My 7 yr old daughter and I will be doing an assembly at her school for grades 1 - 9. If all works out this will be the first step in getting interest for a uni club at her school.
I am thinking of doing a few freestyle tricks (my trick list is limited), some trials (some hopping, skinnies, a few drops and some gaps) and showing some short videos of MUni, trials, freestyle, etc. I’m also thinking of taking all my unis to show differences in riding/uni needs. I have a coker, KH24, 24" semcycle XL, 20" freestyle and 16". My daughter can do freemounts, skinnies, a teeter totter (sp?) and low drops. Oh yeah, she can also hop 0.5" - 1" high. (It’s a start)
I also am thinking of doing a demonstration on the basics and covering how a person learns to ride.
Objectives for the assembly are:
Develop interest and initiate recruitment for a uni club at this school
Educate kids on the variety of uni styles
Any thoughts or experiences on what works best for getting the kids interested in uni?
Show them what the uni can do. First in your hands, then on the video. Universe 2 would be nice (not the whole thing). Keep the talking to a minimum and the action going for that age group.
I think to motivate kids it’s important to reinforce the message that “you can do this.” It seems impossible at first, but if you stick with it you will learn. Show the basic steps of learning to ride, but don’t spend more than max. 5 minutes on it.
Finish by opening the floor to questions. For best results, get most of your questions from the third graders and up. Most school unicycle programs start around grade 4 or 5. As you go younger, more and more time is needed to get success on the unicycles. The very youngest kids don’t usually have useful questions.
Now there’s a dilema! My daughter will be in 2nd grade, I almost have to allow 2nd graders in the club. How could I exclude my daughter? I would assume that more adult supervision would be needed with the younger ones (2nd and 3rd graders). I would think extra encouragement might be needed at the younger age. Any one have experience with really young kids in a club?
I was just talking about taking questions in your assembly. Of course you can have the younger kids in your club. If it’s to be a school-based club, your needs and requirements (and limitations) will be different from if it’s something you are in control of.
Younger kids generally take a little longer to learn, and will need more supervision if they don’t stay on task very long. If you need more adult supervision you might have to require parents to hang out (if it’s outside school hours), or otherwise share the load with you, perhaps on a rotating schedule, to be your assistants.
look to MTV for presentation style
and i’m not being facetious
as john ponted out ref the ‘learning to ride’ segment, keep it short and varied
when u do the introduction of the different unicycles, dont do the whole lot one after the other
rather take one, give them a brief description of what it is and what it’s used for
then show them some skills u can do on that uni and move to the video of skills being done on that particular uni (if this is technologically possible at the venue, if not, and u have to play your entire video segment at the end, mention that there will be some footage of that kind of unicycle in the video later)
go to a short ‘bridging’ section about the youngest and oldest unicyclists in the world
and go to the second uni
for ‘bridging’ sections u can use info about the history of the unicycle,
unicycle records, (distance, speed, height (ridden on ref sem or jumped with)),
info about learning to ride (ask klaas for the use of some of the info from his stats),
the situation with unicycling in japanese schools,
the different sports played on unicycles (unicycle quidditch is bound to get some reaction)
and maybe some info about the big national and international uni-meets
these sections should be no longer than 45seconds
think MTV, there’s a 3-4minute video on, when that’s finished there’s some strangely eye-catching ‘drop-in’ before they move to the next video
this is what i mean by MTV-style presentation
getting the kids to buy into your presentation right at the beginning should be pretty easy cause u’ve got some very shiny, very kewl toys there
the last assembly they had was about brushing their teeth
u’ll be a hero before u even start
i normally work with adult groups (and then it’s a corporate juggling workshops) so please dont think of this as advice
think of this as a couple of thoughts i’m dropping in here for other people with more of a backround in working with kids to comment on
i’d also like to hear people’s thoughts on starting the presentation off by asking the kids a bunch of questions to get them active and responsive
‘Who can ride a bicycle?’
‘Who’s ever seen someone ride a unicycle?’
‘Who’d like to learn to ride a unicycle?’
(the last one only after a string of yesses)