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Think Outside The Gym: How To Integrate PE Games

Enhance learning and well-being with integrated PE games. Explore creative ways to elevate your PE lesson plans for better engagement and focus.
Enhance learning and well-being with integrated PE games. Explore creative ways to elevate your PE lesson plans for better engagement and focus.

Kids need to move more. That can look like a dynamic physical education program, but you can also think outside the gym. What would it look like to integrate physical education games into your school curriculum? I recently talked about teaching nutrition through other classes. You have a similar opportunity with your PE lesson plans. 

When students have more opportunities for physical activity throughout the school day, you are likely to see: 

  • Better focus and concentration
  • Less fidgeting
  • More engagement
  • Better ability to retain information and perform on tests

At the same time, you’re helping combat a sedentary lifestyle that can lead to numerous health issues.

Integrating physical education games throughout the curriculum helps students who are less athletic or don’t love PE get moving. When physical education is integrated with other subjects, all students learn that being physically active doesn’t have to look like going to the gym or playing a sport. 

Integrate physical education games into your curriculum

One quick and easy way to start building PE games into your curriculum is to use them as brain breaks. You can also use games adapted for the classroom for indoor recess time or after a test or other high focus time. 

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You can also use warm-up ideas from your PE lesson plans as brain breaks for movement breaks. When you do this, you can remind students that the activity is a good warm up for other things, reinforcing the idea of doing a warm up and helping them remember how they warm up for different activities. 

If you need PE lesson plans, these Sports Fundamentals Lesson Plan Cards are a great starting point. Students learn the basics of basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, baseball/softball, gymnastics, hockey, and ultimate frisbee. 

Enhance learning and well-being with integrated PE games. Explore creative ways to elevate your PE lesson plans for better engagement and focus.

More ways to integrate PE lesson plans

Here are some ideas for combining PE games with specific subjects: 

  • Have students use skip counting as they skip rope, dribble, or volley a tennis ball. 
  • Do a story walk with a different page of a book at a different place in the classroom, school, or playground. Have students use different motions—walk, jog, lunge, skip, etc.—between pages. 
  • Have students check their pulse before and after a PE game as part of a science lesson. 
  • Learn a new PE game from a country you are exploring in social studies. 
  • Tie a book that includes a physical activity with the activity, baseball tie poetry with a PE lesson on baseball/softball, or a biography of a famous gymnast with a gymnastics lesson
  • Have teams count how many free throws or layups they make and graph the results, or calculate the percentage of shots made. 
  • Write letters on the ground with chalk and have students dribble along the letters. 
  • Give a short mental math problem. Have students dribble the response. For example, if you say 3 + 6, students dribble 9 times. You could also have students demonstrate a swing or shot (without equipment) using good form the same number of times, counting as they go. 

And don’t forget, lessons from physical education games can flow back into the classroom too. Think about learning and playing by rules, teamwork, communication, and leadership skills learned on the court or field that show up in group projects and other activities. 

So get moving with PE lesson plans that integrate into your school curriculum. Your students will benefit in so many ways!

Enhance learning and well-being with integrated PE games. Explore creative ways to elevate your PE lesson plans for better engagement and focus.

Enhance learning and well-being with integrated PE games. Explore creative ways to elevate your PE lesson plans for better engagement and focus.

Get Email Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular teaching tips and updates & get instant access to the free classroom games PDF:

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