Criteria,  MYP,  Teacher Reflection

Designing a new Striking and Fielding Game!


86-T9231 by Stanley Yeo CC BY NC SA

#physed teachers all over the World – if you have space to work with – rejoice!  Sadly for us at YIS, space is a commodity that we just don’t have.   We are lucky as we do have three spaces – a Basketball sized Gymnasium, a Fitness/Dance studio space (that does not really fit us all in, but we make it work) and a smallish synthetic turf space.  Our curriculum is limited to the following strands as we don’t have the luxury of space: Invasion Games (inside/outside); Net Games; Fitness; Movement Composition and Striking and Fielding games.   Now as we work in Concepts, the Strands we have are important, but it is the Concept vertical alignment we are trying to sort out.

In Grade 8 (Year 3 of MYP PHE) we study Striking and Fielding (S&F) games and the conceptual focus is: Effective Decision making and thoughtful strategy and how this is vital to success.  I put out a number of Tweets looking for resources, and was really grateful to the people who shared a lot of games and ideas.  I found that many of them I already had or that they wouldn’t work in the space that I have to work with and so brainstormed some ideas and looked at what Grade 8 students are already doing at our school in other subjects and talked to Alex Thomas (a colleague at YIS) and also reflected on some themes that had planted themselves recently, check out these videos….

I decided I wanted to use the Design Cycle (from our Technology classes, see diagram below) to create a new S&F game.  This will involve Crit A: Knowledge and Crit B: Planning for Performance as part of the assessment for this unit.

New MYP Design Cycle (1)

I really wanted my students to play and analyse a bunch of S&F games – TGfU or full games and then to decide on the Essential Elements that connects these games.  With this knowledge in mind, I then wanted to use the Design Cycle to have students take their research and make a Design Brief that clearly showed their understanding of those Elements (Inquiring and Analysing).

Next, I will form teams (this is the Community concept I am hoping will overarch this unit – working together is not easy!) and students will work through a process of designing a new S&F game – the specification is that they must use as many Essential Elements as they can (preferably all of them) and that the game must be a lot more FUN! and that they could play their brand new game with a modified number of players (4-8 on each team) if possible.

They will have a few lessons to play around with this, all the time knowing that their Crit C is about throwing technique and batting technique as well as strategies in game play – so these will need to be evident in their game play and I need to ensure that we have time to practice throwing, game play pressure throwing and fielding as well as batting from a T and in cricket using a cricket T (we have some strong pitchers, but not a lot of great batters – no experience cricket bowlers in this grade, and some very anxious batters!).

Students will then plan their game out as a video or a written set of instructions so that they are ready to share their game and teach others how to play it.

We will then play other people’s games and try them out and then we will Evaluate our planning and games to see how we felt about our final version and the process we undertook to get to this point.

I am excited about this unit, and hope we can update or create some brand new S&F games – I hope to share them here later.

These are the top 7/8 Criterion bands for the TSC’s that I have written to use in this unit:

Criteria A: Knowledge: In reading the design brief of your game….

  • You have described the essential elements (Game Skills, Game Sense and Interpersonal skills) of S&F games in detail.
  • You use a wide range of S&F terminology consistently and effectively to communicate your understanding.

Criteria B: Planning for Performance: via your new S&F game you….

  • designed a highly appropriate and stimulating game that always met the aim of your game.  You explained in detail how to play the game to others
  • highlighted the effective parts of your game that worked well/ not so well, explained in detail why; and described appropriate ways to improve your game for next time.

Criteria C: Applying and Performing:  Across the unit, you:

  • consistently demonstrated and applied a range of essential skills in a fluent, controlled manner.  Your results were often accurate.
  • Consistently demonstrated and appropriately applied a range of game strategies that we worked on in class.
  • Consistently and quickly read the game play and responded effectively.

Criteria D: Reflecting and improving performance:   Via your IP S.M.A.R.T Goal and across the unit you…

  1. ia. described with some detail, strategies to enhance the IP skill that you chose         to work on.

          ib. often and to some effect demonstrated these chosen IP strategies as well as                    incidental IP strategies that arose.

2.  iia. outlined an IP goal that was mostly Achievable Relevant Time based.

iib. often and to some effect applied these chosen IP strategies as well as                        incidental IP strategies that arose.

    3. explained in detail when evaluating your performance of the IP goal

I would like to hear what others are up to in their own S&F units and to connect with anyone who is doing something similar to continue to grow this idea.


  • mhamada

    Sandra, my unit is coming along but it is not as good as I had hoped, next year I will not play so many TGfU games in the lead up and will use Cricket as my S&F game of choice as they were very unfamiliar with it so this makes it more interesting for my athletic kids as they have to work it out, same as everyone else. Baseball was much more ‘known’ to my kids. I am enjoying the Design Cycle though and plan to use this again.

  • Sandra

    Hi Mel
    How is your unit coming along?

    I have decided to go with a more traditional approach to my grade 7 striking unit. But I will definitely use the design cycle in my game creation unit next year.

    This year I used invasion games as my context , we explored ultimate frisbee and touch rugby. Then students created their own invasion games in small groups to share with our class.

    The assessment was focused around interpersonal skills, I found my students did not have a good understanding of what these are, and I wanted to explore them in detail at least once during the program. They chose interpersonal skills to use during lessons, discussed and made notes on what interpersonal skills they were using after each lesson, gave each other feedback on how they could use the skills better, and what other interpersonal skills they might be able to use. They needed to demonstrate the skills and discuss them. For the final assessment I got them to choose their most effective interpersonal skills (2 max) from the unit and write about these in detail, supporting with examples from the unit. They had lots of formative notes to use in the final written so I was mostly sucessful.

    For my striking and fielding
    My key concept is communication, and I want the unit to focus around developing verbal and nonverbal communication.

    I am planning on creating 2 teams in my class, and working students for the unit in these groups, loosely based on the sports Ed model. I want them to develop set plays and be able to communicate the plays to their teammates, as well as other things. My students have limited striking experience, I know I will need time to develop game play, physical skills and communication, so I don’t want the unit to be to “ fill” of new learning that it doesn’t have a clear focus, with enough time to explore communication in depth.

    This I think will be one of the first times my grade 7 have had a look at non verbal communication in sports, so I want to start the unit looking at communication, particularly in sports, find out what they know, then share some video examples from various sports (I’m just collecting some now) and get them to discuss what they see, why or why not the communication is effective, what the advantages and disadvantages may be of verbal and nonverbal communication then build from there.
    I’m hoping that teams will develop their own non verbal communication, and then apply this in games.

  • mhamada

    Thanks Sandra for sharing your ideas too – please do let me know what you end up doing, it is great to share and steal ideas from others!

  • mhamada

    Thanks for sharing and offering feedback, would be interested to see your final work in designing games with grade 3!

  • Sandra

    Hi Mel
    This is also my next unit for grade 7, sorry for the delayed reply i have been on strafe 8 trip all last week, now catching up, I wll look at what I was thinking about doing and share this week! Great idea to see what others are doing thank you for shareing your ideas and work

  • Fitnwitpe

    Establishing clear criteria is essential. I will definitely use the design cycle suggested in this article. We have done a similar activity with grade 3 students and this would have been very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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