Games Making in PE Class

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In the Primary Years Program, Approaches to Learning (ATL) involve skills, such as Thinking, Research, Communication, Self-management and Social skills. The skills are likened to 21st Century Skills, some might call these soft skills. These skills prepare students for a world that may look very different from the world in which they live in now. In an increasingly artificially-intelligent world, and one characterized by a ‘Gig Economy’ where people regularly change their jobs, ATL’s support our students to become self-regulated learners and prepare them for what could be a very different looking future.

PE offers a wonderful opportunity for these skills to develop. Our Grade 3 and 4 students are exploring Games Making – collaborating, thinking and using creativity to inquire into what makes up a game and whether it is possible to invent our own game. One Grade 4 team came up with a game to improve throwing and develop knowledge about strategy: Two teams build a fortress each, sponge balls are thrown at each other and if you are hit you go to the hospital and remove 1 of 20 a bean bags, then you come back in. Invading the other team’s territory to grab a bean bag was a very fun part of the game too. Catching someone’s thrown ball was another way to beat the opposition.

As students develop their games in groups they learn the art of negotiating, problem-solving, communicating, and turn-taking. As a teacher, I stood back to offer them the opportunity to teach the class their game, we paused and reflected on how hard that was, shared strategies for getting control of 20 chatty Grade 4’s, and had another go at being able to describe the game to our audience. We quickly learnt that teaching and coaching excited children is hard, but also very rewarding.

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