Monday, December 20, 2010

P.E. Class - 3rd week of December/ Parachute Games and Pacer Running Test

Last week's activities included:


1) Warm-Up CentersClick the link to watch videos: Warm-Up Centers
2) Parachute Games (Day 2)
3) "Feed the Reindeer Relay"(for the groups who did not play last week)
4) PACER Running Test (5th Grades only)
*Dr. Ingrid Johnson from Grand Valley State University has volunteered to administer this test to our 4th-5th graders three times throughout the school year to track progress.

The PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular
Endurance Run) is the default aerobic capacity test
in FITNESSGRAM. The PACER is a multistage fit-
ness test adapted from the 20-meter shuttle run
test published by Leger and Lambert (1982) and
revised in 1988 (Leger et al.). The test is progres-
sive in intensity—it is easy at the beginning and
gets harder at the end. The progressive nature of the
test provides a built-in warm-up and helps children
to pace themselves effectively. The test has also been
set to music to create a valid, fun alternative to the
customary distance run test for measuring aerobic
capacity. (intranet.usd475.org)

Please click on the link to read more: Pacer Running Test.

Please see below for video clips!

2nd Grade playing "Cat and Mouse" parachute game:




Playing "Cat and Mouse" with TWO cats:


3rd graders playing "Cat and Mouse"


Pacer Running Test Videos:







Sunday, December 12, 2010

P.E. Class - 2nd week of December (Parachute and Christmas Games)

This week's agenda was:

1) Warm-Up Centers
2) Parachute Games
3) "Feed the Reindeer Relay" AND/OR Santa and Mrs. Claus Tag

Here are some videos from last week!

2nd graders doing "warm-up centers"


2nd graders doing warm-up centers


3rd graders doing warm-up centers


Practicing V-Steps on the aerobic steps!


Parachute Activities
Click HERE to view the parachute videos!

Reindeer Relay: In this game, students worked in groups of 3 to "feed the reindeer". One player rode on the scooter (the sled) and collected reindeer food (balls). The person in the hula hoop had to toss the food (the balls) into the reindeer's bucket. The player behind the bucket was the catcher. We took turns playing each position.

5th graders playing Reindeer Relay



3rd graders playing Reindeer Relay



2nd graders playing the Reindeer Relay


5th graders playing the Santa and Mrs. Claus Tag. Click HERE for directions on how to play this game.

Monday, December 6, 2010

P.E. Parachute Activities for Elementary Students

Parachute Activities

Everyone loves parachute day! Even the adults who walk through the gym tell me about the fond memories they have of playing with the parachute in their PE class when they were in school! I too have great memories playing games with the parachute and I enjoy teaching my students a variety of parachute activities.


Attention P.E. teachers:
Before teaching parachute activities, it is very important to talk about your rules/procedures. Please click on the link "Tips for Teaching Parachute Activities" for details on my rules and procedures.

Parachute Activities: For details on how to play these games, please click the link: “Parachute Activities”.

1. Practice following directions with the parachute. (Hold, Stand on a handle, sit with parachute, etc.)

2. Making Waves - big/slow waves and fast/small waves.

3. Umbrella


4. Mushroom and Mushroom Activities
5th graders making a mushroom


2nd graders brainstorming ideas for ways to get exercise outside in the winter time.


2nd graders making a "mushroom"


5. Mountain (no video of this yet)
6. Climb the Mountain (no video of this yet)
7. Merry Go Round (no video of this yet)
8. Switch-a-roo


9. Popcorn

10. Cat and Mice (no video of this yet)
11. Roly Poly (no video of this yet)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

P.E. Activities - First week of December

This week's agenda was:
1. Warm-Up Centers
2. Battleship - click here for videos of us playing!
3. Christmas Tag games - click on the game title for videos of each: Reindeer Tag, Christmas Tree Tag, Candy Cane Tag

Each month I like to teach a new warm-up activity and begin a new unit. This week, however, we played Battleship again because I wanted to make sure all the students had a turn to be the "lifeboat person". Therefore, parachute games will begin next week! This month's new warm-up activity is called "Warm-Up Centers". For details on this activity, please click the link "Warm-Up Centers."

Videos of Warm-Up Centers will be posted next week!

For the month of December, our unit of focus is Parachute Games and possibly beginning jump rope activities if time allows. I spend a few months on jump rope skills so if I do not have time this month we will focus on that in January and February.

