Increasing Engagement in Virtual PE Through Student Choice


Right now, many of us are teaching physical education either in 100% virtual learning environment, or a hybrid environment. Due to this, I think it’s important to reflect and think about how we are offering choices for our students within our daily lessons and weekly curriculum. I’m going to share some of my strategies with you on how I allow for student choice within my lessons.

Student Choice Increases Engagement

[0:56] First and foremost, in terms of allowing choice for my students in my lessons, I like to give my students many choices for the physical activities within a lesson that I want my students to engage in each day and each week. During the physical activity portion of my lessons, I like to give my students more than just one exercise to choose from and participate in during the activity. So activities such as a this or that warm-up or a slide with maybe five or six animated GIFs for them to choose is one way that’s really powerful for my students.

Offer Choices Between Health and PE

[1:33] Also, during the actual lesson, during the independent work time that I want my students to chew on the material and engage in the material that I just taught, explained, and presented to them, I always give my students the choice, whether they want to engage in the academic health curriculum work or if they wanna engage in physical activity that I assigned to them either through the Schoology platform or the Google classroom platform. And when my students decide to participate in the physical activity portion of the lesson rather than participating and engaging in their written curriculum, I always like my students to put on their heart rate monitor that I issued them while that’s connected to the HTP home app that I’m working closely with and that’s a line to accountability purposes, but it also gives me feedback from the teacher on not only what they’re doing, but how well they’re engaging with it.

Student Choice Activity Examples

[2:41] Also, in order to give student choice, I like to assign them health and wellness assignments that offer tons of student choice. So I like offering them activities that isn’t just one activity that they’re forced or obligated to participate in, but instead there will be assignments like a bingo assignment or certain activity logs that I want them to engage in. In that they can choose which health component that they may wanna practice and engage in or they may want to choose a certain social and emotional activity on their bingo board that they want to engage in versus, “Hey, students, this is the activity we’re gonna do today. Try your best to engage in it, and I hope you enjoy it.”

[3:28] So I think increasing engagement right now is super super important. And again, I think one of the main ways we can do that is by offering as much student choice as possible within our lessons, whether it’s through physical activity options, written academic work options, or options within a lesson like I described. Giving them the choice of wanting to conquer the written work or wanting them to engage in the physical activity. I think most importantly, is still having that expectation of students need to do both aspects of the lesson. Each day a written health curriculum portion and also the physical activity portion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Resources


5 Ways Small Sided Games Make a BIG Impact

Author: Jessica Shawley

A Brand New Tool for PE You Didn’t Know You Needed!

Author: Brett Fuller

5 Skill-Based Floor Hockey Games

Author: Michael Beringer

16 Parachute Team Building Activities

Author: Tim Mueller

Motivating Unmotivated Students​

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Jessica Shawley, and Tim Mueller

Promoting Activity and Success Through Adapted PE

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Marci Pope and Maria Corte

Bin Ball

Author: Randy Spring



Sign up to receive the latest physical education resources, activities, and more from educational professionals like you straight to your inbox!