A teaching strategy for inclusion (Grades K-8) by an adapted physical education teacher.
Submitted by Kerry Evans, Minneapolis, Minnesota
BACKGROUND: With a lot of my “handicapable” students taking a more active part in fully integrated Physical Education classes, I have discovered a fun “student-directed” approach to teaching that I use at various times throughout the year.
For example: We may start off with a typical game of volleyball using a large beachball. After a while, I stop the game and ask my students,
“Is this game fair for everyone here? Do tall players have an advantage?
Do shorter players or wheelchair players have a more difficult time?
How can we change the game so that the game is fair for everyone?”
Here comes the fun part! Now the students create and the teacher guides without dictating how the students make the adaptations. Pretty soon we “discover” other creative and motivating ways to play the original game of volleyball.
Perhaps, the ball has to bounce off the floor before it is hit. This will give the shorter players a better chance to hit the ball.
Or after a player hits the beachball, he or she must kneel on one knee. When this player hits the beachball the next time, he is allowed to stand-up again!
The students are allowed to continually adapt the rules during any part the activity. The adaptations can be made very quickly, and then even during the first moments of “confusion,” there is a lot of student participation, laughter, and fun, fun, fun!!