Big-Top Talents Make Lincoln a Circus
Big-Top Talents Make Gym Class
A Real Circus
Clowning around in school may be generally frowned upon, but those frowns were turned upside down when the Circus Arts unit came to Lincoln Avenue gym classes. Offered by Physical Ed teacher Elizabeth Bolger, the elementary students at Lincoln were actually encouraged and had no trouble uncovering their Big-Top talents.
“The kids LOVE it!” Elizabeth Bolger shared, listing some of her reasons for offering it again this year. “I find the unit really emphasizes the fact that ‘practice makes perfect’ since these skills take repetition and patience to learn. It also has a great teamwork component since the students must cooperate and work together to perform some of the skills/activities.”
In addition to learning how to juggle various objects such as scarves, balls, rings, pins, and devil sticks, which increases their hand-eye coordination, students engaged in various circus stunts, such as stilts, tumbling, balance boards, cup stacking, spinning plates, diablos, and the “tight rope.”
Ms. Bolger appreciated the willingness of her students to work at each activity. “In this unit, we focus on commitment to excellence and improvement. It is a great way to teach the students about goal setting. It also emphasizes uniqueness and individual creativity and boosts their self-esteem.”
At the end of the unit, the students were asked to work in teams to prepare a circus act, which they performed for their classmates. Leading by example, Physical Education teachers Elizabeth Bolger, Steve Neugebauer, and student teacher Chris Yonick also appeared in the clown attire to everyone’s delight. “It is remarkable how much the students improved,” Ms. Bolger remarked, “and how creative they can be!!”
…And, how much fun they had when gym class became a circus.