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PE Football Games: 6 Fun Football Games, Stations, and Small Group Activities for Physical Education

Football season is in full swing and that means it's the perfect time to add some football fun into your physical education class! Using football as part of your curriculum is an excellent way to get students active and can be modified to fit any skill level. Football is not only a great sport, but it can also be easily learned by playing modified games and activities in a safe environment such as in Physical Education class. Many young people already enjoy playing football, so they will be more likely to want to learn some skills associated with it in their school setting.


If you're searching for new and exciting physical education football stations and small group activities to add variety to your class, you've come to the right place. In this blog post, I'll look at the football skills that can be taught during a typical PE class, provide some tips for implementing a station format, and highlight six different stations that are guaranteed to keep your students active and engaged. The station guide provides you with an overview of the equipment you will need, station set up information, and step-by-step instructions. So grab a football or a few footballs and let's get started!



Football Skills for PE


There are several skills involved in football that can easily be utilized and taught in a PE unit. Throwing, catching, ball-carrying, kicking, punting, and defending, are all important aspects of the game. Stations and small group activities are a great way to get students up and moving while they learn and practice these football skills. They can be a valuable method to help students of different skill levels learn and succeed. This is critical since every student arrives at class with varying levels of football expertise.




Incorporating stations for teaching football in PE


Most physical education classes involve working with large groups of students. When you're dealing with a large number of children with various skill levels, it's tough to give everyone the attention they need, but football stations and small group activities may be used to split the kids up into smaller groups and put them in different places around your learning area.

The station model allows educators to teach multiple skills simultaneously while also being able to group students with similar abilities. This setup also requires less equipment and allows students to learn more effectively.


Can football stations help students meet learning standards?


The highlighted football PE activities in this blog article can easily encompass district, state and national PE standards and directly correlate with SHAPE America Standard 1 which states: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.*


SHAPE America Standard 1 Visual

 

Tips for setting up the station activities to help develop your students' football skills

  • Copy and laminate any football-themed station signs and visuals

  • Place the station cards around your learning area with plenty of space between stations

Tips for setting up the station activities to help develop your students' football skills
  • Give the stations a sequence number and rotate your students every 2 to 6 minutes (depending on your time and the number of stations you intend to use in each lesson)

  • Give a brief set of instructions and demonstrations prior to your active part of the lesson

  • Play music during activity and stop in when students rotate

  • As they take part in the activities, walk among the students and offer instructional or behavioral feedback as needed

  • Adapt the activity to your student's particular abilities, equipment requirements, and space restrictions

  • Include football game terms as you teach the skills



 

6 Engaging PE Football Games, Stations, and Small Group Activities



1. Football Obstacle Course


Overview

Students take turns running through an obstacle course (carrying a football) by sprinting around a hula hoop, leaping over a pool noodle, jumping rope, and running back to the start.

Equipment

  • A football for each obstacle course you set up

  • 1 starting poly spot, 1 hula hoop, 1 pool noodle or line, 1 jump rope, and 1 end cone for each obstacle course

Set-Up

  • Place a football at the start of each obstacle course

  • Students line up at the start of the football obstacle course. Keep the lines as short as possible (2 to 4 in a line)

Football Obstacle Course- Football PE Activities

Station Instruction

Students work in small groups to take turns running and carrying a football and performing the following tasks:

  1. Start at the start line and run around the outside of a hula hoop in a circle pattern

  2. Leap over a gym line or a pool noodle

  3. Drop the football and jump rope 3 times

  4. Run around the end cone, get the ball on the way back and sprint to the finish

  5. The next person in line repeats...time your group for fun! Make it fun and race the other team of students beside you


2. Through the Hoop


Overview

Students take turns throwing a football through a hula hoop. Students are encouraged to throw from different distances.


