How We Express Ourselves – Games

Grade 1 students use their imaginations to create new games and adapt old classics to connect with their classroom learning.


This unit has been designed to make connections between activities we undertake in PE and the students learning and inquiries in their classroom. For their final unit of the year, grade 1 will be inquiring in to ways people express themselves, their creativity and imaginations. In the classroom, they will explore creative writing and the arts etc, and in PE, we will attempt to inspire the students to be creative by inventing their own games which they will teach and share with the class.


Central idea: Our experience and imagination can help us to create

Key concepts::    Perspective, Reflection, Form    Related concepts: Creativity, Imagination, adaptation

Lines of Inquiry: 1. The different ways people express their imagination. 2. The relationship between creativity and enjoyment. 3. How our experiences influence our creativity


For the first session,  I wanted to have the students quickly engaged in a warm up game that was not a regular one we might play. As it is quick to teach, the students had no problem learning the rules for ‘Rock-paper-scissors baseball’. This game is played by setting up 4 bases in a diamond shape (like a baseball field) and have the students begin at home base. Students pair up and challenge one-another to a quick game of rock-paper-scissors. The winner of each pair will move on to the first base and look for a new person to challenge while the losing partner searches for someone else. The cycle continues at each base where winners move on and the remaining partner searches for a new partner before moving on. I usually let the game last for about 2 minutes, sometimes longer before a quick drink break. Below are a couple of photos and a video (not the greatest example) of the game being played.

A pair playing while someone waits               Students moving to different bases



Following the warm up game I had the students seated and we discussed their unit details (above) to quickly gauge their understanding on the central idea and lines of inquiry. We discussed their classroom learning experiences so far and what they they we might be doing in PE this unit. Sure enough, a few of the students commented on how they had already been creative by inventing games with their friends or siblings that they play together after school hours. I let this discussion continue and flow into the idea that the students could share their ideas for games with the rest of the class and agreed with them that this will be the direction of the unit. In order to try and give some inspiration, I wanted to demonstrate some more games I knew that was different to the ones they had experienced before.


King Ball

I’m sure that there’s a good possibility this game has been played by others elsewhere but my knowldege of this game comes from my school days when my friends and I created and played this game (we believe). I explained the whole story to my students how my friends and I used to play a version of tag using a ball where the person who was “it” simply threw a ball hit someone. The game had to be changed because it was too dangerous and we thought of being allowed to hold some sort of shield in order to defend yourself. The “it” person threw a ball at you but you could knock it away with your bat but if you got hit, you would then drop your bat and pick up the ball to be “it” and exchange places and equipment with the person who got you. To ensure enough movement in the game, multiple people being “it” with a ball helps to get the group moving. Naturally, we used soft foam balls and the students were instructed to only throw under arm and below the waist.


Hide Behind The Mats

Again, this is a game that has possibly been played in a variation in some pace at some time before but as I know it, Hide behind the mats was a game created here at my school, VIS when an older group of students undertook a similar unit. The game is played by dividing the students in to 4 equal teams, I used house teams who have to try and steal bean bags from a teacher at the front, who is about 15-20m away. The space between the students base and the teacher at the front is occupied with a number of mats standing up to be used as a hiding spot or a screen.  The teacher hides behind a mat counting from 10 down to 1 out loud so that the students can hear. When the teacher starts counting, two students from each team run to the front, steal a bean bag and try to make it back before time runs out which is when the teacher stands up and tries to catch anyone still moving. If a student feels they cannot make it back the whole way in under 10 seconds, they can hide behind one of the mats on the court. Once the teacher has caught anyone moving, he/she tries to guess the names of any missing students and points to which mat they think that student is hiding behind. If the teacher is correct, the student returns the bean bag and returns to their base. The game is finished when all the bean bags have been stolen and the groups count up their bean bags to determine the winner. Hopefully, the video below explains the game a little better.