I try to save the last 5-10 minutes of class for playing fun Christmas Games such as Reindeer Tag, Christmas Tree Tag, Candy Cane Tag, and the Christmas Match Game (link to this will at the end of the month).

Because of the snow, this was the first week many students forgot to bring their gym shoes. :-( If you would like to read about my no shoes policy, please click on the link: "No Shoes Worksheet".

Here is a video of 5th grade students doing their "No Shoes Worksheet".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Friday Classes

We sure keep busy during our 55 minute P.E. class. Yesterday's agenda was 1)Warm-Up (Switcharoo) 2) Thanksgiving Match Game and 3) Battleship.

My Friday classes really enjoyed the Thanksgiving Match Game, and we took a few minutes to sneak in a nutrition lesson! We discussed the difference between proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and what each one does to help our bodies. We also identified everything on our "plate" (game board) and classified each item as protein (turkey), carbohydrate (stuffing), vegetables (mashed potatoes, green beans, corn) and fruit (cranberry sauce).

At the end of class during our review time, many of my 3rd graders agreed that they would try some new foods this Thanksgiving (maybe something they didn't like last year)! We talked about how our taste buds change as we get older and many of them gave me examples of things they like to eat now, but didn't like before. But, of course, some still cringed their noses at the thought of eating green bean casserole. :-)

We concluded the lesson with Battleship which is a game which involves a lot of catching and throwing.  We've been practicing both of those skills since early October.  Below are several videos of my Friday classes playing Thanksgiving Match Game and Battleship.

3rd graders playing the Thanksgiving Match Game:



Another 3rd grade clip:


2nd graders playing Thanksgiving Match Game:


2nd grade Battleship: Towards the end of the video, the one team's ship sunk (all their bowling pins were knocked down), so the "crew" sunk to the bottom of the ocean to do ABC Push-ups, then they will come back to set up their pins again and continue playing.


The kids on the scooters are "lifeboats" and they bring "cannonballs" back to their ship. The team on the blue mat just sank, so they were doing their push-ups, then came back to set up their pins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of my favorite games!

For the past 2 months, we have been working on catching and throwing skills in P.E. class.  Today we played a game which involved a lot of catching and throwing, and it happens to be one of my all time favorites!  I call this game "Battleship".  I got the idea from pecentral.org.  They call the game "Sink the Ship".  I have made a few  changes to this game.  If you would like to view the details of my throwing unit, please click here.  If you would like to view my catching unit, please click here.

Battleship - video - 3rd grade:  This video shows the Lifeboats (scooters) bringing cannonballs back to their ships.


Battleship - video - 5th grade: This video shows what the players do if their ship SINKS. (If all their bowling pins get knocked down). The "crew" sinks to the bottom of the ocean (the end of the gym), they all do ABC Push-ups, then they come back to their ship, set UP their pins and begin playing again.


Battleship - video - 2nd grade: This game is great for many grade levels. I even taught this to my Fab Five class last year!


Battleship - Video - 2nd grade: In this video, the student are setting UP for another round of the game. I give them 60 seconds to get a ball, set up pins, and choose a new person to ride their lifeboat. The groups who are ready in under 60 seconds earn a squad point (a reward system I use). I always give a TIME LIMIT for students to clean up/set up. This way they move quickly and no time is wasted! 60 seconds is generous.....usually kids can get ready in 30-45 seconds!


5th graders playing:


This team's ship sunk, so they are standing at the bottom of the ocean doing 10 jumping jacks. When they come back they may set their pins up again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Match Game - P.E. Fitness Activity

Thanksgiving Match Game
This game is a great fitness activity that also teaches students about food groups/nutrition.  It is very easy to understand and it’s a lot of fun, so I played this game with ALL of my classes - ages Fab Five through 5th grade! 

Video of 5th graders playing this game:


3rd graders playing Thanksgiving Match Game:


Equipment Needed:
3-5 buckets or small storage containers (to hold flashcards)
4-8 game boards (1 game board per 2-5 players....depending on how small of groups you want.) My game boards are plastic or paper plates with one of each card taped or glued to it. 
50+ Thanksgiving flashcards (I made my own and laminated them-pictures of things we eat on Thanksgiving)  Download Flashcards-click here


Description of game:
This is similar to a relay race.  Each group is lined up on one end of the gym.  One person from each group runs to get a flashcard from the buckets, which are placed at the opposite end of the gym.  They may draw out ONE card, run back to their group and match the card to the picture on their game board.  As soon as they get back, the next person begins running.  Continue to take turns running to get cards until time is up. 

