As Physical Education teachers, we are always looking for new ways to capture our students’ attention and engage them in our lessons. Technology is always advancing, and our students are right at the center of this revolution. With that being said, video games are probably the most prevalent source of technology that our students use. Currently, the most popular video game is called Fortnite. Although many teachers and schools have a negative outlook on the game, a themed activity can spark students’ attention and allows them to visualize bringing the world of technology to life.
The idea came to me one day while preparing to teach Physical Education to Middle School students. I wanted to create an activity that would get my students engaged in the lesson. I thought about finding a way to incorporate the game Fortnite into my lesson. I did extensive research searching for ideas, but to no avail; there were no resources available. At this point I decided to take matters into my own hand and design a developmentally appropriate physical education game for my students that simulated Fortnite in the physical education classroom. I made this game to engage and motivate my students in a rolling and fielding lesson.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the game Fortnite, here is a quick explanation: The game has 100 players that must choose a spot on a map to land. As soon as they land, they must try to get as many resources as possible to use as weapons or to build forts. They have limited time before the map starts shrinking – making it harder to hide from other players. The objective of the game is to be the last player standing. There are many different game modes that constantly change, but I selected the “team mode” to use in my lesson.
How to Play Fortnite in PE
- 12 Gator Skin balls (preferably 6 green, 3 blue, 2 purple, and 1 yellow, which is not necessary, but I will explain more about these colors later)
- 2-4 mats
- 2 cones
To begin the game, students are divided into two teams. Each team is supplied with pinnies with their team color. Students are then asked to find a spot in the gym and remain still until the whistle blows. Next, the teacher rolls all the balls onto the court and blows the whistle. As soon as students hear the whistle, they either run to grab a ball or try to find cover.
The objective of the game is to roll the ball and hit an opponent below the knees. If an opponent is hit, he or she must stand next to their team’s cone. NOTE: Students are not permitted to throw the ball overhand at an opponent or hit them above the knees. If they do so, they are out and must stand next to their team’s cone.
There are two possible ways for a student to be brought back into the game if they’ve been hit. The first way is if the ball is rolled at a teammate and they field the ball cleanly (as if you were fielding a groundball in baseball – so if the ball is rolled at them and they try to field the ball and it hits them and they bobble it and/or drop it, or if it just hits them they are out. But if the opponent is able to pick it up cleanly on a roll then they are in, they can bring a teammate back in, and the person who rolled it is out). If this happens, the first student next to the cone can come back in and the opponent who rolled the ball is out. The second way is if a student from the same team can get a blue, purple, or yellow ball in the basket. A blue ball would bring the first student next to the cone back in, a purple ball would bring the first two students back in, and the yellow ball would bring the first three students back in.
Modification: You can add a third way to get back into the game by allowing students do some sort of exercise. For example, students need to do a plank for 30 seconds straight to be able to return to the game. This keeps the students active and allows students to get back into the game without relying on their teammates solely. (I would allow this until a certain point as the storm shrinks as a whole team will wait and do the exercise when there is little time left so they have their whole team in for the end
The colors are important in the video game, but, if you don’t have them, you can use the same colored balls and have them make a shot from inside the key for one student, outside the key for two students, and a three pointer for three students.
Another important concept is that every two minutes the “storm” shrinks. So, you will start with students allowed to go anywhere in the gym. When the two minutes are up, students must be on the basketball court. Then after two more minutes, they must be on the court but not within the three-point lines. This continues until all the students are in the center circle. This mimics the video game and prevents students from trying to hide during the entire game. Students can move the mats with them as the storm shrinks, but if they are hit while moving the mat they are eliminated. A team is deemed the winner when they have either eliminated an entire team, or have the most students in the center circle after the final two minutes are up.
There can be more than two teams, but two to four teams work best. Once your students are comfortable with the rules of the game, you can do a solo elimination round to see who the last student standing is.
Here is the YouTube video demonstration of this game:
I hope you enjoy this game and let me know how it goes in the comments below if you try it in your classroom!
About the Author:
Erik Schlemm is a Health and Physical Education teacher with one year of teaching experience. Erik graduated from Montclair State University and is an advocate of incorporating interdisciplinary learning and technology into physical education classes. His School Videos YouTube channel is starting to grow so be sure to check it out.