etc.
    • Use something to create a beat (e.g., clap hands, shake a tambourine, tap Lummi sticks, beat on a drum). Students move to the beat as you gradually slow the tempo. On the final beat, ask students to freeze in their positions.
    • Lead (or ask a student to lead) a series of stretches. Consult the examples in Appendix B.
    Other Considerations
    • Before the warm-up, ask students to brainstorm discussion topics, or create a list of topics that relate to what they are now learning in class.
    • Encourage students to gradually increase their walking speed during the warm-up. Playing music while students walk adds to the enjoyment.
    • If instruments are available, give students rattles, clams, drums or other objects that can be used to make a beat.
    • Ask students to generate a list of questions for Back to Front 1.
    • Encourage students to gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of moves as they walk around the activity area during Back to Front 2.
    • Challenge students to add arm movements as they walk and run.
    • Consider playing music to help inspire and motivate students. (See Appendix D for ideas)