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Looking for exciting and inclusive activities that utilize the equipment already available in your gym? With just soccer balls and large cones or pylons, you can create a dynamic and engaging physical education experience that fosters teamwork, improves aim, and enhances fundamental movement skills. 

Get ready to utilize your gym equipment to the fullest as we explore these cone activities perfect for any classroom or gymnasium setting! Try these three activities from PLAYBuilder to get you started—they’re great for grades K-7 with some tailoring to your student’s abilities!: 

  1. Cone Skip Relay: Let the fun begin with the Cone Skip Relay! Divide your students into groups of three or four and set up six cones in a line, leaving a meter of space between each one. Instruct the first participant in each group to skip around the cones and then run back to their team. Waiting participants can practice skipping on the spot as the relay continues, ensuring continuous movement and active participation!
  2. Kick at the Cone: Boost your students’ kicking skills and accuracy with the Kick at the Cone activity. Provide each participant with a soccer ball and set up large cones or pylons as targets. Assign each student a target cone and have them stand 2-3 meters away from it. Instruct them to kick the ball at their designated cone, aiming for accuracy. Challenge their skills by increasing the distance or adding a competitive element with a time limit or first-to-five format.
  3. Guard the Cone: Promote passing, trapping, and shooting abilities with the Guard the Cone game. Create groups of 5 or 6 students and assign each group a cone to defend. One participant acts as the goalie, protecting the cone, while the others form a circle around it. The offensive players pass the ball, attempting to kick and knock over the cone. Frequent rotations of the goalie ensure that every student gets a chance to showcase their skills!

These three cone activities offer a fantastic way to engage and challenge your K-7 students while promoting physical literacy and fundamental movement skills. Incorporate these exciting cone-based games into your lesson plans, and watch your students’ enthusiasm and abilities soar as they have a blast while learning and growing together!

Find more great, quick and easy activities to try with your students on PLAYBuilder— a digital platform with 1,000+ activities, free to K-7 educators!

Predisposition to specific physical activities may vary among children, but it is essential to understand that predisposition is not destiny. Instead, it serves as a guide to help us offer a diverse range of opportunities that cater to the individual needs of our students. 

In this blog post, we will explore actionable steps teachers can take to foster physical activity and promote a lifelong love for movement and health in their elementary school students.

Embrace Diversity in Physical Education 

Incorporate various physical activities in the curriculum to cater to students’ diverse interests and capabilities. Traditional sports are essential, but don’t shy away from introducing lesser-known sports or those from different cultures. This approach not only encourages inclusivity but also opens doors for students who might excel in non-mainstream activities.

Foster Exploration Through Intramurals and Informal Competitions

Beyond formal PE classes, organize intramurals and informal competitions that allow students to explore and develop their interests further. Create opportunities for students to participate in various activities and discover their strengths and passions.

Encourage Play and Experimentation

Recess and free-play are vital components of a child’s day, offering unstructured time to explore physical movement. Provide novel equipment and a safe space for students to experiment with different activities and develop their skills.

Distributed Practice for Skill Development

When teaching physical skills, consider employing distributed practice instead of mass practice. Distributed practice involves revisiting skills on different occasions, allowing the brain to consolidate learning over time. This approach is more effective for young learners and those with less motivation for physical activities.

Provide Constructive Feedback

Correcting errors is an integral part of helping students improve their physical skills. Offer constructive feedback promptly after mistakes, focusing on specific adjustments to enhance their performance.

In conclusion, every child is unique, and their predisposition to physical activities varies. By embracing inclusivity, fostering exploration, and using effective teaching strategies, we can nurture a lifelong love for movement and health in our elementary school students. 

For more on predispositions, and how to support your students’ varied abilities and interests, check out our Predispositions resource. Looking for activities to try with your students’? Register for PLAYBuilder — it’s free to B.C. educators! 

Here are some further resources to check out as well: 

As educators, we are responsible for providing a comprehensive and inclusive learning experience for our students. Indigenous games are a source of physical activity and an opportunity for students to learn the deep-rooted spiritual significance and traditions of the First Nations peoples. 

Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity

Indigenous games hold deep-rooted spiritual and cultural significance for many Indigenous communities, including the Haudenosaunee, the originators of lacrosse. Traditionally known as Tewaarathon, or “little brother of war,” lacrosse is more than just a sport; it is a highly ceremonial event to honour the Creator. Through these games, communities come together to celebrate, heal, and support one another, especially during times of loss.

