Parkour in Physical Education

Parkour SignTeaching parkour is a great way to get students active with their surroundings inside or outside, and to get them excited about taking safe risks and enjoying movement. Below are parkour learning targets, a sample workout, and a rubric/assessment. They can be used as a lesson, a unit, or a single day devoted to purely fitness. One of the best parts of parkour is that you can use your gym’s wrestling room or outside areas. It’s a versatile activity and a fun way for students to get their CREATIVE on! 

What is Parkour?

  • Parkour is an art of movement in which you train the body and mind to overcome obstacles.
  • It emphasizes strength, flexibility, balance, body control, creativity, fluidiyt, discipline, and precision.
  • Parkour movements include running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and crawling.
  • Parkour training focuses on safety, responsibility, overcoming fear, and self-improvement.
    Source: Apex Movement

Parkour Student Learning Targets

​I use four learning targets with my students throughout our Parkour unit and use a rubric to assess them on each.

  1. I can show body control by the way I use agility on the course. Agility is the ability to change directions quickly.
  2. I can show body control on the course by the way I maintain my balance.
  3. I can show power by the way I jump vertically.
  4. I can show coordination and use various parts of my body by the way I run, vault, climb and roll.

Once we’ve established and reviewed the learning targets, we move into the activity (sample below).

The Parkour Workout

Girl walking balance beamWhen teaching Parkour to my students, I first introduce various movements and have them practice each in 2-minute circuits. Next, I combine the circuits into a workout. Finally, I ask students to work in small groups to develop a parkour course or workout.

  • 2-Minute Circuits for Practice
    • Jumps
    • Drop and Roll
    • Vaults
    • Vertical Wall Runs
    • Balance
    • Hand Stands and Wall Stands
  • Combine the circuits to create a workout
    • Students move through on their own
  • Design A Course
    • Have students work with a small group to develop a parkour course
    • Use the equipment provided without moving

Upon completion of the lesson, I use the below rubric to assess students on the learning targets as defined above.

Parkour Standards-Based Rubric/Assessment

7-8

The student recalls and applies a range of skill and techniques, recalls and applies a range of strategy, and recalls and applies information to perform at a high level.

5-6

The student recalls and applies skill and techniques, recalls and applies strategy, and applies information to perform effectively.

3-4

The student recalls skill and techniques, recalls strategy, and applies information to perform.

0-2

The student rarely/never shows skill or techniques, does not show strategy, and rarely/never works for achieve success.

Need additional resources? The Lets Parkour PRO app (available on iTunes® for $1.99) is a great resource for teaching parkour in PE. The app features 112 elements or movements with a detailed lesson and video of each.

 

 

Jo is a Physical Education Teacher and Department Chair at Lesher IB World Middle School in Fort Collins, CO. She is also a member of the Physical Education Cadre Team for the Colorado Department of Education. She was the 2005 Central District Middle School PE Teacher of the Year and the 2004 Missouri Middle School PE Teacher of the Year.

Jo is a Physical Education Teacher and Department Chair at Lesher IB World Middle School in Fort Collins, CO. She is also a member of the Physical Education Cadre Team for the Colorado Department of Education. She was the 2005 Central District Middle School PE Teacher of the Year and the 2004 Missouri Middle School PE Teacher of the Year.

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