Incorporating SEL in Physical Education

Practicing Responsible, Personal and Social Behavior in PE

Today, I’d like to share an easy way I have my students practice standard 4 which reads, “the physically literate individual exhibits responsible, personal and social behavior that respects self and others.” Often when my students are participating in small-sided activities or an activity where they have a variety of partners, I will ask them to nominate a classmate who was exhibiting responsible and respectful personal and social behavior. This teaching method not only gives my students practice identifying good sportsmanship, respectful competition, cooperation, encouragement, it motivates them to practice these characteristics. Prior to my beginning the activity I might say to my students, “today I’ll be asking your group to nominate the teammate who is the most encouraging discuss in your group what that might – what you might be looking for.” Or I might say to my students, “Today as you switch partners, I will ask you to nominate one of the teams you played against as the good sportsmanship team of the century. Turn and talk to your partner real quick about what characteristics you’ll be looking for.”

So I set my students up to know what they’re looking for during our activity. Then as the students transition opponents, I’ll ask them to quick like maybe one or two minutes discuss their nomination. They have one student stand up and tell the class about their nomination and the characteristics they saw. A student might say, we decided to nominate Wilson because he was telling his teammates, good job and great try even when they didn’t catch or they might say, we nominate Katie because she wasn’t arguing with us when we called the ball out, she just said, let’s do a do over. The students who get nominated, I congratulate them on being a champion to their peers. We clap as an entire class and then we move on. To be positively recognized by their peers is a game changer for many of my students. I find this teaching strategy gives my students practice identifying the characteristics of healthy, social, emotional wellness, and it also motivates them to exhibit these characteristics. I hope my success, with student champions inspires you to give it a try.

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