By incorporating Indigenous games into our physical education curriculum, we create an opportunity to honour and respect the diverse cultures of our students. Introducing the historical context and significance of lacrosse helps students understand the deeper meaning behind the game, going beyond the surface of athletics. Educators can instill cultural awareness and appreciation while fostering essential movement skills.

Incorporating Lacrosse into Your Class’ Learning

This blog introduces two exciting activities from the resource “Games Celebrating Indigenous Ways of Knowing”. These activities not only focus on developing essential movement skills but also introduce the sport of lacrosse to students:

Popcorn Lacrosse

“Popcorn Lacrosse” is a dynamic tag game that embraces the excitement of running with a lacrosse stick while maintaining control of the ball or beanbag.

  • Set up a 20-meter playing field and equip students with lacrosse sticks and balls. For our younger students (K–3), provide beanbags for cradling, while older students (Grades 4–7) can use lacrosse balls. 
  • Designate one or two students as taggers, and let the game begin! 
  • The objective is simple – students must travel across the field without getting tagged. 
  • A tag occurs when a tagger pops the ball or beanbag out of a student’s stick. 
  • If tagged, the student joins the taggers’ team and tries to pop the beanbag from other students’ sticks. 
  • The game continues until only one student remains – the ultimate popcorn popper champion!

Cradle the Rock

“Cradle the Rock” takes students on an exhilarating obstacle course designed to develop agility, balance, and endurance. 

  • Create a course with cones, hurdles, and directional changes not exceeding 20 meters. Divide students into teams of 3–4 and provide each team with a lacrosse ball. 
  • On the educator’s signal, the first student on each team races through the obstacle course, cradling the lacrosse ball in their stick. 
  • Dropping the ball requires the student to start over. 
  • Once they complete the course successfully, they pass the ball to the next teammate in line. The first team to have all members complete the course wins the round.

Incorporating Indigenous games like “Popcorn Lacrosse” and “Cradle the Rock” not only fosters essential movement skills but also serves as a gateway to understanding the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous communities. By embracing diversity and inclusivity in our physical education programs, we create an environment that respects and celebrates the traditions and history of Indigenous peoples. 

Looking for more activities like these? Visit the Indigenous Resources webpage on our website, to access resources like Linking Indigenous Cultural Sports and Activities to Physical Literacy.

As teachers, we play a crucial role in shaping our students’ physical literacy, giving them the skills they need for a lifetime of staying active. However, teaming up with parents is key for several reasons:

  • Consistency and Learning Reinforcement: Working together ensures a consistent approach to physical literacy at home and school. This consistency reinforces what kids learn, making their education more solid.
  • Collaboration for Community Building: A strong parent-teacher partnership builds a supportive school community. When parents get involved, it creates a positive environment for everyone.
  • Role Modeling for Healthy Choices: Parents are powerful role models. When they prioritize a healthy lifestyle, kids are more likely to do the same.
  • Individualized Support: Parents can offer personalized support based on their understanding of their child’s needs.This tailored approach enhances the child’s physical literacy journey.

The Parent-Teacher Physical Literacy Partnership

  • Communication Is Key: Open communication is crucial. Regular updates through newsletters, emails, or conferences keep parents in the loop. Parents need to understand why physical literacy matters for their child’s well-being!
  • Educate and Involve: Share resources with parents about the importance of physical literacy.Get parents actively involved in supporting their child’s physical education!
  • At-Home Activities: Provide parents with practical, age-appropriate activities to do at home. Simple exercises, games, and outdoor activities help kids practice what they learn in school.


Looking for resources to share with your class’ parents? Check out the new handout available on our website! This two-page document simply defines physical literacy, explains the fundamental movement skills, and even provides a handful of great at-home activities for parents to try to support their children’s continued development of physical literacy.

Ready to turn your classroom into the ultimate hub of excitement and engagement? We’ve just released our new “Classroom Tips & Tricks” resource, with great ideas to bring your classrooms to life and support your students’ physical literacy development.

