Challenge your PE class with these 6 lesson adaptations

This post covers 6 essential changes you can make for your lesson skills and games you are teaching, to be at the right level for your class. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our complete K-2 PE skills and games pack, full of over 100 awesome PE lesson activities to use.

No class is the same as others.  I can safely say that after having taught all over the world – from the United States and Canada, to Australia and New Zealand, the sporting ability and gross-motor skills of young kids at school are widely different. Kids always need something that CHALLENGES them – But too hard and they’ll soon give up and lose confidence, too easy and they’ll be left unmotivated and distracted.

pe equipment baseball hoop cones sportIt’s important that kids use the right size of equipment to learn, but also good to practice with a variety to really get a good feel and become adaptable. Change the:

  • Size of the bat, racquet or paddle used – larger is generally easier, smaller is harder
  • Size of the balls – larger (basketball) or smaller (tennis balls)
  • Shape of balls – round, or oval (e.g. American football or rugby ball)
  • Type of balls – spongy, soft, hard, bouncy

basketball ball court lines sport pe lessons teaching spaceChange the playing area allowed with cones or with the sport hall lines:

  • Distance between pairs – nearer (easier) or further away (harder)
  • Size of playing area – smaller (harder) or larger (easier)
  • Distance to targets – closer (easier to hit) or further away (harder)

movement jumping skipping hopping gross motorYou can specify a particular way to move around for some activities:

  • Skipping or galloping
  • Hopping
  • Side-stepping
  • Walking or running

8scorWhen the kids are motivated and like to compete, points can be a great way to get them involved, but keep it interesting:

  • Amount of targetsMore or less targets to hit
  • Size of targets – Bigger (easier) or smaller (harder)
  • More chances to earn points – Give extra points for getting near to the targets, or set challenges like throwing whilst balancing on 1 leg
  • Lose points – e.g. if you hit the red cone

8actSpecify the way the action must be performed, this will really improve their skills across multiple sports:

  • Only allowed to use your left or right hand (throwing, hitting, holding…)
  • Only allowed to use your left or right foot (kicking)
  • Over or under-arm throwing
  • 2 handed or 1 handed throwing and catching

8groupKeep the class engaged by working with different people:

  • Switch up partners for a range of ability and experience
  • Work alone/individually for exploration
  • Put into groups for teamwork – also change up the amount in each group

We’d love to hear other ideas you have that can challenge and extend your students’ skills. Read our ‘PE teaching Fundamentals’ post as well, then have a look at the K-2 PE skills resource, where you can put these ideas into your next PE lesson – to deliver game.changing.sport.

Other awesome sport lesson resources: 60 Skill Station activities, 25 Relay Races

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