For lots of high school, my gym teachers’ lesson plans looked like the following:
Grab bag of basketballs from closet
Dump balls on gym floor
Unfold metal chair
Sit on above metal chair reading newspaper until end of class
So the activity itself was mostly fine. Play basketball! Sometimes it was football, sometimes soccer, and sometimes a volleyball net would appear. Those are all fun things to do as a core gym activity.
Mr. Kraft went further.
When we played floor hockey, we had a league. I didn’t grow up in hockey town so everyone was pretty much equally unskilled with a stick.
But man, Mr. Kraft not only set us up with defined teams and schedules, he would post game previews and league summaries on little typed up 8x11 sheets on the gym wall before every class. It was, in a word, amazing.
I’m sure we all would’ve been perfectly happy running around flailing at the rubber ball and bruising each other’s shins without those write-ups, but with them… damn. I felt like there were people in the stands. The games felt meaningful. We focused a little more and played as a team. We stuck to our positions and planned and strategized.
Then when playoffs came around…
It got intense.
I still remember that unit today.
All because of those little sheets Mr. Kraft typed up.
All because of the flimsiest bit of structure placed around our play.