There are SERVERAL ways to play this game. 

Option 1:  I prefer to play this game for about 5 minutes.  After the time is up, students sit in their lines and I draw a card out from the container.  If I draw out the picture of  turkey, all groups count to see how many of that card they have.  Whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  I draw out 3 different cards to give 3 points.  The next card might be mashed potatoes, so whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  You may also change it to say whoever has the LEAST of a card (maybe the least pumpkin pie cards since that isn’t as healthy of a food).

If they draw the turkey card, but already have one on their gameboard, just put it on top to make a pile.  The team that earns a point can choose an exercise for the rest of the class to perform (10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 20 jumping jacks, etc).  I had the winning team roll foam dice to determine the number of exercises to do (7 jumping jacks, 3 push-ups, etc).

Option 2:  This could be played as a bingo game.  Give a point to whoever has a bingo after the time limit is up.

Option 3:
  Give a point to whoever has all of the vegetable side dishes (mashed potatoes, sweet pototoes, green beans, corn, etc).  OR the most total vegetable cards.

Option 4:  Give a point to whoever has the most protein on their plate/gameboard (count the turkey cards).

Option 5:  Count total cards, give a point to whoever has the most cards (this means the group was running faster than other groups).

NOTES:  Before, during, and/or after the game, discuss nutrition with the class.  Discuss which items are proteins, carbs, or fruits/vegetables.  Discuss their Thanksgiving family traditions...what do they eat on Thanksgiving?  What is their favorite/least favorite?  If there are foods they don’t like, will they try them again this year to see if they like them now?  (encourage students to taste a variety of foods!).

Another video of 3rd graders playing this game:



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Warm-Up Activities for Elementary P.E. Students

Warm Up Activities

NOTES:  I ALWAYS put a sign on the gym door where the students enter for P.E.  The sign tells them the name of the warm up we are doing.  I also try to greet them at the door as they are coming in, and make sure students have gym shoes.  This procedure allows students to get moving the moment they come to P.E.!

We do the same warm-up activity for the entire month, then at the beginning of each new month I teach them a new warm-up activity and show them the new sign that they will see on the gym door.  (1st-5th grades)  I do not recommend changing warm-ups this often for Kindergarten students.  I use the same warm-up activity for the entire semester. 

Below is a month-by-month warm up calendar.  

September Activity:  Move and Stretch

Sign on the gym door:   STOP sign (you can buy a red stop sign from the teacher store, or make your own)

Procedure:  Students STOP when they get to the gym door.  Teacher greets students at the door and tells them to walk in on the black line.   Check to make sure all students have proper shoes. 

Next, the teacher holds up a “GO” sign and students start jogging, in line around the gym.  I do not allow students to pass each other on the first lap for safety reasons.  They have to all jog one time around, then they may start running faster to pass other runners.  

Move and Stretch
- students will be moving around the perimeter of the gym while the music is on.  Teacher can specify the movement such as jogging, walking, running, skipping, galloping, crab walk, hopping, etc.  When the music stops, students stop and do a stretch.  Teacher calls out the name of a stretch such as butterflies, hurdlers stretch, arm scissors, arm circles, picking apples, etc.  I play music for about 30-45 seconds and then pause for a stretch.

After this activity we meet on our squad spots for 3-5 minutes to introduce/practice new exercises.  Here are some ideas of exercises to teach them:

Arms:  Push-Ups, Mountain Climbers, ABC Push-ups, Spider Push-ups
Legs:  Scissor Kicks, Crab Kicks, Leg lifts, Windmills
Trunk:  Knee Raises, Crunches, Planks
Others: Jumping Jacks, Balancing Activities, Yoga poses

October Activity:  Switch-a-roo

Sign on the gym door:  The sign should list what girls will do and what boys will do when they enter the gym. 

Example:  
Girls = running / Boys = Push-Ups
Boys = skipping / Girls = Windmills

Procedure:
If girls are running, they enter the gym and run aroudn the perimeter.  The boys will go to the center of the gym to do their push-ups.

Explanation of activity:
Play the music for about 45 seconds, then pause it as a signal for students to SWITCH (so boys are running and girls are doing push-ups in the center).  Every 45 seconds I pause the music and either say “switch” or after both groups have done that exercise I will give them a different combination such as “galloping and crab kicks”, then “skipping and crunches”, then “running and scissor kicks”.  We do 3-4 combinations and then meet on our squad spots for a few quick stretches.

