Thursday, 25 May 2017

Our Muscly Bodies

As previously posted, in 11PE we are currently exploring human anatomy. After the skeletal system, we then learnt about the musculoskeletal system.

Last year I taught Year 12 and 13 PE, and throughout the anatomy units I realised the students had a considerable gap in their knowledge. Many of the students had taken Year 11 or 12 PE in the previous year, so would have learnt about the bones and muscles, but unfortunately could not recall much of the previous learning. As a result I knew I needed to spend lots of time building students confidence and competence in Year 11, in hope to support progress moving into Years 12/13.

I have been trying to include activities which encourage students to recall the bones and muscles, but also apply their knowledge so that they are thinking a little more in depth, and also hopefully activities which they enjoy! I found an activity on Twitter where students wear jumpsuits and draw on the muscles and bones of the body, so we gave this a go yesterday!

By having students work in small groups to create the musculoskeletal system, I could quickly see which students needed some extra support and who were more confident. I liked being able to work with students one on one or in their small groups, in a relaxed environment, where they were really learning! By actually seeing a life size version of the musculoskeletal system, which they created, students were actively engaged in the activity and asking one another lots of questions. The discussion and collaboration between the students was incredible to see!

After the tracksuits, we moved outside to build on knowledge of the bones and muscles, introduce movements and revise muscle pairings. Simplistically, for every movement, there are always two major muscles (minimum) that create this movement. These two muscles are called the agonist or the antagonist, the muscle is either shortening or lengthening respectively. Additional muscles which support the movement are called synergist muscles.

The class were given chalk and asked to 'chalk their sport'. I gave the three groups one joint each (knee, hip and elbow), and asked them to think of one part of a sport where that joint is used, then label the joint, the movement and the bones and muscles (including the agonist and antagonist). Like the jumpsuit activity, I was able to discuss with students what they were creating in their groups and could easily identify who was confident. To extend the students a little further, I asked each group to explain their drawing with their peers including which muscle is lengthening and which is extending. 

I really enjoyed this lesson and feel confident the students all learnt at least one new thing, and many felt more confident with the application of anatomy. Moving forward I am looking forward to starting biomechanics soon (e.g. Balance & Stability/Levers) followed by exercise physiology!

I was also observed by Anne Sinclair for this lesson for additional evidence towards my registration. To see Anne's feedback, please head hereAdditionally, please visit my appraisal site if you would like to see any of my other evidence.


  1. This was a super lesson Georgia. I have been enjoying it vicariously through the observation document Anne wrote and now your post. Your learners are so fortunate!

    1. I hope they enjoyed the lesson as much as I did! I am intrigued to see how much of the information they retain and can apply when we move onto biomechanics. Thanks for your comment :)


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