Benefits of Physical Activity and Physical Literacy Throughout the School Day

By infusing regular physical activity and nurturing physical literacy throughout the school day, including in your classroom, students are in for a host of benefits:

  • Improved attention and self-regulation through regular movement breaks
  • Sparked creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Reduced anxiety and stress levels
  • Enhanced social-emotional well-being
  • Developed movement skills
  • An overall experience of fun and enjoyment through being active

Incorporating the Classroom Tips & Tricks Resource

Use the new “Classroom Tips & Tricks” resources to turn your class into a place where learning and moving go hand in hand! Here’s a sneak peek at some of the ideas in the resource:

  • Warm-Up Leadership: Empower students to lead warm-up activities, fostering confidence and motivation.
  • Active Learning Stations: Integrate physical tasks into lesson stations. 
    • Create a math station that involves jumping or hopping while solving problems
    • Create a literacy station where students act out stories or use body movements to represent vocabulary words.
  • Physical Activity with Environmental Awareness: Integrate eco-friendly projects like gardening, tree planting, or park cleanup. Foster discussions about sustainability and taking care of the environment.

Curious for more? Download the full resource here and get ready to create a classroom atmosphere where learning is not just a mental exercise but a whole-body adventure.

Classroom Tips & Tricks” is a great addition to the ongoing toolkit of ideas and activities available through the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project, including resources like: 

We are thrilled to introduce the new Playground Circuit resource, now available on our website, designed to make physical activity enjoyable while still developing those fundamental movement skills outside. The Playground Circuit resource is a dynamic and interactive toolkit that offers a range of physical activities designed to enhance your students’ physical literacy while they have fun on the playground. It combines traditional playground equipment with creative circuit exercises to challenge their agility, coordination, balance, and strength. 

Why Use the Playground for Circuits?

  1. Multi-Functional Equipment: Playgrounds have various structures like swings, slides, monkey bars, and climbing walls. These offer endless possibilities for designing diverse circuit activities that target different movement skills.
  2. Fun and Engaging: Children naturally enjoy playing on the playground. By incorporating circuits into their playtime, we create a positive association with physical activity, making it a fun and enjoyable experience.
  3. Promotes Social Interaction: Playground circuits often involve group activities, promoting student teamwork and social interaction. They learn to support and encourage each other while having a blast.
  4. Develops Cognitive Skills: Circuit activities require students to follow instructions, remember sequences, and think creatively, enhancing their cognitive abilities.
  5. Outdoor Learning Benefits: Spending time outdoors has numerous benefits for students, including improved focus, reduced stress, and increased vitamin D absorption.

How to Implement Playground Circuits

Using the Playground Circuits resource, you can create a variety of circuits for your class to try out! Simply:

  1. Choose a Circuit Design: Select a set of circuit exercises suitable for your students’ age and abilities. Ensure a good mix of activities targeting different movement skills.
  2. Set Up Stations: Identify different areas on the playground for each circuit activity. Place clear instructions at each station.
  3. Demonstrate Proper Technique: Before starting, demonstrate each exercise to ensure students understand how to perform them safely and effectively.
  4. Time and Rotate: Assign a specific time duration for each circuit station. When the time is up, have students rotate to the next station.
  5. Monitor and Encourage: Supervise the activities, offering encouragement and feedback to keep students motivated.

Playground Circuits are a fantastic way to engage your students in physical literacy while enjoying the outdoor playground.  Access the new Playground Circuit resource on the schoolpapl.ca website, and check out PLAYBuilder’s playground activities to continue supporting active learning and physical development with your students today! 

Using the project’s Linking Indigenous Cultural Sports and Activities to Physical Literacy card set, you can engage your students in cultural activities and reflection questions to support their physical literacy development. 

When it comes to Indigenous knowledge, it is important to understand where students are in their traditional activity experiences. For various reasons, many Indigenous students do not have access to traditional activities. We encourage educators to lead group discussions to develop an understanding of where their students are in their traditional activity journey. 

Play music, head outdoors if possible, and most importantly, have fun! Here are a few ways you could use the cards with your class: 

  1. Create Student-led Games: Allow students to lead the designing and conducting of physical activities inspired by the cultural activity card set. Encourage creativity and inclusive participation.
  2. Mentorship and Guessing Game: Organize a mentorship role where students share their knowledge of a specific cultural activity with their peers. 
  3. Storytelling and Physical Literacy: Invite students to share personal stories of how physical literacy has impacted their lives. Encourage them to envision a future where physical literacy is central to their well-being.
  4. Lessons from Ancestors: Reflect on the role of parents, grandparents, community members and Elders in physical literacy experiences. Encourage students to think about the lessons they would like to pass on to future generations.
  5. Self-Reflection and Growth: Help students appreciate their progress in becoming physically literate individuals. Emphasize that learning takes time, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

By integrating the First Peoples Principles of Learning, we celebrate diversity and foster a deeper connection with physical literacy. Let’s embark on this journey together, recognizing the importance of cultural heritage and the growth physical literacy can bring to our lives.

