All posts by Angela MacPhail


I went to a very informative Physical Education workshop during our Pro-D Day. Dr. Joanna Sheppard gave a really interesting key note lecture on physical literacy, which was a great addition to what we have learned in PE class. During the yoga workshop I learned about a really amazing app called coaches eye and iyoga. With these apps you can edit an instructional video and add lines and circles to demonstrate proper posture on the yoga poses, or other sports. With the app you can review the student’s movement and use the lines and circles to show the correct positioning throughout the movement. Some great tips I learned about teaching yoga to children are to relate the positions to animals, as well as the use of stories during yoga to work through a sequence of yoga positions and to make them fun and interactive.

I also went to a dance class and I learned some really fun and interactive ways to get students moving. Similar to the yoga, there was a game that involved acting out the movements of a story. The instructor starts to describe a story, while suggesting movements such as running away from a bear, hiding behind a tree, ducking under a branch, jumping over logs, swatting bugs and other memorable and fun movements. Another fun story is acting out a skit, such as waking up in the morning, jumping out of bed, turning off the alarm, brushing teeth, dressing, running to school etc. For older children an idea is to recreate a historical event through movements and dance. Another unique game was Dance Tetris, although it sounded a bit difficult to act out the Tetris pieces, interlock and switch places with a team mate. The last game we tried was the Mirror Game, where two people stand facing each other and one person copies the movements of the other person, as though they were a reflection in a mirror.



Our walk in Pacific Spirit Park made me ponder about the loss outdoor recreation spaces. Population increase and city densification have inevitably resulted in more people moving into smaller living spaces. At the same time green space is disappearing due to the rising property values.  The average home and yard size is decreasing and many families live in townhouses and apartments with no backyard and no parks for children to play in.

Risk and liability have played an increasing role in the decline of outdoor play. The fear of predators coupled with laws that prohibit children from going to public spaces without adult supervision have greatly restricted outdoor play in public areas. Children are increasingly living more sedentary lives by spending more time indoors playing video games and watching TV. It is no surprise that childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high.

How can we effectively balance risk management without becoming too conservative with our physical education activities?

Will focusing on risk avoidance result in the removal of valuable physical education activities from our school curriculum?

Will the endemic paranoia of litigation continue to intensify the epidemic of childhood obesity?

By focusing too much on planning school curriculum around the mitigation of every possible incident, lesson plans may become so limited that we remove all the value and enjoyment from the activities themselves.  The increasing sedentary lifestyles by children are happening at the same time as institutions seek to stifle exploration and natural curiosity from outdoor activity. Risk and exploration are important parts of childhood experience. Through increasingly restrictive and preventative measures, we are prohibiting fun and health lifestyles in favor of restricted manageable risk-free indoor activities.

SEPT. 30TH. MOVEMENT JOURNAL (Group B) – Angela MacPhail

I really enjoyed the game Chuck the Chicken and I think it’s a great game to include in a PE Lesson Plan to get students active and moving.  If fact I liked it so much I researched other things you can do with rubber chickens. Unfortunately I was quite disappointment with the results, which included Duck Duck Chicken, as well as other inappropriate, unsuitable, or hall of shame games.

However, I discovered a whole new game involving rubber pigs called Capture the Pig!  The best part about the game is that it is an adapted version of the game Capture the Flag, that avoids the hall of shame features of having a minimal participation level and a prison.

Instead, Capture the Pig is a continuous, high energy and fast paced invasion game. By a having multiple targets, the game allows for a high participation level and avoids the domination of the game by faster players.

To play the game, the class is divided into two teams that are separated by the centre line. The object of the game is to capture pigs from the other side of the gym and to avoid getting tagged by farmers guarding the pigs. Each student is give 5 elastic bands, which represent the number of lives they have. They receive 3 elastic bands if they are successful in stealing a pig and they lose 1 elastic band if they are tagged by a farmer.  There are also safe zones where students cannot be tagged by farmers.

There’s a video, as well as a PDF of possible adaptations for Grades 1 to 5.

Capture the Pig Grade 1-5