What is the Story? | Ophea Teaching Tools

    What is the Story?

    Physical Activity Level
    • Moderate Vigorous

    • Gymnasium

    • Multipurpose

      • Appendix A

      • Appendix B

      • Appendix F

      • Marker and chart paper (1 per station)

      • Pinnies, shirts or flags

    Safety Considerations

    Before starting, inspect activity area to ensure it has safe traction and eliminate any potential hazards. Remind students to be cautious when moving, and to be aware of personal space of others. When using the gymnasium, outline the boundaries for the activity (e.g., use the basketball court boundary lines, or a set of pylons), keeping a safe distance from walls and obstacles. For activities that include jumping actions, review safe landing techniques (i.e., landing on balls of feet with knees bent).


    Students will actively and safely explore movement through the use of traditional stories or legends.

    Warm Up

    Follow The Leader

    • Divide students into groups of 2-3.
    • In their groups, students lead each other through an activity routine, slowly increasing the intensity throughout the sequence (e.g., march on the spot, heel digs, skier hops, jumping jacks, etc.). See Appendix A for ideas.
    Getting Active

    What is the Story?

    • Choose a traditional story or legend. Your school library or resource centre may have some, and see Appendix F for other ideas. The story should be approximately 2 pages. Make five photocopies of the story. Divide and cut the text into five sections of the story (of two or three paragraphs each).
    • Set up 5 stations around the gym, class, or school yard, and label them from 1 to 5. At station 1, place the 5 copies of a section of the story. At station 2, place the 5 copies of another section of the story, and so on. (Assign the story sections to stations randomly).
    • Ask students to determine an activity that has to be done at each station. This could be 10 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, 5 burpees, or 10 squats, etc. Post the activity at the station (optional).
    • Split the students into five groups. Explain that there is a race to figure out the right order of sections to be able to tell the story properly. Students must remember who is in their group (consider using pinnies or other ways to differentiate groups).
    • Assign a different starting station to each group.
    • When you say “go”, students see what activity they have to do, perform it as quickly as they can, grab just 1 copy of that story section for the group, and run to the next station.
    • After a group has completed all stations and collected the 5 sections of the story, its members must work together to read the sections and figure out the correct order of the story.

    The winner is the first team to solve the full story.

    Cool Down

    Character Stretches

    • In their same groups, students stand in a circle.
    • Reflecting on the story used in the activity, students think about how animals or characters in the story might move, and do a stretch that resembles that character or animal. Do different stretches for 1 or 2 minutes. Use Appendix B for inspiration.
    Other Considerations
    • Invited storytellers / Elders from the community to join in at the end to tell a story, perhaps the same one or something similar to the one used in this activity.
    • This activity can be done indoors or outdoors, in winter or spring / fall. Encourage students to move continuously about the whole activity area.