Big Ideas for Small Spaces


Whether it be inclement weather or the usual activity area is unavailable, this teaching tip is for those times when the only choice of space for physical education is a classroom or other small area. We understand teaching physical activity in a limited space is a challenge. Consider yourself a teaching marvel if you can create a movement environment that is safe, active, and fun under such conditions. When this happens, it is easy to get discouraged and just show a movie, provide a writing assignment or give students give free time.  But there are still opportunities to keep students active in less than ideal conditions.

Keep your eyes open for places and times that might better accommodate you. Can you use the cafeteria in the morning, or toward the end of the day? Can you borrow the gym or music room during an off period? Can you set up stations along 2 hallways, and stand at the corner so you can monitor both? If your only choice is having to make it work in a small space, remember the goal is to provide a dose of much needed movement in a safe manner.  Go over indoor PE expectations with your students. Just as if you were managing a class outside, the same SPARK teaching tips apply (established stop signal, concise directions with “when before what,” etc.).

Once you have found your space attempt to adapt or modify activities within the unit you are teaching. If that is not possible try the fun and active Space Savers and other lessons from the SPARK Limited Space Unit. The key is to be creative, flexible, and have fun!