Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cleaning Up The Messy Backyard of The PE Hall of Shame

In Elementary school I am sure that almost everyone has played Clean Up Your Backyard, or as the PE Hall of Shame calls it "Messy Backyard"

The Object is for students to hurl a wide variety of objects over a net, or maybe a midline, of a basketball court for example, in order to be the side that has the "cleanest," backyard.

I remember playing Messy Backyard and I just remember the gym being utter chaos. Back then I had a great time playing the game, but now that I can look at the game and really assess its ability to "teach" the students skills I can see that it really does belong in the PE Hall of Shame.

There are multiple problems with this game.
1. It creates chaos, which isn't good for learning
2. Strategies are difficult for young students to understand (if they understand them at all)
3. It doesn't create movement or any activity really. Its a very stagnant game where students usually wait for an object to roll to them or be in close proximity.

I think there is an argument here for MBY to be in a PE class but most of the game will have to be modified.


-Get rid of the two teams. Make the entire class a "team"
-Have a target, for example a parachute, and have students throw plush balls onto the parachute. Split the team into two separate groups. So one part of the team will throw the balls onto the parachute, and the other half of the class will throw/roll the plush balls back to their teammates.
-The Goal could be that the team has to score a certain amount of points, or to land the balls on a specific color.
-There will be less chaos this way and the students will then be able to show their skills, demonstrate teamwork and cooperation, understanding of strategy and purpose, and last but not least it will allow everyone to participate.

This modification alone would help make Standard 1, Standard 2, Standard 5, and Standard 6 become evident in the classroom and there for prove more justification as to why "MBY" or its modification should be used in PE.

To View NASPE Standards go here. To view NYS Learning Standards click this link. And last but not least to take a look at the PE Hall of Shame and its inductees click here.


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