I tell students we call it Switch-a-roo because we are switching every 45 seconds (boys/girls switch jobs, and we also switch exercises and movements).

Switch-a-roo video = girls are jogging and jumping over hurdles, boys are doing ABC Push-ups.  Video doesn't show it, but when I yell "switch", the boys will begin jogging and the girls will come in the middle to do ABC push-ups.
Here is a video of this.


November/December Warm-Up:
Warm-Up Centers. Please click on the attachment "Warm-Up Centers" for more details. Please click on the link "warm-up center VIDEOS" to view videos of this activity.

January-May Warm-Ups:   Coming soon!  Check back later...

Overhand and Underhand Throwing Lesson Ideas for Elementary Students

Throwing Unit

Throwing - Instruction (cue words used to teach proper form)

Underhand throw = Tick, Step, Tock
Overhand Throw (K-2nd grade)= T position, Bend (elbow), Twist
Overhand Throw (3rd-5th grade) = T, Tilt, Bend, Twist

T- position= Both arms are extended so the body looks like the letter T.  Non throwing arm is pointing to the target.  

Tilt
- tilt body back so your non-throwing arm and foot come up (foot comes off the floor).  The tilt gives more power to your throw.

Bend - Bend elbow of throwing arm.

Twist - twist body as your bend your elbow.

Throw - release ball and follow through. 

Throwing Practice - individual (overhand throw):

I give each student a foam or yarn ball.  They stand behind the side line and aim for the opposite wall.  You can hang targets on the wall (big papers, hula hoops, or maybe there are already painted targets on the walls) for them to aim at. 

We practice individually this way for about 5-6 minutes each class period during the throwing unit.  This gives me a chance to give feedback and help students who need reminders about their form.  You can also use this time for assessment. 

Throwing Games:

Star Wars:  I make one huge spaceship (with 4-5 mats) or many separate spaceships.  Mats are set up as ships against the wall, standing tall.  Players throw foam or yarn balls into spaceships.  Mark 3 different colored lines running down the length of the gym for this game.  Depending on grade level, students must stand behind the line while throwing.   Specify underhand or overhand throw.  Good time to pass out sparkle notes for good form or distance of throws into the spaceship. 

I choose 4-5 kids to be the “astronauts”.  They stay inside the ship and throw balls back out. 

Battleship:
This is one of my favorite games ever! See pecentral.org for the  instructions - search for “Sink the Ship”.
Video of Battleship - 2nd graders

Search pecentral.org for the folllowing games:

Beginner Games:
Freezamania
Two Pass Catching
Hot Potato Tag
Throw and Catch Medley
6 and Switch with partner
Sink the Ship (Battleship) - all grades enjoy this game

Intermediate:

Birthday Cake - good for underhand throw
Throw Everything
Healthy Eaters
Catch 100 with partner
Wishing Well
Indoor Snowball
Bean Bag Battle - good for 3rd-5th grades

Monday, October 25, 2010

Physical Education Catching Lessons and Ideas for Elementary Students

Catching Unit

Catching - Instruction:  I begin our catching unit with each student working individually in their own space with a bean bag.  They are to listen and do what I am doing/telling them to do with their bean bag. See below for “drills”.

Balancing the Bean Bag (Individual Activities)
Allow them to get familiar with using a bean bag by doing some balancing activities. 

Balance bean bag on:
Head
Shoulder
Arm
Foot (raise leg up and down while standing on one foot)
Back side of hand
On stomach while doing the crab walk

After balancing activities, move on to showing them how to toss and catch to themselves, staying in personal space.  Show them tossing at  a LOW level, MEDIUM, and HIGH levels.  Have them practice tossing/catching at each level.  HIGH might not be a good idea for K-1st the first day! 


Basic Drills - Individual
1.  Toss and catch with 2 hands.
2.  Demonstrate and practice tossing and catching at a low level, medium, and high levels.  (with 2 hands)
3.  Toss and catch with your right hand, left hand is behind back. (tell students they may toss at a low, medium or high level.....whatever skill level they are at). 
4.  Toss and catch with the left hand. (right hand behind back).
5.  Toss and catch switching hands (right to left).

