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High School Physical Education Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Being a high school gym teacher can be challenging! You are tasked with helping kids exercise and feel good about their bodies, while making sure everyone is included. This lesson offers some games that are popular with high school students.

High School Physical Education

Some adolescents absolutely love PE. They are athletic and would rather be playing sports and games than almost anything else. These students count the hours until PE class rolls around. Other students hate the class. Perhaps they feel self-conscious in their bodies or athletically incompetent. These students may actively dread going to PE. The task of a PE teacher is to provide all of these students with opportunities to excel and feel good about the class while getting exercise and growing stronger and more competent.

A great way to get students involved is to move outside the realm of traditional sports and play games with your students. Games can be light-hearted and fun while still involving enough competition and skill to keep students motivated. The games in this lesson are popular with adolescents and can be modified to meet a variety of skill levels.

Anything Goes Volleyball

Playing volleyball can be incredibly good exercise. Getting the ball over the net takes a lot of strength, and chasing it means running around. This version of volleyball is as engaging as ever, but more accessible to kids without natural prowess for the sport. Break your students into teams and put each team on one side of the net. Instruct them that their only job is to play without stopping. The ball can hit the ground or go out of bounds as long as someone chases it. Playing with a beach ball can be especially fun.

After students have played for fifteen minutes, add a second ball into the mix and challenge them to keep both balls in the air as much as possible. If they are up for a challenge, mix in a third ball as well!

Race Around the School

Break your students into two different teams with students of different ability levels on each team. Explain that each student in the team must jog around the perimeter of the school, and you will time them. The team's total time is comprised of the average running time of each student on the team.

Then, the winning team gets to define the terms of the next race. They may ask students to walk backwards, for instance, or stop running every twenty paces to do a set number of jumping jacks. Again, take the average time of each team, and let the winning team set rules for another round.

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