From left to right, Andy Vasily (NIS), Sarah Bartlett (SAS), Eric Nicolai (SAS), and Nathan Heck (SAS)
I have always enjoy learning new games and activities by observing other good practitioners teach PE. It’s one thing to read about useful PE activities in books or on the internet, but to observe them happening ‘live’ is what I always find to be most useful. I have spent that last 2 days at the Shanghai American School as the grades 3 and 4 classes at my school went to Shanghai to play in a friendly soccer tournament organized by SAS. Everything went well with the grade 3 students as they got in a full day of soccer on Wednesday and returned back to Nanjing later that day.
However, the grade 4 students were scheduled to play a full day of soccer today, but we were unfortunately rained out leaving us wondering what to do in order to occupy our students for a few hours before heading back to Nanjing. The elementary teaching team from Shanghai American School were gracious as they offered up their own prep time to teach our students some new activities. Below is a quick bio on each of the three teachers who volunteered their time to help us out.
Sarah Bartlett has taught at SAS for the past 6 years and was teaching PE in Bolivia for 3 years before coming to China. Prior to that, she was a PE teacher in Virginia. She has loads of teaching experience.
Eric Nicolai is in his second year teaching PE at SAS. He taught in Prague for 5 years before moving to China with his wife and 2 kids. Eric comes from Washington and was a physical education instructor for a number of years before moving abroad.
Nathan Heck is in his first year teaching PE at SAS having taught for 2 years in Ecuador before coming to China. He comes from the US and studied and worked in business prior to becoming an educator.
The very first thing that I noticed about the games they taught is that both activities allowed for maximum participation. There was no winner, there was no loser. My students loved playing the games and were very active for the duration of the time played. I have done a brief summary of each game and will definitely use them in my classes in the future.
Sink the Battle Ship (created by grade 3 students in Game Creation Unit at SAS
Bibs, benches or longish type narrrow mats that can serve as imaginary battleships, dodgeballs, and hula hoops
The Set Up:
The benches or mats are spread out evenly around the gym. Each team has a battleship. Hula hoops are spread out randomly around the gym. Dodge balls spread out evenly on floor. Each team starts game beside their battleship and must put on team bibs
On command ‘go’ the students set off. They are only allowed to throw from inside hula hoops. The object of game is to strike people from other teams by throwing dodgeball (from inside the hula hoop). If someone is struck by the ball, they must go stand on their battleship. The only way they can re-enter the game is if someone on their own team, positioned from inside the hula hoop, throws a ball that is successfully caught from atop the ship. At this point, they can jump down off of the ship and play again. Throwers, from inside the hoop, can be struck by other teams throwing a dodgeball from inside of another hoop.
If a team’s members are all struck and atop the battleship, it is not game over. To re-enter game, they must run a designated number of laps around the gym. Once they have completed running these laps, the team can re-enter the game. If a person positioned inside of the hoop catches a ball thrown at them, the thrower must go and stand on their battleship.
7 Seas Game
For the sake of organization, we kept the same teams together from Sink the Battleship. This is definitely a cooperative type challenge requiring teamwork and communication.
Equipment Needed: One mat for each team that can is the foldable kind.
The Set Up:
Very easy in the fact that all that is needed is one foldable mat per team.
The teacher gives a number of different commands and the students must respond to each command in a timely manner. Here is a breakdown on the commands.
As the students march around the perimeter of the gym, each person must be in contact with the mat. The teacher then shouts out one of the following commands:
Each team must carry their ship around the gym.
On ‘Incoming’ command, the students must stop, unfold mat as quickly as possible. Each member must drop down on to mat onto knees, getting as low as they can while covering their heads as if a missile was coming in. They remain in place until the next command.
Each team must stop walking with mat and choose someone to be carried by the group on the mat.
Students must stop, unfold mat and get under it, either crawling or walking. Everyone must be under mat.
All of the players on your team must change to a different ship. Players cannot be with anyone from the ship they were just on.
Fold and Stand!
Mat must be folded up and placed on floor. At this point, the entire team must stand atop the mat. They all must be on the mat. The object is to somehow unfold mat while remaining atop it. Their feet cannot touch the ground when the team is attempting to unfold the mat.
Fold Back Up and Stand!
Once the mat is unfolded, the team must stand on the mat and try to fold it back up without letting their feet touch the floor.