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Physical Education: Outside the Box

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Here are some games from Bud and Sue Turner’s new book Physical Education:  Outside the Box! 3-8




Editor’s Note: This dynamic husband and wife duo have written six excellent books for physical education teachers over the past 25 or so years. Sue has been recognized for her outstanding teaching (Seattle Schools’ “Top 10 Teachers,” Washington Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, Seattle Times’ “20 Most Influencial People in the Area of Fitness”), and dedication over her 36-year career. Bud is the former K-12 Physical Education and Health Supervisor for Seattle Public Schools. Among a variety of honors and recognitions, he is a former National Physical Education Administrator of the Year and a recipient of USA Today’s “Excellence Award.” We are pleased to share a few fun games and activities from their upcoming book with you at this time.

Background: Two teams of 3-4 students stand in single file 10-15 feet from a goal. If there are not enough baskets available, the number of players per team can be increased. One ball is given to the first person in each line. If played outside, a tic-tac-toe grid can be marked with chalk or taped on a carpet square. This is placed as shown above. Each team is given five beanbags of the same color. Team beanbags are placed on opposite sides of the tic-tac-toe grid.

How We Play It: Following a signal to begin, one shot is taken by each team. If the basket is made, that player gives the ball to the next person in line and quickly places a beanbag on the grid. If the shot is missed, that player gives the ball to the next person and runs to the end of the line. The first team to have three beanbags in a row scores a point. When this occurs, beanbags are removed and a new game begins. For variety, change the distance, the type of shot, or play a different team.

Background: This is a great 10-station event where students do everything backwards!

Directions: Have each student find a partner. During the first round, partner #1 will perform each of the ten activities while partner #2 records the results. Some of the tasks are recorded by time while others are recorded in distance. Each partner gets two chances per station (unless the directions state otherwise). Only the best score is counted. On the second round, the partners switch roles. Measure everything from the “Start/Finish” line.

Station #1 – Backward Bowl: Roll the ball between your legs toward the single pin placed 20-30 feet away. How many trials did it take you to knock over the pin? Â

Station #2 – Backward Standing Long Jump: Place your heels on the start line, bend arms, and jump backward. Use the yarkstick to measure the number of inches jumped. Mark the distance from the start line to where the toes land.

Station #3 – Backward Balance Beam Walk: Can you walk the balance beam from end to end without stepping off? Variations: Can you walk the balance beam while tossing and catching a scarf without stepping off?

Station #4 – Backward Agility Ladder Run: How quickly can you run backward across the ladder, stepping inside each space?

Station #5 – Backward Basketball Dribble: How long does it take to dribble between the eight cones down and back in a backward direction?

Station #6 – Backward Rope Jumps: How many backward jumps can you complete in 60 seconds?

Station #7 – Backward Soccer Dribble: How long does it take to dribble a soccer ball between the eight cones down and back in a backward direction?

Station #8 – Backward Speed Rolls: How quickly can you do a series of backward rolls to cover the 10-foot distance?


Station #9 – Backward Scooter Race: How long does it take to move your scooter backward from the starting line to the finish line 50 feet away? Push using your feet while seated.

Station #10 – Backward Medicine Ball Throw: Throw the ball backward for distance. Note: Make sure the area is marked off and clear of students before each throw.


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