2. Using games in your teaching

In the first part of this section, you considered ways to plan teaching your pupils about physical development. We are now going to look at one element of this: the physical exercise pupils may get while at school or at home.

First, read Resource 3: Using games and physical exercise for ideas.

When planning to use games in your teaching, you need to think about:

  • the content of the game, so that it helps the pupils reach the learning objectives you have set for the lesson;
  • the organisation of the game:
    • How do you play the game?
    • How will you give instructions to the pupils?
    • How will you check they understand how to play?
    • Will they play in pairs, groups or as a class?
    • Where will they play – inside or outside?
    • How long will they play for?

Case Study 2: Using pupils’ favourite games

Mr Oyugi, a teacher in the township of Kiambu, wanted to use pupils’ games in his lessons. So he planned a lesson where they would:

  • identify their favourite games;
  • describe how to play them;
  • use the games to learn about different ideas and topics such as sharing and numbers.

To start the lesson, he used the ‘likes and dislikes’ survey to find out what games his pupils knew. To save time, he planned to:

  • conduct the survey with the whole class at once;
  • record the information on the board himself.

Next, he wanted the pupils to do something themselves. He decided that, in groups, they would write a description of their favourite game, but they would have to include answers to some key questions that he would provide about how to play the game. He included questions such as: Where do you play it? How many people could play? What equipment is needed? What are the rules?

Finally, he built in time for each group to explain their game to the class. They would vote and play one game each week.

Read Resource 4: How Mr Oyugi taught his lesson for more information on what he did.

Activity 2: A simple number game

Try this game with your class. It practises adding the numbers 1 to 10 and gives your pupils physical exercise.

  • The pupils form a circle. You stand in the middle and give them a simple sum, e.g. 2 + 3.
  • The pupils jump to form groups whose number answers the sum: e.g. 2 + 3 = 5; they jump into groups of 5.
  • A new person stands in the middle, makes up a sum and the game continues.

If your class is large, make more than one circle or play outside to have more room.

If you have a multigrade class, make circles for each standard. Younger pupils can practise adding and subtracting. Classes in higher standards can practise multiplication and division.

How did your pupils react to this game?

What did they learn?

How can you adapt this game to a lesson plan for science or English? What changes would you make in organising it but still keep the physical activity?

1. Focus on planning

3. Teaching about healthy living