The Great Unpacking - Chasing and Fleeing Tactics and Games Teacher Pack

Chasing & Fleeing Games Teacher Pack

This is the first post in a long, long series.

In some ways, this series is something completely new. In others, it is a continuation of my The Great Unpacking blog post series.

Whichever way you decided to view it, the purpose of this series is to provide you with high quality resources for your teaching all while helping you understand the process behind designing standards-based lessons and units.

In this blog post, I will be sharing with you the process behind the Chasing & Fleeing Games unit that is part of my grade three curriculum map here at St. George’s School of Montreal. The post includes the unpacking process that ensures my lessons are backwards designed, the assessment tools I designed and used in my teaching to track student progress, and the activities I carefully selected to ensure that they are aligned with the students learning.

The blog post also introduces a new premium resource category that you will now be able to find in the ThePhysicalEducator.com’s Shop: Teacher Packs. Teachers Packs are folders containing PDFs (and other file types) that include all of the assessment tools you will find in this blog post. I’m charging a fee for them in order to make sure that I can continue to justify the time/resources I’m committing to in order to produce these types of posts (which, you’ll probably notice, take a while to produce). As always, your support means the world to me, so thank you in advance for making purchases in the Shop and helping ThePhysicalEducator.com achieve its mission! ?

Alright, this post is going to be a monster, so let’s get into it:

Backwards Designing A Chasing & Fleeing Games Unit

When I created my standards-based curriculum map, I noticed two Grade Three grade-level outcomes that were meant to be together.

Chasing & Fleeing Grade Level Outcomes

Click here to learn more about SHAPE America’s National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education.

Ok, so these two are pretty obvious partners in crime here. That being said, now that I had selected my outcomes, it was time to get unpacking. Here’s a short video demonstration of how I unpacked the outcomes:

Once I had gone through the unpacking process for these outcomes (a process I learned from this awesome video by Terri Drain and then created a blog post series about), I had uncovered all of the learning objectives my students would attempt to master throughout our Chasing and Fleeing Games unit. Here’s an overall look at the unpacked outcomes (you can click the image to view it in full size):

Chasing & Fleeing Unit Outcomes Unpacking

Ok, full disclaimer: I actually wound up cutting out all of the content blocks/learning pieces that related to “strategies” in order to focus on “tactics” in this unit. This decision was made based on a) the amount of time I could allot to the unit, b) knowing my grade 3 class (and not wanting to overwhelm them), and c) the content I know students will cover in grade 4. That said, I left it in the Unpacking Content Tree image you see above to give you the clearest idea of how this can be done. Back to the blog post!

Now that I knew exactly “what” I would be helping my students master and be measuring through meaningful assessment, I was ready to move onto the next step.

Determining Evidence Of Learning

Looking at the Learning Pieces I unpacked from the grade-level outcomes the unit would be focusing on, I determined the evidence of learning I would be looking for in order to know whether or not my students were moving closer towards mastery of the outcomes.

Having a very clear idea of what you are looking for (i.e. evidence) will help you to create assessment tools that are designed to collect that evidence. If you’re looking for evidence of students applying chasing and fleeing tactics in those types of games, but your assessment tool is designed to collect descriptions of the rules of the game, you’re in a bit of a pickle. This step in the overall unpacking process might seem like work for work’s sake, but it allows you be be crystal clear in terms of your goals which will only help you be even clearer when sharing those goals with your students.

So, if I’m looking at the Learning Pieces I unpacked (remember I cut out all of the one’s related to “strategies”), here’s the evidence I am looking for to know students have mastered each piece:

  • Defines Tactics: Student would need to provide a definition of the “tactic” concept.
  • Lists & Recognizes Tactics Used In Chasing Activities: Through observation and reflection, student would need to develop a database of chasing tactics. The student would also need to be able to recognize those tactics when they are used by other players in game situations.
  • Actively Applies Tactics In Chasing Activities: Student would need to intentionally use a variety of chasing tactics in game situations.
  • Lists & Recognizes Tactics Used In Fleeing Activities: Through observation and reflection, student would need to develop a database of fleeing tactics. The student would also need to be able to recognize those tactics when they are used by other players in game situations.
  • Actively Applies Tactics In Fleeing Activities: Student would need to intentionally use a variety of fleeing tactics in game situations.

With the evidence of learning clearly defined, I could begin to design my assessment tools.

