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The PE Stations Survival Guide

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Here’s just a sample of the great stuff in Dr. Connie Crawford’s new book! 


Editor’s Note: This will be Dr. Connie Crawford’s third publication. She is the author of Hoop-La! and co-authored (along with Nancy Carleton) one of our Gym Dandies Series. The PE Stations Survival Guide will contain hundreds of creative physical education station ideas on a variety of holiday themes (ex: Halloween, Spring, Winter Celebrations), sport skills, fitness, and other fun approaches to helping students learn using a fun multi-station format.

The History of Physical Education

Background: Did you know that May is National Physical Education and Sports Month? What is the history of physical education? What changes have occurred to sports since the 1900′s?

The “History of Physical Education” provides your students with ten fun activity stations highlighting how physical education and sports have changed over the years. They will have a great time, keep physically active, and learn more about the importance of physical education!

It’s also a great way to educate parents and fellow staff members on the significant and important roles that physical education and sports have played in our American heritage. As such, invite your parents and classroom teachers to join their children for this special event.

Historical Markers: For this project, we created “Historical Markers” explaining the history of the activity with important facts and interesting trivia. Each family attending was given a hand-out containing a copy of the information on the ten historical markers to take home and read at their leisure.

Each “historical marker” is presented before the individual station section in this book for you to copy as a station marker. The markers also establish a rationale for each of the ten stations (Editor’s Note: Only 6 of the 10 stations will be presented here). Please feel free to make your own Historical Markers based on the physical education facts of your state.

Note: We also used background music that was representative of the 10 decades, including popular songs from early 1900′s to the present. Your school’s music teacher can serve as a valuable resource for the music.



- Heavy-duty rope (i.e., tug-a-war rope)
- Carpet squares
- A short piece of ribbon or other suitable object to mark the middle of the rope

Station Set-Up & Directions: Stretch out the rope on the floor, placing the carpet squares at opposite ends of the rope. Two students are seated on the carpet squares facing each other from opposite ends.

Using a pre-agreed signal to start, both players begin to pull themselves toward the middle of the rope using a hand-over-hand pattern. The first student to reach the middle is the winner. Over the years, we have found it interesting to pair a father with his younger son. The lighter person moves forward with less effort due to the reduced friction of the carpet against the floor.

Safety Tip: Remind the students not to kneel or stand on the carpet square.




- Several sets of “Jacks”
- Yo-yos
- Marbles
- A large piece of carpet
- Pick-Up sticks
- Hula Hoops
- Containers for items

Station Set-Up & Directions: Prior to this activity, the students should have had instruction on how to play these games independently. The different games are placed about the station so that the students can select an activity that is “open.”

Marbles: Use a large piece of old carpet with short nap or indoor-outdoor carpet on which to roll the marbles. A circle can be permanently painted on the carpet using acrylic latex paint or by using fabric paint or a fabric marker. Keep the marbles in a quart size plastic tub with lid at the station. This container helps prevent students from kneeling on or stepping on loose marbles while playing or while moving from station to station. Remind students to be sure that all marbles are put back into the tub before leaving this station.

Jacks & Pick-Up Sticks: For jacks and pick-up sticks, use hula hoops to contain the jacks and pick-up sticks.

Yo-Yos: The yo-yos may be kept in a container with instructions and pictures on the basic skills of operation and some suggested tricks.


STATION #3: (1920-1930) HOOVERBALL


- Volleyball standards and a net
- Lightweight medicine ball (or other suitable object)

Station Set-Up & Directions: Set up a small volleyball court with a shortened and lowered volleyball net. The net can be folded in half and supported on movable standards at a height of 5-6 feet. One half of the students at this station are on one side of the net and the other half are in the other court. Use a medicine ball with the weight appropriate for the age and size of the students.

Rules: The game is played by throwing and catching the ball across the net. Points are scored as in the game of volleyball. Points are scored if:

1) the ball is not caught when thrown across the net;
2) the ball hits the net, poles or other obstructions;
3) the players drop the ball on the floor; or
4) the ball is thrown out of bounds.

Other: Players receiving the ball may pass it to a player who is closer to the net. Players may not move their feet if they have the ball. Also, in this game there is no server; so any player retrieving the ball may begin the next play by throwing the ball across the net from that position on the court.


STATION #4: (1930-1940) BOWLING


- Gym bowling sets
- Floor marking tape (for pin set-up and foul line)

Station Set-Up & Directions: Prior to this the teacher will use the floor marking tape to designate the foul line and where the pins should be placed. The students take turns using the bowling skills learned in a previous class. Each student may bowl the ball twice as in a real game of bowling. A teacher-made score pad may also be used at this station.


STATION #5: (1940-1950) BASKETBALL


- Basketball goals
- Basketballs

Station Set-Up & Directions: The students at this station are free to use the various shooting techniques learned at their grade level to score as many baskets as possible. As the students continue to shoot and rebound, they should count the number of baskets made before the signal to go to the next station.




- Twelve 36-inch hula hoops
- Two foam frisbees
- Vinyl floor tape or duct tape

Station Set-Up & Directions: Prior to the activity, the teacher will construct a “hoop house” target. To make a “hoop house,” use the 12 hula hoops and construct a two-story structure as illustrated.


Building a Hoop House: Begin by taping two hoops together on one side using duct tape (or vinyl floor tape); then add a third hoop, also taping it on one of the sides. When the fourth hoop is added, the resulting shape forms a box shape (without a top or bottom). Add hoops to the top and the bottom, taping the hoops together into a stable, free-standing cube. Construct a second cube and place it on top of the first, making a two-story structure that is sturdy enough to stand alone and resist the force of impact should it be hit by a thrown frisbee.

Place the “hoop house” in the center of an open area. The students at this station are partnered (or in groups of three) and stand on opposite sides of the “hoop house.” They will throw the frisbee through any of the two-story structure that is sturdy enough to stand alone and resist the force of impact should it be hit by a thrown frisbee.

Place the “hoop house” in the center of an open area. The students at this station are partnered (or in groups of three) and stand on opposite sides of the “hoop house.”

They will throw the frisbee through any of the openings without touching any part of the hoop structure. As the frisbee exits the hoop openings, the partner must catch the frisbee before it hits the ground.


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