Name/Title: Beat the Clock

Purpose of Event: For students to quickly be able to form accurate groups, on their own, so they are ready for an activity which requires groupwork. However, you can make a whole lesson out of just playing this game, as it involves lots of motor skills, movement, and number skills.

Prerequisites: They need to be able to count to 10, know how to skip, hop, jump, and run, and any other movements you care to use (glide, slide, animal walk, etc.)

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: An open space.

Description of Idea

Start the activity by explaining how it is important to work well with others in PE. Explain that when someone asks you to join their group, even if that person is not your friend yet, you need to join their group. Explain how people's feelings get hurt if you reject them, and that this is NOT allowed in this game.

The students will start by moving in general space doing the activity you call out, such as skipping. After a while, you blow your whistle, and put up a number on your fingers (like 3). They must get in groups of 3 in 10 seconds or less, to "Beat the Clock." If someone doesn't immediately have a group, he or she runs to the middle and yells, "Help! Help!" while waving their arms.

The students are to sit ONLY when they have the correct number of students in their group (if there are only 2 in their group, they should continue standing and looking in the middle to "save" someone. If they have 4, they can't sit). If the class was all sitting in the correct number of groups, then the class gets a class point. When you have less than the required group size in the middle, those final students will become a small group. Keep a chart in the cafeteria/gym to record class points for each class.


For math applications, you can say, "How many groups of three are there? (like 10). What do 10 groups of 3 make? If I take 1 student from each group, how many will we have...etc."

Teaching Suggestions:

If you notice the kids are just sitting with their friends, and not in the specified number of people per group, then you need to reteach the directions and stress they sit with different students each time.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

It is important to put all hearing impaired students in front of the class, so they can hear your directions. Students with crutches and wheelchairs can still participate, but their movements will just be limited to what they are able to do.

Submitted by Cheryl Rains in Carmichael, CA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/1/2003.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!