Designing Assessment Tools

Looking at the evidence of learning, I quickly make a list of tools that would help me collect evidence on my students’ progress towards mastery and that would help me communicate that evidence back to my students (and any other stakeholder interested in how any given student is doing). Here the list along with images and quick descriptions of each tool (remember that you can access all of these assessment tools in the Chasing and Fleeing Games Unit Teacher Pack):

Learning Roadmap

Chasing and Fleeing Games Unit Learning Roadmap Preview

The Learning Roadmap is the rubric I will share with my students and use throughout the unit to assess where each student is at in their learning. My Learning Roadmaps (which you can learn more about in this blog post) are always present in my lessons (and are often used with my Assessment Magnet system) and readily available when I am assessing a student’s written work prior to sorting it into that student’s portfolio.

Numbers Gradebook

Numbers Gradebook Preview

To keep track of my students’ progress, I’ve created Numbers Gradebook. The Gradebook gives me a place to assess the evidence of my students’ learning and compare it to the standards I’ve set in my Learning Roadmap. Storing the results in this spreadsheet app allows me to create formulas that automatically calculate my students grade (which then gets used in my overall grading scheme).

Disclaimer:The Gradebook only works if you have access to Numbers (on macOS or iOS… the Form View you see above is only available on iOS). Also, I’ve modified this Gradebook to calculate results on a 4-point scale rather than the usual 5-point scale I use. I did this because many of you told me you use 4-point scales at your schools. You could always change this by modifying the “Results” column formula. 

Tactics Definition Developer

Tactic Definition Developer Preview

The Tactics Definition Developer is the assessment tool I will use to collect my students’ definitions of what tactics are. I designed the tool to collect an initial definition, a revised definition, and a final definition. This is to help my students see just how much their understanding and knowledge evolves throughout the unit!

Chasing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet

Chasing Tactics Lists & Mini-Coach Sheet Preview

The Chasing Tactics List & Mini-Coach Sheet is the tool I will use to see if a student can a) list different chasing tactics, b) apply chasing tactics in game situations, and c) recognize chasing tactics when they are being used by other players. This is a living document throughout the unit (i.e. it can be updated or modified as the student’s learning progresses) that will be added to the student’s portfolio at the end of the unit. It will also be used as a peer assessment piece through the Mini-Coach system I’ve set up in my class.

Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet

Fleeing Tactics List & Mini-Coach Sheet Preview

The Fleeing Tactics List & Mini-Coach Sheet is the same as it’s counterpart above, except for fleeing tactics.

Chasing Tactics Database Poster

Chasing Tactics Database Poster Preview

The Chasing Tactics Database Poster is a tool I will use to collect all of the chasing tactics students identify throughout the unit and display them in an effort to encourage students to apply the biggest variety of chasing tactics as possible when engaging in chasing activities. You will have access to both the completed version of the poster (which includes my students’ answers) as well as a blank version that you can complete with your own students’ answers using the PDF editor/drawing app of your choice!

Fleeing Tactics Database Poster

Fleeing Tactics Database Poster Preview

This is the same resource as above, but for fleeing tactics.

Ok, so all of the assessment tools are ready to go! It’s time to start designing/selecting learning activities that will help students master their outcomes!

Designing Learning Activities

With a clear understanding of the learning objectives to be mastered, the evidence of learning to be measured and the tools needed to help with both, I was ready to design and select the learning activities we would use in the unit.

Below you will find the activities I selected/designed for this unit to help my students master the unpacked learning outcomes. I’ll provide a brief explanation of why each activity was selected and share how assessment was fit into these activities. Hopefully, this will give you all of the information you’ll need to start planning your lessons!

Everyone’s IT Frozen Tag

Why This Activity?

Everyone’s IT Frozen Tag is a perfect activity to get students excited about and reflecting on chasing and fleeing games. The game is wild, with no clear way to win or lose, and provides each and every student with ample opportunities to take on chasing roles as well as fleeing roles.

Use Of Assessment:

This is an introductory activity and it will kickstart our learning in this unit. Prior to playing the activity, we will have defined as a class what “chasing” and “fleeing” mean. In between each round/layer of the game, the class will reflect on questions such as:

  • When were you chasing in that game? How did you know?
  • When were you fleeing in that game? How did you know?
  • What skills did you need in order to be successful when chasing?
  • What skills did you need in order to be successful when fleeing?
  • What are tactics? How could we define them?
  • What are tactics you use when chasing?
  • What are tactics you use when fleeing?

As the students answer these questions, I write everything they are saying using the Paper app as an interactive whiteboard. At the end of class, I would have the students fill out the first row in their Tactics Definition Developer assessment tool. This will help me understand whether or not students understand the concept of “tactics” and better plan for the the next lesson.

Mr Wolf

Why This Activity?

Mr Wolf is a pure fleeing activity (especially in the early rounds). The “Sleepy Wolves” build helps me add to the tactical complexity of the game by making students move in multiple directions rather than just unilaterally. Because each round of the game can be as short or as long as I need it to be, and because I can control the chasing aspect of the game, Mr Wolf gives my students a great opportunity to develop an understanding of fleeing tactics and apply some in a game situation. It also gives me an opportunity to observe my students’ performance and start to reflect on where each student is at in terms of the mastery of their learning objectives/grade-level outcomes.

