Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Jump for Joy

Rhonda Gibbons
Bay District Schools


Students learn the basic skills necessary to jump and land correctly to the rhythm of clapping or music.


The student demonstrates basic locomotor skills (e.g., hop, walk, run, jump, leap, gallop, skip, and slide).

The student knows various techniques for landing safely.


-Teacher-made assessment checklist
-Stopwatch or watch
-Mats for landing (optional)
-Music source if desired (CD player, etc.)


1. Create a student assessment checklist. (See Assessments for criteria)
2. If you desire, provide a musical source such as a CD player or tape player. You need something with a slow two-fourths time beat and a faster paced four-fourths beat.


1. Begin by having students hold hands and form a circle. Have them take three large steps back and spread out their arms to find the self-space (the space around your body as far as you can reach while standing still).

2. While standing in the center of the circle, slowly, but loudly begin to clap your hands in a slow two-fourths time rhythm.

3. Ask the students to try this.

4. Speed up to a faster four-fourths beat.

5. Ask the students to try this.

1. Tell students, “Today we will be using different rhythms to help us focus on our new skill. Can anyone guess what skill we are going to learn today? That's right! We are going to jump and when you jump you must also land. Today we will learn to jump and land correctly. That sounds easy, doesn't it?”

1. Tell students, “Watch while I jump and land. Then, I will call on some of you to tell me what it is that I am doing.”

2. Begin with a non-example: Jump with stiff knees and land the same way on the heels of your feet.

3. Ask, “Now who can tell me what I just did? That's right, I did look funny. I jumped and landed all wrong. What did I do wrong? Yes, I forgot to bend my knees when I jumped and when I landed. It is important to bend your knees. Did I jump very high or very far? No? I forgot to do something else. When you jump you bend your kness and you push off with your toes. That big push up with the toes is like the rocket power that helps the Space Shuttle take off. Without that, you just won't get into the air. Oh, one more thing, I forgot to land softly on the balls of my feet. I landed on my heels, didn't I? Let me see if I can get it right this time.”

4. Jump again, correctly this time.

5. Tell students, “Wow, I went a lot higher that time because I did it correctly. What did I do? Right, I bent my knees, I pushed off with my toes, and I landed on the balls of my feet with my knees soft and bent.”

1. Explain to students, “Now, I want you to jump for thirty seconds without stopping, while I walk around and watch.”

2. Time students for thirty seconds and refine any mistakes by cuing students as to the proper technique.

3. After thirty seconds, if they are ready, proceed to the jumping with rhythm activity. If they are not, repeat this part.

1. Tell them you are going to jump while they clap or if you desire, play music.

2. Have them mimic you clapping a slow two-fourths time beat, then begin to jump while they clap.

3. Say, “Do you think you can do that?”

1. Have them jump for thirty seconds while you clap or play music to a two-fourths time beat.

2. Refine their skills by cuing them as needed.

1. Say, “Now we will speed up the beat.”

2. Clap out or play music with a quick four-fourths beat.

3. Have students mimic the clapping, or if using music, have them watch while you jump.

4. Say, “How many think you can do this? I will clap or play music while you all jump to the beat.”

5. Try this for thirty seconds.

6. Refine mistakes by cuing them as needed.

7. Compliment them. (“Great Job!”)

1. Ask, “Who can tell me what we learned today?” (“Yes, jumping and landing.”)

2. “What are some of the skills we used to jump?” (“Yes,we bent our knees and pushed off with our toes.”)

3. “How about landing?” (“Yes, that's right, we landed on the balls of our feet with the knees bent.”)

4. “Next time we will learn how to jump a moving object.”

5. End with a compliment. (“You all did wonderful job.”)


1. Observe students as they jump and land, looking for the specific skills and recording them on the student assessment check list.

The students jump and land to the beat of clapping or music for thirty seconds using bent knees and pushing off with their toes while landing softly on the balls of their feet with knees bent.

2. Students who do not master the skills during the first lesson should be remediated and given an opportunity to try the skill again.


For students who lack sufficent motor skills, the lesson could be broken down into smaller segments. For example, rather than jumping to the beat of clapping/music, they could focus entirely on jumping and landing on the first day and could progress to jumping to a beat. Also mats could be used to prevent injuries if students are apt to fall.

Web Links

Web supplement for Jump for Joy
PE Central

Web supplement for Jump for Joy
Utah Link

Web supplement for Jump for Joy
PE Links for You

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.