One of my favorite components of being a wellness and PE teacher is the opportunity to encourage and inspire different components of the “Wellness World”. In our profession, we are able to teach about physical health, mental prosperity, social and emotional well-being, and another component which has really started to work its way into the wellness curriculum acceptability zone, recreational activities.
Most physical education and wellness departments have really begun to branch out and teach “comprehensive well-being” through an increased focus on fitness activites and recreational pursuits. It’s taken a long time to catch on but I do believe the time has finally arrived where society in general is ready to accept that we need to teach our younger generations how to be physically fit and also how to spend their leisure time.
There are two recreational activities I love teaching – Ultimate and Disc Golf. Ultimate or Ultimate Frisbee® is great for teaching strategical time and space awareness. Disc Golf is an amazing recreational activity that is meant to be more low-key and social, but still involves strategy and a fair amount of walking.
Ultimate is really starting to take on momentum in New England and around the globe. Competitive “Ultimate” teams are now popping up in an interscholastic and structured manner as many high schools add teams.
It’s a great staple in any fitness curriculum as it is fast-paced, fun, and very easy to implement. Ultimate can be introduced and played full tilt in the very same lesson. It has many different varieties and rules, however, the basic premise is a hybrid of soccer, basketball, and football (passing, no tackling) with an emphasis on fast-paced.
The object is to move the disc (via passing) up the length of the football or soccer field and score by passing the disc into the end zone. The key is you can’t have the disc hit the turf/grass or it’s an automatic turnover. If you’ve taught it, you know the kids love it, and if you haven’t tried it yet, please go for it as the kids will beg for more. All you need is the correct space, a few discs, and maybe some pinnies. These Discs and Pinnies are all backed by an amazing guarantee that ensures your satisfaction with the products.
Disc golf is exactly as it sounds, you are playing the game of golf with a disc. All of the strategy and social components of golf are involved, with the exception you are throwing a disc and counting the number of strokes (throws/tosses) it takes to get to each target.
Games like this where the students create small groups and basically follow a map of your course while learning through trial and error are a great addition to PE programs. What’s great is that you can purchase a full set of targets or you can also create a start and finish for each hole with laminated paper or other DIY options.
Your students follow the map of your disc golf course and begin to learn to play disc golf without the danger of using golf clubs and flying golf balls on your campus. The kids love keeping score and trying to hit the par or do better than par on each hole. Give this a try and I can guarantee the kids will beg you to go through the course multiple times to check each others’ scores and make improvement!
Do you teach disc golf or Ultimate at your school? What tips or ideas do you have for introducing these disc games or other recreational activities to your students?