Individual Stunts
1.  Toss/Clap/Catch (toss at a low level for one clap, and medium and higher for more claps)
2.  Toss/Kneel/Catch then Toss/Stand/Catch
3.  Toss/Spin Around/Catch
4.  Toss/do a pretend action/ Catch (ex. brushing teeth, swinging a bat,  doing a jumping jack, shooting a basketball, dancing, etc.)
5.  Toss behind back and catch
6.  Toss under leg and catch
7.  Place on instep and balance it, then lift leg to toss it, and catch.
8.  Freestyle (allow students to get creative and make up their own stunts).  Remind them the most important part of the stunt is that they can CATCH it!
After individual practice, explain how they will practice with a partner.  I only use an UNDERHAND TOSS while they work with partners.  I show them how to do a “TICK/TOCK TOSS” which means their arm swings like an arm on a clock.  Stress the importance of a good toss so your partner can catch it. 



Videos of stunts - toss-clap-catch


Stunt - toss-dance-catch (student misses the catch, but I liked his creativeness!)


Stunt - toss-kneel-catch


Stunt -toss-pretend action (yoga)-catch




Teaching Points: things to remind students about what they do while they catch. 

1.  Ready hands (both hands are out, ready for a catch). Ready hands tells your partner you are ready to catch!

2.  Giving:  means you absorb the ball/object while you catch it

3.  If ball is above your head = put your thumbs together and Below head = pinkies together

4.  Don’t trap ball against your body to catch it. 



Partner toss and catching practice: with a bean bag
Start close to your partner and step back with every successful catch OR set different criteria (must catch 6 to take a step back. If it is dropped, step closer.  aka.  “6 and step”) 

Video of tossing and catching with a partner:


After a couple of minutes, tell them to count with their partners how many times they can catch it without dropping it.  Next have them count by 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.  OR have them say the letters of the alphabet while they catch. 

Partner: tossing/catching stunts
If they are ready for something more advanced, show them some partner stunts. 

Around back
Sit and toss
Jump and toss
2 bean bag toss


Games: search pecentral.org for these games:

6 and switch = Place 12-15 small boxes around perimeter of gym.  Each box has 2-3 objects in it.  Each box has a different object to catch with (balls, rubber animals, bean bags, foam fruits and veggies, etc.).  Players catch 6 times at a box and then switch to a different box.  Rules = no more than 2-3 players at each box at a time, if you drop one it doesn’t count.  May do stunts or make a rule of if you drop one start counting all over again. 

Notes:  I have them do this individually the first day and then play with partners the next time.  (after quickly reviewing and practicing the underhand toss with a partner).

Video of Six and Switch: (students playing individually)


Video of Six and Switch with partners:


Games we played this year (2010):
Bean Bag Battle
Catch 100
Goalie Game
Catching Animals

Didn’t have time for these, but sounded good:
Freezamania
Two Pass Catching
Hot Potato Tag
Throw and Catch Medley
Indoor Snowball

Assessment:
Observe students as they are practicing drills and playing games.  Play catch with students during the games or drills for an individual test.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No Shoes "Worksheet"

After six years of teaching P.E. class, I have finally come up with a fabulous idea for what to do with students who don't have their gym shoes!  I know, why did it take me so long?  I created a "No Shoes Worksheet".  If a student comes to P.E. without proper shoes I give them a worksheet, a pencil, a pedometer and a stopwatch.  They go in the corner of the gym and complete the work sheet.  It involves marching/jogging in place and a variety of exercises.  No sitting around in my gym....and NO EXCUSES not to participate! 

Note: I use this worksheet with 2nd-5th graders. For younger students, I have them wear the pedometer and march/jog in place. Every few minutes when I have time, I check on them and record the number of steps for them. After about 10 minutes I will ask them if they need a break, or tell them to do some stretches.


No Shoes Worksheet

1.       Put on the pedometer.  March/jog in place.  Write down the number of steps you have after these times:
1 minute = __________
3 minutes = _________
5 minutes = _________
2.       Do these exercises:
·        Arm Scissors = 30 seconds
·        Arm Circles = 30 seconds
·        Butterfly Stretch = 30 seconds
·        Sit and Reach = 30 seconds
·        Jumping Jacks = 30
·        Windmills = 10
·        Push-Ups = 10
3.       How many steps are on your pedometer now? _________
4.       Use the stopwatch or clock as a timer.  March or jog in place.  Record your steps after these times:
1 minute = ________
3 minutes = _______
5 minutes = _______
5.       Do these exercises:
·        Knee Raises = 30
·        Crab Kicks = 30
·        Scissor Kicks = 20 each leg
·        ABC Push-Ups
·        Jumping Jacks = 30
·        Mountain Climbers = 10
·        Sit-Ups = 30
6.       How many steps are on the pedometer? ________
7.       Continue to march/jog in place until class is over. Record your total steps in the box below. 
8.       Next week please bring your gym shoes so you can participate with the class! 

