Group A Post – Christine

I’m going to focus on one particular guiding question for this post – what are the conditions for including all learners in game play? I feel like this is a really important part of the teaching model we focused on this week: Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). One condition is having games where a clear “winner” is not a focus of the game. I thought the invasion game lesson, Alien Invasion/Prairie Dog Pick-off, was a great example of this – the students who won the game in the end included students whose skittles had already been knocked over, so there was no identifiable winner. Also key to including all learners is to minimize down-time and have movement be something that is constantly happening in a PE lesson. This avoids turning part of the class into spectators, which makes many kids nervous, and keeps as much time as possible open for students to explore and practice different movements.

In general, I think Teaching Games for Understanding is a model because of its emphasis on experiencing and learning. Rather than a focus on mastering sports, TGfU focuses on the lifelong benefits of healthy activity and getting kids moving in fun and engaging ways. I really like the fact that the TGfU model gets the kids playing games right away – it takes the pressure off working towards playing the game “perfectly” as the ultimate goal and instead focuses back on the experience of the learner in trying different ways of being active.


2 thoughts on “Group A Post – Christine”

  1. Great points, Christine! I totally agree that this week’s group did an amazing job at including all learners in a game. I recently saw this game played in a version in which half the class guarded skittles, while the other half sat on a bench. When one person’s skittle fell down, the person on the end of the bench could then take their spot. I had no idea this game could be so inclusive and leave all students feeling empowered by the end! It opened my mind to look at all games from the perspective, how can I include all learners in this activity.

  2. I completely agree with you Christine. I loved this week’s activity. I found iti must surprising considering how competitive my history with athletic endeavors has been. It wasn’t until after we had finished Prairie Dog Pickoff that I realized that there were no winners and losers in the game. Because the part of the game’s tactics involved the combination of picked off players and the picker, there would never be a chance to bully those students who have a weaker skill set since once they are knocked off, they become part of a team. Perhaps the combination of individual and team tactics was what I found the most fun. There were a good number of different skills and tactics to each. Individually, the students have to take a much more defensive tract than when they are playing as a group; their hoops have to be set up in the most strategically advantageous location (which could make them a target, ironically enough); blocking skills are taken into consideration as the ball has to be acquired before offense can take place; all parts of the body must be used to protect the student’s “prairie dog”. Offensively the strategy changes when partners are brought into the equation as passing, catching, and movement into strategic areas becomes paramount to success and decisions have to be made quickly as to who was going to be offense and defense.

    I would definitely use this activity in a physical education class as I see little to no downside to the activity and very much upside.

Leave a Reply