K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will successfully complete a vault.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

45 minutes


  • a horse, padded box, or a Swedish vaulting box
  • a take-off board or spring board
  • appropriate mats and crash pads for safety


The students must have rules for participation and safety that have been stated by the teacher and posted in the activity area.


  1. The students need appropriate warm-up exercises with an emphasis on stretching.
  2. Introduce the hurdle step. Have students practice taking three steps and a jump to two feet. They can line up one next to each other where the teacher can see the whole class. Start slowly taking the steps and emphasizing the jump. Gradually increase the speed of the steps and jump.
  3. Jump on take-off board. Have students come up one at a time, walk up to the horse, stand on the take-off board, place hands on top of horse, and practice jumping and pushing down with their hands. The goal here is to emphasize the two-foot jump and to get their hips up higher than the horse.
  4. Start the vaulting process. Students take a short run to the horse, jump, land on top of the horse on their knees, then stand and jump off into the landing area.
  5. Students take a short run to the horse again and this time land on their feet on top of the horse, stand, and jump off into the landing area.
  6. Squat vault. This time approach the horse and go all the way over it without feet touching the horse in a squat position.
  7. Side vault. Approach the horse and this time have both legs out straight to one side.
  8. Wolf vault. This vault is a combination of the side and squat vault. One leg goes through the center in a squat position, one leg goes straight out to the side.
  9. Straddle vault. In this vault the students will go over the horse with straight legs, one leg to each side in a straddle position. It is important to stress the jump on the board and pushing with the hands on top of the horse.


Teacher observation. Keep in mind that this is very individual. Some students will go from steps 1 to 8 easily some will stop at 2, 3 or 4 and not go further.

Supplemental information

Students should be broken up in to groups so that while one group of students is working on vaulting, other students can are practicing other objectives.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Healthful Living (2010)
      • Motor Skills Development

        • 7.MS.1 Apply competent motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. 7.MS.1.1 Execute complex combinations of movement specific to game, sport, or physical activity settings games in at least one of the following activities...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Healthful Living Education (2006)

Grade 7

  • Goal 6: The learner will demonstrate competency in a variety of movement forms and proficiency in a few to gain competence towards lifetime physical activities (NASPE Standard 1).
    • Objective 6.06: Demonstrate competence in skills needed for individual physical activity.