I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you just how unpredictable our weather is these days. It helps if you can be prepared for a wet weather PE lesson. Just last week I was in one of our Birmingham schools supporting a year 5 tennis lesson, many of the children had little experience with ball and racquet.
Not a problem you might think, low bounce sponge balls a plenty in the PE cupboard. However, it was blowing a gale, so a hastily adapted indoor lesson had to take place. Taking a mixed ability tennis group indoors from outdoors can be easier than you might think. Don’t abandon your activity in favour of something more ‘manageable’. Below are a few things we did to adapt tennis for a small indoor space:
- Set up 4 stations with slight variations still focusing on our main objectives – class then rotated through.
- Allowed only 2 groups to have racquets – reducing the risk of contact in small space.
- Grouped pupils by ability – this made it easier to control each group and differentiate their task.
- Adapted equipment – We used sponge balls but also light plastic balls which could be hit off the palm of the hand.
The teacher also had a few ‘go to’ starter activities which quickly got the children warmed up and ready for the lesson which gave him time to get set up. Below is a fun activity that can be used for net/wall games and adapted to fit a small indoor space. Why don’t you give it a go and let us know how you get on? Even better tweet or Facebook your class playing.
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Put children in groups of approximately 5. Set up as many courts needed so that children can play against each other over a net or bench 5 v 5. The aim of the game is using hands to pat the ball & keep the ball going back & forth over the net. The ball can bounce as many times as needed but cannot roll—teacher to decide if restricted bounces to make it harder where appropriate. Children need to communicate with each other to know who is going for a ball or who is not. Racquets can be introduced to make it harder but space must be available so children are not too close together when trying to hit the ball.
Extension: Change the type of balls e.g. sponge, low bounce, normal tennis ball etc.
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