Joel Smedes, PE teacher at Vientiane International School in Vientiane, Laos shares his Human Pacman activity idea used for the Grade 4 unit called Adventure Challenges, where students work in teams undertaking a variety of tasks with a set goal. The skills and learning outcomes focus on communication, cooperation, team interaction, team planning & execution, reflection and strategies.
I drew inspiration from all of the other real life recreated games and thought of which computer games could be turned in to human form. I simply looked through a whole bunch of Youtube videos of old arcade games and Pacman jumped out at me. I thought that if we could create lanes/streets using cones and mats, we could create the game board. Then, I had to think of a way the Pacman and ghosts interact and came up with the idea of putting ghosts on to scooter-boards. After some trial and error with less/more ghosts in the game, we finally found a balance with 8 ghosts.
- Small balls (pellets)
- Larger balls X 2 (power pellets)
Each student takes a turn at being the Pacman, and therefore this challenge could take a number of sessions. There were two challenges in this task, one was an individual challenge, being the Pacman who would run through the lanes knocking off all the balls (gobbling up pellets) and dodging the ghosts while using three lives to complete the task. However, the challenge I focused on more was the team of ghosts who I instructed could plan before the game began and had to work as a team try and catch Pacman.
I also thought about trying to incorporate the power pellet from the game somehow, so Pacman could run through and not be tagged to finish off the course. I came up with using two larger balls that Pacman could pick up and carry for 10 seconds. The non-participating students can help to count and when time is up, Pacman drops the power pellet and continues. If time is a factor, teachers could also enfrorce a time limit on the game, eg. 3 minutes per Pacman to try and complete the course.
Pacman Setup – Visuals
The setup used used lots of cones, mats and partitions to create the streets/lanes to run through. See photos below.
About The Author – Joel Smedes
I am a PE teacher from Melbourne, Australia who really enjoys Primary PE & Swimming. I have also taught Secondary PE and spent 7 years in primary classrooms before returning to Primary PE. I currently live in Vientiane, Laos with my wife Mara and our three children: Benita, Zintis and Vilnis. Mara is also a teacher and we have taught in a number of International Schools over the last 14 years in places such as China, Oman, Latvia, Angola and now Laos. I strive to think of ways for students to absolutely love their PE sessions so that those positive experiences may lead to students adopting a healthy and active lifestyle in the future. I also enjoy coaching teams, leading after school activities and organizing events such as Sports Days & Swim Meets. I also maintain a blog (www.peswimstuff.com) to share my work with other teachers because I believe in true and free collaboration and sharing of games, ideas and units. Feel free to try any activity you like.