Access the Linking Indigenous Cultural Sports and Activities to Physical Literacy card set here.

I•SPARC would like to thank the hard work and commitment of the working group for this resource, composed of Indigenous leaders, educators and physical literacy experts.

As educators, we understand the significance of physical literacy in nurturing a lifelong passion for movement and overall well-being among our students. An exciting and effective way to achieve this is by introducing short movement breaks throughout the school day. These breaks foster physical literacy, improve focus, and enhance learning experiences. 

To make these moments of movement even more engaging and accessible, we have a fantastic resource: The Movement Activity Cards

Using the Movement Activity Cards 

The movement activity cards are designed to be an accessible and engaging resource for educators. These cards feature diverse activities that promote physical literacy and can be seamlessly integrated into the classroom routine to create fun and dynamic learning experiences. Here are some ways educators can use movement activity cards to enhance physical literacy development:

  1. Morning Energizer: Kickstart the day with a morning energizer using a movement activity card. Gather students in the gymnasium or outdoors and engage them in a quick, lively activity to invigorate their bodies and minds for the day ahead.
  2. Brain Breaks: Use movement activity cards as brain breaks between lessons to help students transition smoothly and refresh their minds. Quick and enjoyable activities help release excess energy, making students more attentive and engaged in their studies.
  3. Physical Education Lessons: Integrate movement activity cards into lessons to reinforce fundamental movement skills. These cards can be a starting point for creative games and activities promoting skill development and teamwork.
  4. Hallway Movement Stations: Transform hallway transitions into opportunities for physical literacy development. Place movement activity cards on bulletin boards or walls along the hallway and encourage students to perform the activities as they move from one class to another.
  5. Outdoor Classroom: Take learning beyond the four walls by incorporating movement activity cards into outdoor lessons. Conduct science experiments, math challenges, or creative writing exercises using the cards as prompts for movement-based activities in the schoolyard or nearby park.
  6. Cross-Curricular Integration: Integrate movement activity cards into other subject areas, such as incorporating movement activities related to historical events, literature characters, or scientific concepts.
  7. Reward System: Implement movement activity cards as a reward system for students who demonstrate positive behaviour. Allowing students to choose a card as a reward encourages active participation and fosters a positive classroom atmosphere.
  8. Special Events and Assemblies: Make school events and assemblies more interactive by incorporating movement activity cards. During breaks or intermissions, have students participate in movement challenges or mini-games inspired by the cards.
  9. Team-Building Activities: Use movement activity cards as a team-building tool during group projects or collaborative activities. Engage students in cooperative games that promote communication, trust, and teamwork while enhancing physical literacy.
  10. Family Engagement: Encourage family involvement by sending students home with movement activity cards to share with their families. Create a fun challenge for students to complete activities with their parents or siblings, fostering physical literacy beyond the school day.

The activities from the movement activity cards are sourced from various project resources, including PLAYBuilder, project workshops, and downloadable materials on the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project website. Feel free to explore the project website for more fantastic class activities!

Incorporating movement activity cards into our classroom instruction opens doors to a world of active learning possibilities. As we cultivate physical competence, boost confidence in movement, and inspire a lifelong passion for staying active, we equip our students with invaluable skills for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling journey through life. Let’s transform our classrooms into vibrant spaces where learning and movement converge and our students flourish.

As educators, we strive to foster physical literacy in our students – a crucial foundation for a lifetime of active and healthy living. One fantastic way to achieve this is through the timeless classic of tag games! These playful activities not only keep children active but also cultivate fundamental movement skills, spatial awareness, and teamwork. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the value of incorporating tag games into your class and introduce three exciting tag games suitable for grades K-7 that will create a fun, inclusive, and active learning environment for all students.

Why Play Tag?

  1. Develops Fundamental Movement Skills: Tag games are a goldmine for nurturing fundamental movement skills in students. Children enhance their agility and balance as they sprint, pivot, weave, reach, and dodge. The constant movement and diverse physical actions in tag games contribute to well-rounded physical literacy development.
  2. Builds an Understanding of Strategies: Engaging in tag activities makes students more spatially aware and teaches them various strategies that can be applied to other games, sports, or activities. They learn to read and anticipate movements, fostering critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  3. Allows Everyone an Opportunity to Play: Inclusive by nature, tag games ensure that every student is actively participating at the same time. There’s no waiting for turns or sitting on the sidelines. This inclusive approach boosts confidence and encourages collaboration among students.
  4. Easy and Fun: Tag games are simple to set up and require minimal equipment, making them accessible and time-efficient. With short preparation time, students can engage more in the game, maximizing active play and enjoyment.

