Big Team Games
If you’re like me, big team games are my absolute favorite! If you build and create them in the right way, then you can provide success to all students regardless of their skill level. This leaves students with a feeling of accomplishment and a positive outlook on not just P.E., but also on being active.
My Personal Favorites
I know we shouldn’t have favorites right?! It’s hard not to, but these are some of my top pe games that I like to incorporate throughout the year:
- Island Ball
- Hula Hut Throw Down
- Aliens vs. Astronauts
- Battle Grounds
The problem I found with playing these big team games is the mass chaos that is involved (this is a good thing I promise). For example, the amount of equipment, students moving around, etc. I quickly discovered any time I wanted to end a round, add in new rules, or change something about the game that it was taking way too long and we were missing out on game time.
So it’s taken a lot of trial and error to find something that works well with all grade levels, but by using this technique it improves classroom behavior, management, and allows more time for pe games!
Step 1: Give Students a Specific Time
If you don’t give students a specific time limit for where they need to be/what they need to be doing, then more than likely you will be waiting all day for students to be ready. I’ve found 10 seconds to be more than fair and allows enough time for students to follow the next set of directions.
When I blow the whistle and stop the music, I will start counting down from 10 nice and loud and on my fingers to signal that the game/round is over.
Step 2: Tell Students Where They Need To Be
It’s important to have some type of line or specific destination for where you want your students to sit. Sitting in a group has never worked for me and always leads to students getting in trouble or having a difficult time listening.
I always use our blue volleyball court lines and tell students they need to be sitting on the line before I get to 0.
Step 3: Tell Students Their Hands Need To Be Empty
Some may disagree with this and I’m okay with that (remember this is a friendly teaching tip 😁). Here’s what I’ve found, if students are still playing with equipment or touching it, then chances are they are not listening to your instructions. Not only this, but they are also distracting other friends who will miss out on the directions as well!
Step 4: Implement Your PBIS (If Possible)
Our PBIS is the Warrior Way which represents students being responsible, respectful, and ready to learn. By the time I get to 0, I tell my students they should be the Warrior Way in order to have more time to play.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
When you put it all together, this is word for word what I say at the end of my directions before starting our big team pe game:
“When you hear the music stop or whistle blow, you have 10 seconds to be sitting on the blue line, your hands should be empty, and please make sure you are the warrior way” 😎
Dealing With Teams & Students Who Aren’t Ready
Every now and then you will deal with teams and students who aren’t ready by the time you get to 0. The good thing about big team games is majority of the time you are keeping score. There are a couple of things I like to do:
- Award a bonus point to the team that is ready first and followed all of the final directions
- Take away a penalty point to the team that is not ready. Give them a second chance by counting down from 10 again. If they’re still not ready, unfortunately they will lose another point.
If you’re consistent with this during all of your games and especially the first round, you will be amazed how fast students will be ready at the end of future rounds.