Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities


Sample from
Content Development Chart






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Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities (PE 445)



The following is a portion of a content development chart which was created for teaching cross-country skiing techniques on the flat.  Note that the words in the red font are cues which may help your students form a mental image of the technique.  It's just one more way (in addition to verbal descriptions, visual demonstrations of the technique - and sometimes kinesthetic instruction) which may help the student move quicker through that first stage of learning a physical activity - the cognitive stage.


For the Test . . .


For the upcoming test, you'll need to think of an activity that you know well.  Then draw up a content development chart to be used in teaching a few skills from that activity. Here are the minimum requirements for the test:


1. Include at least three (3) skills listed under the Extension (Progression) column.

If you look at the chart below, you notice that three skills are covered: side step, in-place turning around tails, and in-place turning around tips. Thus, for the test, you'll want to select three skills from your chosen activity. 

2. Include at least ten (10) descriptive phases under the Refinement column.

The ten phrases are for all three skills. For example, you might have two phrases for the first skill, five phases for the second skill and three phrases for the last skill.


Here's an example of what I mean by "descriptive phase" from the chart below: "Pick up one ski - set it down to the right - keep skis parallel like railroad tracks." That would be one descriptive phase. If you count the number of descriptive phrases below, you'll find a total of 18, so there is more than enough to meet the requirements of the test.


You do not have to use complete sentences.  In the Refinement column, try to come up with a couple of words that help create an image in your students' minds. 


3. Include at least one (1) descriptive phase in the Application column.

The application column is usually the hardest to flesh out with a relevant task. Try to think of something that makes the skill real and useful, some sort of task that helps your students understand how they might use that skill. In the sample content chart below, I have three descriptive phases in the Application column, one for each skill. You only need one descriptive phase.


4. You can select any outdoor activity, including cross country skiing as long as it doesn't include the skills in the chart below.




Sample Content Development Chart


Extension (Progression) Refinement Application
Side Step

Pick up one ski – set it down to the right – keep skis parallel like railroad tracks.  Pick up the other bring it together with the first.  Think that you have really long shoes – you don't want to cross them!

Lay down a rope, have them step over the rope.

In Place Turning (Around Tails)

Pick up the tip of your ski – point it off to the right.  Keep the tails of the skis together.  In a “V” or like a pizza slice.  Now bring your skis together.  Lets make another “V” another pizza slice.  Point the tip off to the right.  Bring your skis together.  Keeping going all the way around the pizza pan.

Face me.  Now face away. Face Me.

In Place Turning
(Around Tips)

Pick up the tail – point it off to right.  Keep tips together.  Make a pizza slice or we can called this a wedge.  Now bring your skis together.  Make another pizza slice or wedge.  Bring your skis together.  Keep going around.

Face me.  Now face away. Face Me.







Aim HighThis page was created for the Outdoor Methods website.  Outdoor Methods is a course for Outdoor Education Majors and Minors at Idaho State University.











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