Video of 5th graders doing the No Shoes Worksheet:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Haunted House/Corn Maze Tag

Haunted House Tag
OR Corn Maze Tag


I like to play this game in late October when some students may have already visited the pumpkin patch, corn maze,  or a haunted house with their friends/family. 

Tell students we have set up a pretend haunted house(s) (or corn maze).  It is not scary, but we are pretending that it is scary!  The haunted house can be made of a variety of objects, so just be creative and use what you have. 

Here is how I make my haunted houses (or you may refer to them as corn mazes):

House/Maze #1:  Set up 2 gym mats, standing vertically, side by side.  They should be just wide enough to walk through (like a hallway).  Drape a big bed sheet over the top and sides of the gym mats so it is enclosed.  Students will have to walk through this house.

House/Maze #2:  Set up one gym mat laying down on the floor.  Put an expandable tunnel on top of it.  Line the sides of it with small cones so it doesn’t roll.  Tape streamers or ribbon from one end or both ends so you can’t see through the exit of the tunnel (optional).  Students will crawl through this house.

House/Maze #3: 
Use your largest cones and foam cross bars to set up a small tent.  Drape a bed sheet over the top and sides.  Students will have to crawl through this house. 
  
Equipment Needed:
3 black or orange yarn balls
1-3 Haunted Houses/Corn Mazes (see above for ideas)
Halloween music (optional)

Explanation of Game:
This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the yarn balls with them and use them for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  When everyone yells “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” the game begins.

If a player is tagged, they must go through ONE of the haunted houses/or corn mazes to re-enter the game.  

Note:  Taggers may not “babysit” the exit of the haunted houses and just re-tag players immediately.

Christmas Candy Cane Tag

Candy Cane Tag

I like to play this game after 2-3 rounds of “Christmas Tree Tag”.  Begin by asking students what they put ON their Christmas trees at home?  (Lights, ornaments, tinsel, candy canes, etc.)  Discuss the flavors of candy canes they like to eat. (There are so many flavors now days!) 

Ask them if they can make their body shaped like a candy cane.  (Stand tall and straight, put your arms up and curl your wrists over). Tell them in this game they will pretend to be their favorite flavors of candy canes!  

Equipment Needed:
2 Red  and 2 green yarn balls
Christmas music (optional)

Explanation of Game:

This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 4 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the yarn balls with them and use them for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  When everyone yells “ CANDY CANES” the game begins.

If a player is tagged, they turn into a candy cane.   (Stand tall and straight, put your arms up and curl your wrists over).  For a player to be untagged, another player has to run around them one time. 


Video of 3rd graders playing Candy Cane Tag combined with Christmas Tree Tag. The taggers with a red noodle turn players into candy canes. Taggers with a green ball turn players into trees.




5th graders playing:

Christmas Tree Tag

Christmas Tree Tag

Before teaching children this game, ask them to raise their hands if their family puts up a Christmas tree in December.  Explain how this is a  tradition for some families.  If you want to take it a step further, you could discuss the history of Christmas trees (who invented the idea, etc.) 

Ask children what shape a Christmas tree is (triangular).  Can they stand up and make that shape with their bodies?  (Stand with feet apart, arms above head with hands together).  In this game, they will pretend to be Christmas trees and presents will go under their trees! 

Equipment Needed:

2 Red  and 2 green yarn balls
Christmas music (optional)

Explanation of Game:
This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 4 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the yarn balls with them and use them for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  When everyone yells “TREE TAG” the game begins.

If a player is tagged, they turn into a Christmas Tree (standing with feet apart and arms up with hands together above head).   For a player to be untagged, another player has to pretend to be a present and go under the tree (crawl between their legs).   

Video of 3rd graders playing Candy Cane Tag combined with Christmas Tree Tag. The taggers with a red noodle turn players into candy canes. Taggers with a green ball turn players into trees.


