Kayaking has become one of the fastest growing recreational activities in recent years. My experience in local schools and summer camps has been that kids are typically very interested in this activity and are excited to have the opportunity to learn more about the sport, especially if that involves being able to paddle a kayak. Since 2002, I have been presenting customized kayaking programs and teacher in-service seminars for physical education departments at several local high schools. These programs generally vary in length from one to five days, but longer units can also be arranged. The teachers and I discuss objectives for the class, available resources, and then determine the appropriate content for the program.
Following are sample programs based on the number of days that I might visit a class as well as a video showcasing the activities of a typical physical education class.
Paddling is also a great activity for students with mobility challenges. In a canoe or kayak, these students experience the same freedom of movement as their peers. I hold an instructor endorsement in “Adaptive Paddling” from the American Canoe Association. Please contact me if you have questions about using kayaks in your special education classes.
While I can certainly help you to energize a physical education class by bringing kayaks into the pool, it doesn’t stop there. For schools without aquatic facilities, I can give presentations in a classroom or gymnasium that involve hands-on exposure to the different types of kayaks and acccessory gear including the American Canoe Association’s “SmartStart for Paddlers” and the “Paddle Safe, Paddle Smart” curriculum. Science teachers can take classes out into a natural aquatic laboratory or use kayaks to teach principles of physics. Math teachers can use navigation and orienteering to demonstrate practical applications for math concepts. English teachers can use the beauty and serenity of lakes and rivers to inspire creativity in writing, and history teachers can have their students follow the liquid highways that influenced the development of our country. A kayaking field trip can also be just a great way to end a school year, especially for 8th graders who will be going their separate ways as they move into high school.
The list of topics below under “Seminars and Clinics” can also help to give you ideas about ways that a presentation by SherriKayaks Outdoor Programs might add some variety to your curriculum.
If you are interested in finding ways to incorporate kayaking or other outdoor skills into your school’s curriculum, I invite you to contact me by phone at 262-895-2008 or send me an e-mail. My school programs are both flexible and affordable. I can also provide you with references, if you like.
“the three-day kayaking unit was the highlight of most of our students’ physical education experience. Students were excited to challenge themselves. . .Kayak polo and wet exits sent a buzz throughout the school. . .Every student, even our non-swimmers, enjoyed the kayaking experience. . .We are thrilled to add kayaking to our outdoor education curriculum.”
–Dave Shaw, Whitefish Bay High School
Read a Waukesha North High School newsletter article about kayaking in physical education classes. – “Kayaking “101” in physical education. . .”
The above video is another example of how kayaking can be incorporated into a larger “adventure PE” program at your school. This program was implemented at a school in Fresno, California.