A simple stopwatch can be a fantastic motivating factor. For you old-timers, there was once a TV Game called "Beat the Clock." The idea was to set up a challenge and see if the contestants could complete the challenge in the amount of time they were given. How exactly this amount of time was established was always a question, but it usually was pretty much on target with the contestants either just beating the clock or just falling short. I once played a version of this game in my physical education class, but I decided that by setting a time, some students could easily surpass it, while others could never achieve it. Therefore, I came up with this game, which is much more individualized and allows each student, pair, or group to work at their own level to try to beat their best time.
The Game - Grades 2 and up -
- Provide fun challenges for the students to accomplish as individuals, pairs, or small groups. These challenges may be related to a unit you are presently teaching, general fitness, or a review of previously taught skills.
- Time the event. Ask the students if they can either count a total amount of completed skills or a consecutive amount of completed skills. Then challenge the students to beat their previous score in subsequent rounds.
Of course you can certainly come up with your own challenges; but to get you started here are some suggestions:
- Individual Challenges: toss and catch a ball in one minute, dribble a basketball in 30 seconds (count each dribble), tennis dribbles (downs) in 30 seconds, tennis ups in one minute, basketball lay-ups in 30 seconds, volleyball overhead passes in 30 seconds, forearm passes in one minute, hula hoop around body in one minute.
- Pair Challenges: toss or throw any kind of ball back in forth in one minute (count consecutive catches or total catches and allow students to set their own distances apart), take turns running from point A to point B and back, take turns hitting a target with various kinds of implements, tennis volleys, volleyball passes, soccer passes.
- Small Group Challenges: Pass one or more balls around group, the group holds a piece of equipment together such as a hoop or piece of rope and moves as one back and forth from point A to point B and back, keep a piece of equipment (volleyball, balloon, beach ball) up as long as possible (count consecutive taps), see how many times you can complete a task relay fashion in two minutes, see how many different exercises can you do (everyone must do one of each) in one minute.
Think about what you are teaching. Make up your own challenges based on your curriculum and the equipment you have.