Jumping Jenny celebrates the joy of movement, through one intrepid little girl who challenges herself to jumping 1,000 jumps on a pogo stick. The book has a triumphant win-win ending. I often find when I finish reading with a group of children, everyone wants to get up and jump. So why not harness the joy of movement portrayed in the book, by following it with your own movement activity. It will probably also help keep your students energized and focused on their work. Here are two simple activities you can use to follow the book:
Jump and Review:
If you are working on ABC’s or counting or even multiplication tables, you can have the students jump in place as they count by 3’s or, 5’s or 10’s, or recite the ABC’s, or their multiplication tables. You can divide the class in groups so that each is responsible for a different number set. If jump ropes are available, take the activity to the gym or outdoors.
Variation on the Circuit Training Theme:
In honor of Jumping Jenny, for this circuit, why not base the movement on the jumping theme. Ask your class about all the different ways they can think of jumping. Have children offer their ideas and demonstrate for the class. These could include jumps where they turn around, where their arms are raised, where they’re on one foot, etc. Choose 5 or 6 of these different types of jumps, give them names and make signs for each one. Place the signs around the room at ‘stations’, leaving enough space between each one, so the children have enough room to jump and are not on top on one another. Have your students count off to form groups with four or five in each and direct each group to a different sign. Tell them to begin to do the motion written on the card until you ring a bell, or bang a drum or even just shout Jumping Jenny. At that point they should stop. (Each ‘station’ should be between one to two minutes) Then have each group move clockwise to the next sign and begin the new movement when you give them a signal (bell, drum, etc.). Continue until all children have had the opportunity to do every action. Here are some of the jumps you might want to include: Jumping on the spot, Star jumps, Hopping on one leg then the other, Skipping with rope, Jumping with knee raised then leg out straight (can-can style), etc.