Name/Title: Carnival Games

Purpose of Event: To allow students to work in groups to create, design, and build their own carnival game to present to the class.

Prerequisites: Introduction to basic skills such as throwing, kicking, striking. This activity can serve as a broad review of many skills depending on the direction students take with their creativity.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Balls, hoops, bean bags, cones, noodles. Basically anything you have in your equipment room. This is a creative activity. Students should be encouraged to use their imagination in creating their game.

Description of Idea

Students are organized into groups of three or four depending on class size, given their designated space and a few minutes to look over available equipment and develop an idea. They are then given between five and ten minutes to build and test their game before opening to the entire class. In grades 3-5 this activity is presented as running a game at the carnival.

Each group is given $10 to make change and each student is given $10 to spend on games. Game operators must decide on how much to charge for their game. $1, $2, or $3. When the carnival opens one group member must stay behind and be the game operator while the other members have an opportunity to play the games created by different groups. Each team member has the opportunity to serve as operator and play other games. At the end of the carnival groups must determine how much profit they made on their game.

NOTE: This activity also works extremely well with grades K-2 but without the exchange of money. Also it does not have to be limited to one skill. I have had groups use kicking, striking, and build mini obstacle courses. They sometimes incorporate more than one skill. It is amazing what students can create when given the freedom of a blank slate and access to the equipment room.

Assessment Ideas:

Possible questions to pose at end of class or have the classroom teacher hand these questions out on a piece of paper for them to fill out and get back to you.

Did any games incorporate more than one skill?
What skills did you practice today?
What game was the easiest and what skill was needed?
What game was most difficult and what skill was needed?
Do you believe your game was a success and why?
Was it better to charge more for your game or less?

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Specific suggestions can not be made until the games are designed by the students. In the years that I have been doing this activity I have had groups make quick adjustments on their own for student in wheelchairs or on crutches.

Submitted by Mike Isbell who teaches at Fort Lewis Elementary in Salem, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/9/2022.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!