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Integrated Physical Education Activities

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 A fun tag game for grades K-5.  Submitted by Bill Riley and Dave Wade, Massachusetts.  
Bill is the 2001 Eastern District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. 


Background: In our school district we use an integrated approach to instruction. We believe that children learn best by active participation in activities which involve a wide variety of experiences. Through visual art, music, and physical education, an “integrated arts program” reinforces and expands the basic curriculum concepts.

By designing and implementing activities that engage the visual, auditory, kinesthetic and perceptual abilities of our students, we hope to provide the opportunity for each of them to make real connections between the many seemingly separate parts of their education.

In so doing, our students will learn to approach problems creatively and to apply abstract concepts in exciting ways both inside and outside the classroom. The following is an instructional game we play to help reinforce the general theme of desert ecology/habitats. We call it “The Coyote”s Capture.”

Equipment: Parachutes, hockey nets, mats, etc.

Set-Up: Before starting the game, introduce the class to the “desert habitat” set-up in the gym. Use the parachute as a giant rock for scorpions, snakes and lizards to hide under. Mats can be the burrows for prairie dogs or gophers. Use a hockey net (or other suitable objects) with a parachute draped over it as the coyotes” den. Have the students identify the areas where the animals live: den – coyote; under rocks – scorpions, snakes, or lizards; holes or burrows – prairie dogs or gophers.

How We Play It: This is a tag activity. Select three or four students to be the coyotes and send them to the coyotes’ den to start the game. The rest of the students are either snakes, scorpions, lizards or prairie dogs and begin the game by hiding under giant rocks (parachutes) or standing on the mats. On the teacher’s command, the coyotes will “hunt” the other animals and capture them by tagging. Once an animal is tagged, he goes to the coyotes” den, where he can escape through a secret passage in the back. Once free, he rejoins the game. Constantly change the coyotes to give everyone a chance to be a coyote. Have fun!

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