Use Of Assessment:

I use this activity purely for assessing my students’ understanding of fleeing tactics and their ability to apply those tactics in a gae situation. In between rounds, the class will reflect on question such as:

  • What tricks did you use to outplay Mr Wolf? (side note: “tricks” was the word my students felt most comfortable with when defining the tactics concept)
  • Which tactics worked best when there was only one wolf?
  • Which tactics worked best when there were lots of wolves?
  • How did the game change when we added the sleepy wolves? How did you continue to be successful?
  • What was challenging about this game? How did you deal with those challenges?

At the end of the lesson, I would have my students start to fill out their Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet by listing tactics they used in the game. I would go over their answers after class to see if a) they are able to list different tactics and b) if they are truly grasping the concept of “tactics”.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Why This Activity?

I use Pirates of the Caribbean because it is an exciting chasing and fleeing game with only a few players taking on chasing roles (at least in the first few builds). This allows me to control who will be chasing (I usually pick students who are advanced in their fleeing tactics) and who will be fleeing (the students who might need more time to work on their fleeing tactics). The game also makes it really simple to set up a Mini-Coach rotation system to include peer assessment throughout it. I simply divide the class into two teams (one that will play and one that will observe), select 1-2 players from each team to be pirates, and then rotate the team that plays and the team that observes.

Use Of Assessment:

I’ll start off by playing a few rounds of the “Pirates” build. This gives students an opportunity to apply some of the fleeing tactics they worked on last class and maybe pick up a few new ones (which they can add to their Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet). Once I’m satisfied with the class’ progress, I’ll bring in the Mini-Coach system. Basically, players from the observing team will be assigned a player from the playing team who they will Mini-Coach. Mini-Coaches pay attention to the fleeing tactics their athletes are using in the game. Every time they see a fleeing tactic being used, they put a checkmark beside it on the Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet. After the round, the two teams will exchange roles, but not before the Mini-Coaches go over the Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet with their athletes and highlight ways in which they excelled (e.g. if they used a variety of fleeing tactics) and ways in which they could improve (e.g. if they always used the same fleeing tactics or if there are tactics they haven’t thought of using yet).

At the end of this lesson, I’ll also start to create the Fleeing Tactics Database Poster. I’ll do this by asking the students what their favourite fleeing tactics are and writing them down in my Paper notebook. After the class, I’ll add their answers the the blank Fleeing Tactics Database Poster so that it’s ready to be displayed in the following lesson. The posters exists to serve as a reminder of the different fleeing tactics when we switch our focus from fleeing to chasing.

Flag Tag

Why This Activity?

Flag Tag is a high-intensity chasing and fleeing game in which students really have to chase down other players in order to be successful in the game (i.e. steal players’ flags). Because of the nature of the game (especially the later builds), students are actively focusing on chasing tactics that will help them collect as many flags as possible. Sometimes, I’ll also modify the secondary rules of the game to either increase (if a student is struggling) or decrease (if a student is excelling) the likelihood of a student being successful in any given round. Increasing that likelihood could look like having a player simply wear their pinnie and be a tagging machine (i.e. they no longer have to worry about being tagged). Decreasing that likelihood could look like restricting the amount of pinnies a player can collect during the “Tail Thieves” round (which has them focus on fleeing rather than chasing).

Use Of Assessment:

This is a game that I use to have my students build their understanding of chasing tactics. In between each round, the class will reflection on questions such as:

  • What tricks did you use to steal as many flags as possible? (side note: “tricks” was the word my students felt most comfortable with when defining the tactics concept)
  • Which tactics worked best in the “Flag Tag” build?
  • Which tactics worked best in the “Tail Thieves” build?
  • How did the game change when we added the tail thieves? How did you continue to be successful?
  • What was challenging about this game? How did you deal with those challenges?

At the end of the lesson, I would have my students start to fill out their Chasing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet by listing tactics they used in the game. I would go over their answers after class to see if a) they are able to list different tactics and b) if they are still grasping the concept of “tactics”.

Team Swarm Tag

Why This Activity?

Team Swarm Tag is another game we use to focus on chasing tactics. This game increases the tactical complexity of the task by having students have to chase as a group rather than just individuals. It also creates organic situations in which students can truly grasp one of the more complex chasing tactics: trapping the opponent.

Use Of Assessment:

Much like Pirates of the Caribbean, I’ll play a couple of rounds of the early builds of Team Swarm Tag to get students reflecting on their chasing tactics. Once I feel that the class is ready, I will bring in the same Mini-Coaching rotation system that we used in Pirates of the Caribbean. Mini-Coaching really helps the students reflect on the chasing tactics they are using and allows them to set goals that will help them continue to make progress.

