In a perfect world, every school would have a gym teacher. Each class would go to the gym four days a week to learn skills, build muscle, and have fun. On the fifth day of the week, this teacher would come to your classroom to deliver an intensive health program.
However, in many schools this does not happen. More and more we classroom teachers are being called upon to teach our own Health and Physical Education.
Fortunately for those of us in that position, we have OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association)
All schools in Ontario should have copies of the OPHEA documents. These are a series of grade-by-grade curriculum resources that are absolutely amazing.
Each document should be stored in a thick binder in your school. There should be one binder for each grade starting from Kindergarten and going all the way up to Grade 10.
The best thing about this resource is that everything is there for you to go into the gym and teach right this very minute. The lesson plans are sequential and fit nicely into units. They show you how to teach each skill and feature warm up and cool down activities. Each lesson is detailed and timed out so well that you do not need to add anything else to it.
I usually just take the page for the lesson out of the binder and put it on my clipboard. I look over it quickly before the class to make sure that we either have all the materials needed or that I can scrounge them in time.
Other than that, there isn’t much thinking or planning needed. You can teach directly from this document without knowing anything about volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, or any of the other 19 units in the text.
If your school doesn’t have these amazing documents, you can order them. If you live outside of Ontario, I believe that you can purchase them. I highly recommend these documents.
You could use some of the warm-up activities or games in the middle of a long school day to give your students a quick exercise break. A 5 minute physical break often helps our students get back to work and helps them to focus.
Here is a link to a sample of the Grade 6 document.
Ordering information can be found here.
The OPHEA website also has a lot of other free documents and resources that are worth checking out.
Please note that you can click on “Teaching Tips” under the header of my blog to quickly find my posts in the order they have appeared on this site. They are also grouped by theme for easy reference.
I hope you find this series helpful. If you have a tip to share, please consider writing a guest post. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about.