This year, my coworker and I decided to have our students participate in stations that worked on pathways and directions. Pathways and directions are components of our Space Awareness Unit. These two components focused on TN standards “travels in five directions (forward, backward, sideways, up, and down) and demonstrates and applies all three pathways (straight, curvy, and zigzag).” I wanted to make sure the stations were filled with fun and provided us the opportunity to assess students as they performed each course.
Pathways & Directions Stations – PE Lesson
For the activity ,we had a total of nine stations. For each pathway, I decided to have two stations. One station was a fun activity for students to learn the pathway. The second station was to assess if they knew how to demonstrate the pathway. I added another station for students to draw each path. This was an additional opportunity to assess their knowledge. I also incorporated stations that worked on different directions like up, down, forward, backward, and sideways.
Our lesson started with a pre-assessment warm-up. During the warm-up, students moved around the gym in the pathways we announced. This showed if students knew the pathways before we explained them. After we finished our warm-up, we reviewed our objective, questions, and each station. We placed students in groups of 4 to 5 students. Each group was lined up behind their starting cone. Once the music started playing, one student at each station moved through their course. The next student in line didn’t go until the first student reached a spot designated by the teacher before the activity started. The students performed each station for two minutes. When the music stopped, students froze and they pointed to their next station before rotating. Each station was numbered to help them know where to rotate. This helped our students to have smoother transitions.
- 1 Mat
- 2 Footballs
- 4 Jump ropes
- 4 Direction Arrows
- 5 Small hurdles
- Poly spots
- Dry erase markers
- Sheet protectors
- Station Signs* (made with folders, sheet protectors, and paper)
*Download and print the Pathway stations below. There are two sets for each station:
Straight Pathway – Stations 1 & 2
Station 1: Army Crawl – Students ran down a line in a straight path to a mat. Then they army crawled under hurdles in a straight path.
Station 2: Create your own straight pathway – Students had to run in a straight path without any equipment.
Zigzag Pathway – Stations 3 & 4
Station 3: Zigzag Football Run – Students ran with a football to cones that were spread apart in a zigzag path.
Station 4: Create your own zigzag pathway – Students had to run in a zigzag path without any equipment.
Curvy Pathway – Stations 5 & 6
Station 5: Curvy Mountain – Students had to bear crawl on poly spots that were spread out in a curvy path. (Note: Idea started from PE Teacher on Twitter named Drew Burris @projectphysed)
Station 6: Create your own curvy pathway – Students had to run in a curvy path without any equipment.
Thinking Pathway – Station 7
Station 7: Draw each pathway – Students illustrated each pathway in a designated column. The students used dry erase markers on a sheet protector. The pathway paper was inside of the sheet protector to allow us to reuse the same paper each class period.
Direction – Stations 8 & 9
Station 8: Basketball Box Run – The three directions the students demonstrated at this station were forward, backward and sideways. Students had to run forward. Then they had to side slide across. After that, they had to run backward. Finally, they had to slide until they got back to the start. For this activity, we used the free-throw lane of the basketball court. We also used arrows to help students know the directions to move.
Station 9: Over and Under – The directions students demonstrated in this activity were up and down. The students had to jump over and go under jump ropes.
My students really enjoyed these stations. Their favorite stations were the stations that used equipment. These stations made it easy for us to assess our students and provide feedback on their progress. Also, this helped give our students a better understanding of how pathways are used outside of our Physical Education class.
About the Author
Crystal Williams (Coach Williams) is a University of Memphis graduate, who received both a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Master’s Degree in Health Sports Science. Although Coach Williams has been teaching Physical Education for six years, she has well over 10 years in health and fitness which includes teaching college level classes. Crystal currently teaches at Bailey Station Elementary School in Collierville, TN. Students/parents/faculty members love her energetic vibe for supporting all students. She loves to incorporate technology into her classes and collaborate with other teachers. Follow Crystal on Twitter @CoachWilliams23.