Submitted by April Parrish from Raleigh, North Carolina. 4-8
Background: At our middle school, we provide a morning intramural program during our 15-minute homeroom time. There are approximately 100 students at a time in the gym playing a variety of fast-paced games. All of the games have minimal equipment and set-up time.
Program Goals: The goals of our program include increasing physical activity opportunities for our students, developing sound sportsmanship and character, and helping the students to understand the many benefits of teamwork.
Point System: All of the games are scored and recorded for a year-end intramural winner. Each team is awarded points for participation and sportsmanship. Additionally, bonus points are given for high score, being on time, and most spirited.
Sample Games/Activities: The following pages feature a few of the games we have found most successful to use with our students. Enjoy!
- Vocabulary words (Physical education terms, character traits, spelling words, etc.)
How We Do It: Each team stands in their designated area. On the teacher’s signal, one player from each team runs to center of the gym where the teacher is standing. The students form a “huddle” as the teacher tells them a word to spell.
After hearing the spelling word, the players run back to their team. Each team must lie on the floor and spell out the word with their bodies. Every student should be involved in spelling each word.
The first team to correctly spell the word will receive a point. The team that spells the word correctly also has the chance to define the word for a bonus point. The game continues with a new person from each team running to the center to get the next word.
- Ball rack
- Large gatorskin balls
Set-Up: Place the ball rack with the large gatorskin balls in the center of the gym. Each team is stationed near a basketball goal. This is a basketball lead-up activity that involves two players per team.
How We Do It: On the teacher’s signal, the first two players from each team will run to the center and get one ball from the ball rack. The two students will pass the ball up to four times to get as close as possible to the basketball goal. After the fourthpass, that student must shoot to make a basket at his team’s goal.
Other Rules: Players with the ball are not allowed to move; only students without the ball may run toward the basket. If one of the students drops the ball, both players must return to their team and get back in line. Teams receive 1 point for an attempted shot, and 2 points for a goal. After the balls have been replaced on the rack, the teacher will signal for the next two players to start.
- A list of Olympic sports
- Polyspots or other markers
Set-Up: One polyspot is placed 3 feet in front of each team’s designated area as shown. The teacher stands in the center of the gym.
How We Do It: This activity is like a game of charades. Each team will send one player to the teacher who will whisper the name of a sport (i.e., football) to this group of players. The players will run back to their polyspot to act out the sport to his teammates. These students are not allowed to make any gestures or hints until they are on the polyspot.
As soon as a team member names the exact sport (i.e., figure skating, not skating) correctly, that student will run to the center of the gym to tell the teacher the name of the sport. Classmates may ask questions, but the leader may only nod their head to answer. The leader may also indicate in pantomime if a team member is “hot” or “cold.” The first team to correctly guess the sport earns 2 points, all other teams with the correct answer earn 1 point.
- Large storage bucket
- Homemade letter tiles (Our tiles were made from donated foam that was cut into 3-inch squares with the letters written with permanent marker.)
Set-Up: The letter tiles are placed in the center of the gym.
How We Do It: The teams line up in their designated area. On the teacher’s signal, the first person in each line runs to the “bowl of alphabet soup” in the center of the gym.
The student takes one letter out of the “bowl” and runs back to their team. Students continue retrieving letters until the whistle blows, approximately 3 minutes. Students use the next 12 minutes forming words with the letters. The words must be a minimum of 3 letters.
You earn 1 point for each letter used in a word. For example, if a team spelled the words “run,” “play,” “sing” and “dance,” then 16 points would have been scored.