Tried and Tested - Get in shape

1st May 2009 at 01:00

Subject: PE and maths

Lesson: Shape recognition

Ages: 5-7

Supplied by Cindy Silvester, a supply teacher in Greater Manchester

1. What is it?

It is a simple but effective game of tag with two teams competing against each other.

2. Who is it aimed at?

It is aimed at ages five to seven or key stage 1, but can easily be used as a warm-up for older pupils in PE.

3. What happens in the lesson?

After an initial warm-up, choose two children as captains for two teams. My two teams were called Triangles and Circles. Split the rest of the class into the two teams. The Circle captain then has to catch the Triangles and the captain of the Triangles catches the Circles. When a child is caught they sit down in a line behind a marker. The first one to catch the opposite team is the winner. For large classes you can extend it to two captains for each team. Finish off with a cool-down session.

4. What do you want the lesson to achieve?

I want the children to have fun while acquiring dodging skills as well as reinforcing their shapes. It also needs good observational skills - they're always watching where the captain is and trying to escape him or her. It also requires teamwork and playing fair, making sure each pupil follows the rules of the game and sits down when caught out.

5. How do you know it has been successful?

You know it has been successful if the children have had fun, played fair and were able to follow the instructions properly.

6. Why would you recommend this to other teachers?

I think it develops more skills than just an ordinary game of tag. While it still involves running away from the person who is "on", there is more chance of dodging out of the way as only half the class are on the opposite side to the captain. The captains have to search for half the class on the opposing team and can't just catch anyone. For very young children it can be a reminder of the names of shapes.

7. Give us three top tips

- Choose the two teams yourself to make sure you have an equal balance of children on both sides.

- Give the captains a bib so they stand out from the rest of their team and give one side ribbons so it is clear to which side they belong.

- Use clear markers, possibly with a picture of the shape so the children know where they have to sit when they are out.

8. Useful resources

- Netball bibs for the captains.

- Ribbons for one of the sides.

- A diagram or label for the markerscones for where the two sides have to sit.

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