Three Exciting Tag Games to Try

  1. Pac Man Tag: In this game, students hop, skip, and leap between hula hoops to evade taggers. When tagged, the student becomes a tagger, increasing the number of people “it.” Alternatively, you can play the game so that only one person is “it” at a time, and tagging someone changes their role to the tagger.
  2. Symmetry Tag: Taggers must wear pinnies. When tagged, students must create a symmetrical or asymmetrical shape with their body and freeze. They are freed if another student copies their shape and holds it for three seconds. This game promotes creativity and spatial awareness while developing fundamental movement skills.
  3. Dribble Tag: Spread hula hoops around the playing area with a ball inside each hoop. Designate two or three students as taggers. When tagged, students must go to the nearest hoop, dribble the ball on the spot ten times, and re-enter the game. This game combines dribbling skills with tag for an active and engaging experience.

Tag games are a source of pure fun and a powerful tool for developing students’ physical literacy. By incorporating these playful activities into your day, you can foster fundamental movement skills, strategic thinking, inclusivity, and teamwork in your classroom. 

Looking for more tag games to try with your class? Check out our Tag for Physical Literacy resource!

Teacher mentoring has become a powerful tool for promoting physical literacy in elementary schools. Extensive research supports the effectiveness of mentoring programs in enhancing teaching skills, job satisfaction, student achievement, and professional development. 

Let’s explore the compelling evidence that highlights the significance of teacher mentoring for fostering physical literacy.

    1. Improved Teaching Skills: Mentoring helps novice teachers enhance instructional practices, classroom management, and assessment techniques. This leads to a more effective learning environment for physical literacy development.
    2. Increased Job Satisfaction: Mentoring boosts job satisfaction and commitment to the teaching profession by offering emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation.
    3. Retention of New Teachers: Mentoring reduces attrition rates, ensuring educators a longer and more fulfilling teaching career.
    4. Professional Development: Personalized mentoring provides tailored professional development opportunities, enabling teachers to effectively refine their approaches to promote physical literacy. Resources suggestion: “For more ways to refine your physical literacy journey, check out The Educators Physical Activity & Physical Literacy Journey.
    5. Student Achievement: Mentored teachers better meet students’ diverse needs, improving academic performance and physical literacy development.
    6. Social and Emotional Support: Mentoring addresses teachers’ well-being, indirectly benefiting students’ social and emotional development.
    7. Professional Networking: Mentoring facilitates networking opportunities, allowing teachers to connect with experienced educators and access valuable resources.


Embracing teacher mentoring in elementary schools has far-reaching benefits for physical literacy development. By supporting educators through mentorship, we positively impact students’ lives, promoting a healthier and more active generation. 

 

Sources:

  1. Ingersoll, R. M., & Kralik, J. M. (2004). The impact of mentoring on reducing teacher turnover. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(5), 608-632.
  2. Ingersoll, R. M., & Strong, M. (2011). The impact of induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers: A critical review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 201-233.
  3. Johnson, S. M., & Birkeland, S. E. (2003). Pursuing a “sense of success”: New teachers explain their career decisions. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 581-617.
  4. Smith, T. M., & Ingersoll, R. M. (2004). What are the effects of induction and mentoring on beginning teacher turnover? American Educational Research Journal, 41(3), 681-714.
  5. Villar, A., & Strong, M. (2007). Do induction and mentoring matter? Teacher retention and development in the United States. In J. Smithers & N. S. Hannaway (Eds.), The international handbook of school effectiveness research (pp. 935-952). Routledge.
  6. Wong, H. K., & Nicotera, A. M. (2003). The effects of school district functioning on beginning teacher retention. Elementary School Journal, 103(1), 87-106.
  7. Darling-Hammond, L., & Sykes, G. (1999). Wanted: A national teacher supply policy for education: The right way to meet the “highly qualified teacher” challenge. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7(33).
  8. Achinstein, B., & Athanases, S. Z. (2003). Mentors in the making: Developing new leaders for new teachers. Teachers College Press.