Learning through play- GCSE PE Top Trumps

This guest post was written by Dave Woodward @dwoodward11.

I was invited to write this blog after tweeting about using tops
trumps with a Year 10 GCSE PE lesson. Everyone is familiar with the
concept of top trumps mainly used for long car journeys as a child.
The familiar looking cards are over 35 years old with well over 30
million packs sold. Top trumps cards range from Spiderman to Doctor
Who, from SpongeBob to Bart Simpson and from Hello Kitty to Koala
bears. So why not have some GCSE PE cards!!!

Lots of talk going around regarding lesson observation is about the
‘hook’ that inspires, motivates and enthuses students in your class.
What better way to enthuse but though playing games that the students
are already familiar with.


The idea is simple. I had a template for the top trumps which I
adapted (from TES resources) to contain the 5 Health related components
of fitness. I then added stars from a variety of sports (I even
included myself 20/20 for everything of course…), and added the
components of fitness out of 20 for each athlete.


I have found that students don’t like being put on the spot for
definitions but when it is on their terms (within the game) they don’t
mind failing and then trying again………it is after all what games teach
children to try again and again and again.


I wanted to make the components of fitness (both HRE and SRF) in to
the sub-conscious of the students. So the keywords and the key terms
are second nature to the students, and they are recalling them without
realising almost by accident. I have been pleased with how well the
idea is working. The students have been most surprised with how much
they do know, and are now making up their own rules for what happens
when people have the same score. I want to build on this top trumps by
doing a set for Skill Related Fitness components. I always try to draw
on real life games/situations to enhance the learning experience for
the students, even as I write this blog I have seen a Christmas advert
for the board game ‘5 second rule’ I wonder how I can implement that
into my teaching……..


I hope you have found this blog useful and please do get in contact in
you want any more information

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