2nd graders playing Christmas Tree Tag:


Thursday 5th graders:




Note:  When children are pretending to be “presents going under the tree” they could have the option to tell the “trees” what they are. (Ex. I’m a Barbie doll, a toy truck, a teddy bear, a remote control car, hot wheels, etc. )

Christmas Reindeer Tag

Reindeer Tag

In this game tagged players will turn into reindeer and have to gallop to the north pole.  This is a fun way for children to learn/practice the locomotor skill of galloping! 

Before playing this game, or between rounds, ask students to name Santa’s reindeer.  Make a list on the board and see how many they can get before class is over.       

List of Santa's Eight Reindeer

1.     Dasher        
2.     Dancer        
3.     Prancer        
4.     Vixen        
5.     Comet        
6.     Cupid        
7.     Donner        
8.     Blitzen
** Note:  Rudolph was not one of the original reindeer.  Rudolph was first named in the Christmas song "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."

Equipment Needed:
3 Red or green yarn balls
1 volleyball pole labeled “North Pole”
Christmas music (optional)

Explanation of Game:
This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the yarn balls with them and use them for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  When everyone yells “Reindeer TAG” the game begins.  Play music during game. 

If a player is tagged, they turn into a reindeer and have to gallop around the north pole.  Tell players to use their hands to make reindeer antlers as they gallop.  After galloping around the north pole they magically turn into a regular person again and may continue playing. 

Note: 
Remind taggers they may not throw the ball at players.....just touch players gently to tag them.   If they drop the ball, they lose their magical power to tag until they pick the ball up again.

Video of 3rd graders playing Reindeer Tag:




5th graders playing:


Monday, October 4, 2010

Fruit and Veggie Tag

Fruit and Veggie Tag

Equipment Needed:
3 soft objects used for tagging players (ex. small pieces of pool noodles, yarn balls, or rubber rings)
1 set of foam fruits and vegetables (I got mine from S&S Discount)

The first time I taught this game to a first grade class, I was shocked to discover that some students could not recognize some of the basic fruits and vegetables I had in my box.  They also could not classify each item as a fruit or vegetable.  I saw a great opportunity for a learning experience! 

As an introduction to this game, sit down with your group in a big circle, and take one item out at  a time to show them.  Ask them what the name of it is, and if it’s a fruit or a vegetable (ex.  Apple, fruit).  Pass the items around the circle so each person can feel it and look at it. 

Here is your opportunity to talk about how healthy these foods are.  As you take out a new piece from the box, ask the class to raise their hands if they’ve ever eaten it before.  Ask them if they like it, and/or what is their favorite fruit/vegetable.  Remind them they should eat fruits and vegetables every day! 

Explanation of Game:

This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop. 

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the noodle with them and use it for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  Allow each player to choose a fruit or veggie to have.  They must hold  their fruit/veggie in their hands the entire time.

If a player is tagged, they sit down with their legs crossed and wait for another player to help them.  Another player may help a tagged player by trading items with them.   The item that is traded must be different.   For example, if Shana has an apple, Matt may trade his potato with her so that she can stand up and continue playing.  But, a person with an apple may not help Shana.

Notes:
After the first couple rounds, you may change a rule.
Examples: 
Only fruits and trade with other fruits.  
Veggies can only trade with veggies.
No fruits can trade with other fruits.
No veggies can trade with other veggies.

Santa and Mrs. Claus (Christmas Tag Game)

Santa and Mrs. Claus

Equipment Needed:
2-3 soft objects for taggers to tag with (pieces of pool noodles, yarn balls or rubber rings)
1 red scooter
1 green scooter
25 or more bean bags
2 Christmas stockings OR containers (to hold bean bags)
1 box with a picture of a Christmas tree on it

Children LOVE Christmas time!  This game is fun for several reasons.  We use props such as Christmas stockings,  students take turns being Santa or Mrs. Claus, and the players get presents!  This is sure to be a big hit with your elementary students!  

Explanation of Game:

This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers and Santa/Mrs. Claus each round.

To begin the game, select 2-3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the noodle with them and use it for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  Choose one boy and one girl to be Santa/Mrs. Claus.  They ride on the red and green scooters.   Santa and Mrs. Clause ride on the scooters and carry the stocking full of presents (bean bags) in their lap.  To begin the game, everyone yells “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.

If a player is tagged, they sit down and wait for Santa or Mrs. Claus to bring them a present (a bean bag).  When they get their present, the player runs to put the present under the tree (a box with a picture of a Christmas tree on it).  The player may then continue playing. 

