Welcome to the Activities page of The PE Umbrella website. Here, it is my hope to share the many activities that I have found to be successful since the beginning of my teaching days. As of now, they are in no particular order, but know that they are all AMAZING and worth a try with your class! As the numbers grow on this page, I will be splitting them into sub categories to browse at your own leisure! Thanks for jumping Under the Umbrella!
This activity is simply stunning!
Born out of my love for Crossover & Capture the Flag (Check out The Physical Educator), this takes invasion games to a whole new level. Take on the role of the Jedi or the Sith in this time trial based activity and reclaim the galaxies.
Best used as the introduction or even culmination of an invasion games unit, children simply LOVE to play this game. Emphasis on awareness, agility and communication can all be brought to the fore for discussion which makes it a real pleasure to teach, and play 😉
A great Ice Breaker activity. I first played this game as an attendee of a conference myself many years ago. Now a staple of mine when I first meet a class (or when the children don’t know each other). Great fun, competitive and best of all gets you moving and thinking! Enjoy.
Welcome to Ellis Ball, or Mat Rounders as it’s commonly known to the many children who have played it over the years.
Again, I first saw a version of this played in my time as a high school cover supervisor, the students loved it and I made a mental note of it. Fast forward many years and it has gone through various modifications (you can even use hula huts!) and is still as awesome as ever. This is a great activity for the culmination (or even start) of a striking and fielding unit to capture the imagination of your students, it really does have everything!
Listen to the Podcast all about Ellis Ball HERE!
So last year After reading all about co-operative learning pedagogy in the PE classroom, I decided to stick my neck on the line and take the plunge, attempting to deliver some KS1 (year 1/2) gymnastics in this way.
It’s safe to say it was one of the most rewarding blocks of work i’ve delivered in recent times. The children surprised me to no end how capable they were if only they were given a chance, demonstrating maturity beyond their years!
This is a 29 page PDF containing all of he resources I used throughout the unit that I made, many visuals and sheets that formed the basis of what I taught. I hope you find value in it like I did!
After digging around my bank of resources from last year, I stumbled across this awesome multi skills pack. I used the resources in this pack with children in EYFS and year 1 as part of a fundamental skills unit. They were used across a number of lessons and compromise station cards to prompt the children in a variety of skills. There are 14 cards in total and each one has progressions and challenges for skills including jumping, object control, agility and balance!
When the sun begins to shine, there is nothing better than a unit of Net & Wall games outside (or still inside depending on the British weather).
As part of any Net & Wall games unit I deliver, I inevitably incorporate some racket skills in there and ball striking. Often, children find striking a ball in the air quite a challenge, particularly using the forearm technique. Using floor tennis, I strip it back to basics by working on technique before allowing them to strike it in the air. Floor tennis provides the perfect foundation to a correct technique that can then be transferred easily into a standing strike. No more pancake shots!
It can be played both co-operatively and competitively and has been implemented successfully in both KS1 & KS2!
PE Umbrella Community, I am pumped to be sharing this resource with you!
These PDF sheets form part of what I consider to be my best lesson of the 2017/18 school year. In the Winter months when it’s damp and drizzly, I still love to get the students outside as much as possible. Orienteering and Teamwork skills seems like the perfect unit for Autumn 2 or Spring 1. I used this lesson towards the back end of my unit but it would still be perfect as a stand alone. The full description of this lesson can be found over on my YouTube channel HERE!
Here I am pleased to share another rainy day activity, although there is so much more to this than meets the eye. Again, this is perfect as part of an orienteering unit and the emphasis is predominantly on the Green and Red Umbrella in terms of learning (Cognitive & Social domains). I find it is a lovely introduction to map reading and understanding orientation of where students are stood. All you need are marker cones too, so it’s very light on resources.
Students work in small groups with one of them opting to be the map reader, this person stands across the 9 cones opposite his team. The map reader tells his first team mate which is the starting cone (marked green on the map) and they must then take it in turns figuring out the route through the cones. They may step forward, backwards, left or right. If they make a correct step, they go again. If they make an incorrect move, the map reader says so and the next team mate starts again.
Thus it becomes a game of trial and error and careful watching and communication between the team trying to solve the route through! You can even play with non verbal communication only! That IS EXCITING!
Come and grab this lovely throwing activity resource, suitable for ages EYFS all the way through to UKS2. Competition, cooperation and versatility, this activity has it in bucket loads, and all of the instructions are right here to play it.
This game lends itself to a variety of fundamental skill units or a throwing/catching unit of work or can simply be played as a warm up for 5/10 minutes, what’s not to love?
For a more in depth explanation, head over to episode 109 of the podcast for a full run down of the game!
Come and grab these wonderful PDF resources and have a blast delivering them to your class. In the past decade I have lost count of how many times I’ve delivered, tinkered, adapted and then delivered again, both of these incredible activities.
They have been used with children as young as 5, right up to high school age with equal success and enjoyment (providing there’s some minor adapting).
These activities have really stood the test of time and are two absolute go to’s for me either as warm ups or main focus activities. So come and jump ‘Under the Umbrella’ and give them a try yourself! For a deeper explanation of the games, head over to episode 110 of the podcast and listen there too!
Updated and reborn from the original copies in episode 23 of The PE Umbrella Podcast! Come and give these 8 footwork variations a try to challenge and improve the agility and footwork of your students!
I’ve successfully used some of these with both KS1 and KS2 aged children with plenty of success. If you don’t have any speed ladders, then use cones or rubber lines placed a suitable distance apart. Then simply stand back and watch your class take on the challenge and support each other through some great challenges. They really do get you thinking!
Yet another great little starter, particularly in a team building or orienteering unit. Switch on your students thinking caps by playing ‘I Go, You Go’ as they battle to be the quickest pair, both with their feet and their heads!
Take your class on an adventure but be sure not to wake the bears!
With a focus on an array of physical skills, including agility, stability and object manipulation, you need to give this game a try. A hybrid of the classic ‘Rob the Nest’ activity, your class will have a blast taking the food from the forest! Who will take the most?
For a more in depth look, listen to ep.113 of The podcast as I take you through step by step how to deliver it!
So last term I worked on a co-operative learning Gymnastics unit with my year 5 class. Here are all of the resources I used to navigate through it. Firstly, a huge shout out and thank you to Gemma Coles from Head Over Heels Gymnastics, from whom I used the excellent photographic visuals to create these posters and activity cards.
This resource, if I’m honest, could be used with children down to year 2, but it fit in great with where my own class were in their learning and provided equal challenge and success. The series of lessons culminated in a Sport Ed style competition with the performance of our routines and the winners getting presented medals in assembly!