This year I decided to start the Invasive Games Unit with a new approach called “Teaching Games for Understanding.” (TGfU)
The main idea of this approach is to have children being able to understand the games and move away from the traditional way of teaching where skills were mostly learned during drills. With the traditional approach, when students were exposed to the small side games, they didn’t really know how to use those skills as they practiced them without defenders.
That’s why this approach is more focused on developing communication skills. Students work together on finding the best tactics and strategies to achieve their goals. At the same time, they are obviously working on their running, dodging, passing, catching and shooting skills. The rules of the small games can be modified by changing the number of players, space where they are playing, the implements they might be using, etc.
Once learners understand that whole concept of finding the best tactic to be successful, they’ll be able to transfer that knowledge to other games and sports.
During the games, I like to stop students and ask them questions to see if they are understanding the game and if they are feeling successful or frustrated.
Questions can be as simple as “If your team has possession, how will you receive a pass?” or “If your team is defending, can can you prevent the opposing team from making a pass?”
At the end of the lesson I had a short discussion to get students thoughts on these kind of questions and reflect of their games.