Notes:
Remind students to run all the way to the tree and place the present under the tree - do NOT throw the present under the tree!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tribes Tag

Tribes Tag

This game is a great extension activity for students who are learning about Native American tribes in their classroom.

Equipment Needed:
3 soft objects used for tagging players (ex. small pieces of pool noodles, yarn balls, or rubber rings)
2 pieces of paper with a list of tribe names....see "notes" section below.

Explanation of Game:

This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Choose 2 people to be the “tribe leader or chief”.  Taggers carry the noodle with them and use it for tagging players.   The tribe chiefs will stand in opposite corners of the gym with a list of the tribe names. Players begin in personal space or on the opposite end line.  When everyone yells “TRIBES TAG” the game begins.

If a player is tagged, they go to one of the tribe chiefs and they have to say the name of one Indian tribe.  (Chiefs check the list to be sure the answer is correct)  If a tagged player can not remember the name of a tribe, they must wait for another player to be tagged and listen to their answer. 

Notes:
Below is a list of Michigan Indian Tribes
Fox 
Sauk
Kickapoo
Menominee
Miami
Chippewa (OJIBWE)
Potawatomi
Huron 
Ottawa

Thanksgiving Tag

Thanksgiving Tag

I believe it is important to take time to think about all the blessings we have in our lives.....especially around Thanksgiving! Before playing this game, discuss with students what it means to be thankful.  Ask them if they have Thanksgiving Day family traditions they'd like to share with the group, or ask them to name something they are thankful for.  Tell them in this game they will be thinking of LOTS of things they are thankful for, and also sharing their thoughts with friends. 

Equipment Needed:
3 soft objects used for tagging players (ex. small pieces of pool noodles, yarn balls, or rubber rings)

Explanation of Game:

This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the noodle with them and use it for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space or on opposite end line.  When everyone yells “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” the game begins.

If a player is tagged, they sit down with their legs crossed and think of something they are thankful for.  Another player may help a tagged player by sitting across from them and sharing what they are thankful for.  Once they both have shared, they say “Happy Thanksgiving” and stand up to continue playing.

Example:  Rachel is tagged and sits down.  Cecilia helps Rachel by sitting aross from her and saying, “I am thankful for my friends”.  Rachel says, “I am thankful for food”.  Both say “Happy Thanksgiving”, stand up, and continue playing.

Notes:
You can change the game by allowing tagged players to scoot on the floor to help other tagged players (rather than waiting for a non-tagged player to sit down with them).

For pre-school or kindergarteners, begin the first 2 or 3 games a little bit different - instead of sharing what they are thankful for, just have them sit and say “Happy Thanksgiving” to other players.  Then, stop and talk to the class about what it means to be thankful.  When they can give examples then change the game to be played as listed above.

Favorite Tag

Favorite Tag






Children love to talk about their favorite things.  In this game, students will be thinking of their favorite things, discovering what others favorites are, and learning about classification.   All while getting a lot of exercise!


Equipment Needed:
3 soft objects used for tagging players (ex. small pieces of pool noodles, yarn balls, or rubber rings)

Explanation of Game:
This is tag with NO SAFE.  Players continue to move throughout the playing area for 2-3 minutes, until teacher gives them a signal to stop.  Rotate taggers every round.

To begin the game, select 3 taggers to begin on the end line.  Taggers carry the noodle with them and use it for tagging players.   Players begin in personal space.  For each round of this game, the teacher (or a student) will choose a category of favorite things to share and announce it so everyone knows the category.  When everyone yells “FAVORITE TAG” the game begins.

Examples of categories:
Colors, fruits, vegetables, ice cream flavors, sports, subjects in school, outdoor activities,  books, teachers, board games, toys, etc.

Round 1 = Share the name of your favorite book
Round 2 = Share your favorite color
Round 3  = Share your favorite toy

If a player is tagged, they sit down with their legs crossed and think of their favorite ______(insert whatever was pre-determined by teacher).  Another player may help a tagged player by sitting across from them and sharing their favorite things.  Once they both have shared, they say Thank You and stand up to continue playing.

Example:  Category is favorite ice cream flavor.  Jim is tagged and sits down.  Raina helps Jim by saying “my favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip.”  Jim says, “my favorite ice cream flavor is Moose Tracks”. Both say “thank you” and continue playing.

Notes:
You can change the game by allowing tagged players to scoot on the floor to help other tagged players (rather than waiting for a non-tagged player to sit down with them).

This is a great icebreaker activity or beginning of school activity to help students get to know each other.