Is Physical Education only about cues and drills ?

We can teach differently.

“The teacher must adopt the role of facilitator not content provider.” Lev S. Vygotsky

This morning when I went to school, I had settled my lesson: enter in the relay race activity introducing games like Happy Families.

Coloring Page Of A Family #539351
(License: Personal Use).

I asked each team to choose their family. My topic was based on health and Well being and I found a free download on fruit and vegetables family. Bingo ! They decided who they wanted to be.

I began my session with grade 6, asking my pupils to group by 5 or 6. I already knew that each family in my game holds 7 members but as it was a relay race and the probabilities to sort out the right card each time are quasi nul, I knew pupils would pass several times.

(French version)à%20imprimer.pdf

I drew a circle in the middle of the field and put the cards face hidden in the center.

Each group had to wait the departure signal at each corner of the field. What was the aim ? To collect the entire family while waiting for a member of the team to come back at the starting corner. If the card sorted was not the good one, pupils had to put it down on the hidden face.

In the middle the cards are waiting to be collected.

After several passages, almost 3 to 5 minutes, happy families were reconstituted. Pupils were satisfied and wanted to change the aim of the activity to make it more difficult : to sort only a given member of the family such as the grand father or the mother, the son…

What happened ?

1. The activity was transformed because of the pupils’ historicity path. They all played Happy Families when they were children and being in Physical Education with a game that they already knew offered them other possibilities to express their agency.

2. The relay race was not an approach like a stick to transmit but a card to collect. The purpose was the same but the means were different. It was more accessible for these children who found pleasure and joy performing the activity.

3. Considering the Physical Activity level of practice , they ran more than if we had decided to apply the relay race unit. In fact, the running time was fast for the runner, they had to pass several times and to be concentrated not to lose their turn.

I let you try this activity in your class and expect your feedback. I am sure your pupils will love it… I still use this activity as a warm up for some physical activities.