When I present at conferences, one of the most popular questions that I get is, “How can I teach sportsmanship to my students?” This is usually followed by a story of students getting in arguments during recess, or how P.E. is riddled with accusations of cheating or unfair play. It is a fair question, however. What this question really is asking is, “How do I teach Grace and Courtesy in PE?” I believe a major reason that sportsmanship is so hard to teach to students is because the concept is actually very hard to understand. Most students know how to show good sportsmanship, or know what poor sportsmanship looks like, but few students can articulate what is sportsmanship?
This game not only touches on the subject of sportsmanship, but also helps the student’s strategy development. This game has an element of risk vs. reward, and the students will have to decide together how much risk they are willing to take to get the highest score possible. I believe that with a good debrief at the end of the games, this lesson does a good job of explaining what sportsmanship is for your lower and upper elementary classes.