Chicken Noodle Tag

Why This Activity?

Chicken Noodle Tag is the first summative activity that we will use in our chasing and fleeing unit. I use it because the game is designed to put students in one-on-one situations in which they must apply either chasing or fleeing tactics (depending on the role they are assigned).

Use Of Assessment:

In this game, I will observe the students’ performance and check to see if my observations are aligned with everything I have measured up until this point (remember that I update my Numbers Gradebook during/after each lesson). We will also use Mini-Coaching to continue to include peer assessment as a feedback system to help students master their tactics. In between rounds, the class will reflect on questions such as:

  • Which tactics work best in this game (for you) when you are chasing?
  • Which tactics work best in this game (for you) when you are fleeing?
  • How have your fleeing tactics improved over the past few lessons?
  • How have your chasing tactics improved over the past few lessons?
  • How did you see others improve their tactics over the past few lessons?
  • How did you see others improve their tactics today?

At the end of the lesson, I would have the students fill out the second row on their Tactics Definition Developer. This is a great opportunity for them to realize just how far they have come in their understanding of the concept of tactics, and it gives me an opportunity to make sure that the learning outcome has been met (if a student hasn’t met the outcome, I’ll go over them with it during the next class and they can use the final row of the assessment tool to provide a final answer).

Beaches, Bridges & Boats

Why This Activity?

This is totally a “just in case” activity. If ever I feel that, after having gone over my assessments from all of the previous lessons, my students still need some time to focus on their chasing and fleeing tactics, we will play Beaches, Bridges and Boats and use the activity in any way we need in order to move the class’ learning forward.

Use Of Assessment:

At this point, I’ll use any assessment tool I need to help students master their learning outcome. This kind of “just in case” activity is really used to meet the students’ needs, whatever they may be. That said, trust your gut (and your evidence) and tailor the lesson in any way that serves your purpose.

Star Wars Tag

Why This Activity?

Because it’s super fun, the students have been working crazy hard, and sometimes it’s just fun to play tag (especially Star Wars Tag). This activity is used to celebrate our learning throughout the unit.

Use Of Assessment:

No more assessment here. The Tactics Database Posters are both on display, John Williams is blasting on the stereo, and we’re just having a grand ol’ time.

Download The Teacher Pack!

So that is how I created my Chasing and Fleeing Games unit! As you can tell, a lot of work went into this and I hope you have found it helpful.

If you would like to adapt this unit and support ThePhysicalEducator.com (which would lead to more Teacher Pack blog posts like this one), be sure to buy the Chasing & Fleeing Games Unit Teacher Pack.

Chasing and Fleeing Games Unit Teacher Pack

In the pack, you will find the following resources

  • Learning Roadmap (and a blank version if you choose to use your own language)
  • Numbers Gradebook File (only compatible with Numbers for iOS)
  • Tactics Definition Developer
  • Chasing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet
  • Fleeing Tactics List Mini-Coach Sheet
  • Chasing Tactics Database Poster (and a blank version that you can use to create your own based off of your students’ answers)
  • Fleeing Tactics Database Poster (and a blank version that you can use to create your own based off of your students’ answers)
  • What/Why/How Template for Paper (Paper for iOS App or any other drawing app required)
  • Unpacking Content Tree (to help you defend/explain the inclusion of this unit in your PE curriculum)

All of that, combined with this blog post, should give you everything you need to adapt this unit for your physical education program. Again, thank you for your support!

Chasing and Fleeing Teacher Pack Download

Final Thoughts

I love this unit. Introducing the concept of tactics to students for the first time is incredibly powerful. Getting them to reflect on how they are using tactics in games is even more powerful. It’s such a wonderful feeling to see your students using information, applying it to their performance, experiencing success, reflecting on the cause of that success, and growing more and more confident with each new activity.

Success + Understanding = Confidence

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first Teacher Pack blog post. I’ve got two more on the way, so be sure to subscribe to ThePhysicalEducator.com (there’s a signup form in the sidebar) to make sure you don’t miss out!

Thanks so much for reading and happy teaching! ?

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

Comments

  1. Michael Ginicola : March 27, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Joey, I finally had some time to look over and digest this post. First, it was truly a pleasure meeting you in Boston. Glad you made it. Second, this blog was easily one of the most informative presentations I’ve ever encountered on the start-to-finish teaching of a unit in PE. I think all universities should use it as a model. This is exemplary work sir. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Mike! It’s was a ton of work, but I’m glad it’s helping teachers better understand standards-based instructional design. Keep up the great work!

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