Sitting on a Chicken
Michael Chissick, illustrated by Sarah Peacock
What a wonderful title! What a wonderful book, but one would expect no less from yoga teacher and writer Michael Chissick. Its subtitle ‘the best ever 52 yoga games to teach in schools’ pretty much sums up the whole thing and right from the introduction (don’t skip that) you know you’re in the hands of a highly experienced expert. Many of the games included will be familiar to those who work with children and probably to children themselves but Chissick has cleverly transformed them by adding a yogic element.
The book is divided into three sections: the first, an introduction, explains how to structure a lesson and showcases Chissick’s visual timetable which he considers key to the whole thing.
Most teachers, though perhaps not yoga teachers will be familiar with visual timetables, particularly if they’ve worked with children on the autism spectrum.
Next comes the core of the book, essentially the games – the ‘What’ – matching your learning objectives with a game; the ‘When’ – putting games into the relevant stage of a lesson. (From Key Stage 1 and beyond a lesson has seven stages, for nursery and reception children, a lesson is divided into four parts, for at least the first couple of terms); and ‘How‘ – the actual teaching of the games. This in particular is a veritable treasure trove of ideas.
It’s broken down into sections: beginning games, sequences – essentially adaptations of the sun salutation or surya namaskar sequence, development games and finally calming games leading into relaxation; the one used here is the ladybird relaxation.
There’s a short sub-section for working with nursery and reception groups.
This is a must have for the primary teachers’ bookshelf and for anyone who works to bring children and yoga together.