Equipment

  • Enough footballs for each small group of 2 to 4 students in your class

  • A hula hoop in a holder, hanging from a basketball hoop or held up by another student

  • A few poly spots to throw from

Set-Up

  • Place a football at one of the poly spots or throw lines for each group

  • Students take turns throwing the football through the open hula hoop from different distances

Through the Hoop- Football PE Activities

Station Instruction

Students throw the football attempting to make it go through the hoop

  1. Football throw a football from a set poly spot or cone

  2. Try to make the ball fly through the hula hoop

  3. The hoop can be hanging from a goal post or a basketball goal

  4. The hoop can also be placed in a hula hoop holder or held by another student

  5. A group member can retrieve the ball in between throws

  6. Take 2 throws if needed and try it from different distances

  7. Trade roles with your partner

  8. If there are more than 3 in the group, establish a throwing order


3. Punt for Distance


Overview

Students take turns punting a football from a line for distance. Partners can mark distances using cones or poly spots.

Equipment

  • Enough footballs for each small group of 2 to 4 students in your class

  • A line or poly spot to kick from

  • A cone or poly spot to mark the distance of the punt


Set-Up

  • Place a football at one of the poly spots or punt lines for each group

  • Students take turns punting the football from that line or spot

  • Another student in the group marks the spot it lands or rolls to

Punt for Distance- PE Football Activities

Station Instruction

Students punt the football as far as they can (best done in an outdoor environment with ample space)

  1. Stand behind the punting line

  2. Punt the ball as far as possible

  3. A group member can mark the distance with a poly spot or cone

  4. Return the ball to the punt line

  5. Trade roles with your partner

  6. If there are more than 3 in the group, establish a punting order

 

4. Partner Throw and Catch

Overview

Students throw and catch a football with a partner or multiple partners in a designated station area.

Equipment

  • Enough footballs for each small group of 2 to 4 students in your class


Set-Up

  • Place a football in a station area

  • Set parameters for students to stay within

Partner Throw and Catch- PE Football Activities

Station Instruction

Students throw and catch a football in a designated station area inside a gym or outside on a field

  1. Spread out in an open space (inside the station zone area) with a partner or a couple of group members

  2. Throw and catch the ball inside the zone area. Practice the proper throwing and catching cues

  3. Try some stationary catches and then proceed into some catches while moving

  4. Establish some pass patterns before the throw and catch

  5. Attempt some short and long passes and catches


5. Four Corner Ball Carry

Overview

Students take turns running 4 cones and perform the following locomotor movements between each cone: run, slide step, backpedal, and crossover.

Equipment

  • A football for each 4 corner course you set up

  • 4 cones for each 4 corner running course

Set-Up

  • Place a football at the start of each 4 corner running course

  • Students line up at cone #1- the start of the course. Keep the lines as short as possible (2 to 4 in a line)

Four Corner Ball Carry- PE Football Games

Station Instruction

Students work in small groups to take turns carrying a football and performing the following locomotor movements:

  • The first player starts at cone 1

  • They run Forward to cone 2

  • Slide step facing out to cone 3

  • Backpedal to cone 4

  • Crossover (grapevine step) back to cone 1

  • The next person in line repeats...time your group for fun!


6. Two vs One Passing (Football Throwing Games)


Overview

Students take turns playing quarterback, receiver, and defensive back in a small grid area.

Equipment

  • Enough footballs for each small group of 3 to 4 students in your class

  • 1 flag or 2 flags per offensive player (optional)

  • 4 cones to make a playing grid

Set-Up

  • Place a football in a station area

  • Set up a grid, using cones with an end zone

Two vs One Passing (Football Throwing Games)

Station Instruction

Students set plays to throw and catch a football past a defender

  1. Establish who will be the quarterback, receiver, and defender

  2. The quarterback and receiver determine a pass play and establish a passing pattern

  3. The 2 offensive players try to make a complete pass

  4. Establish some pass patterns before the throw and catch

  5. Rotate positions every 2 or 3 attempts

  6. You can convert to flag football. An offensive player must stop when the flag pulled

  7. If you have a 4th player, they can act as a referee and then rotate into the game

 

Final thoughts


Incorporating football stations and small group activities into your PE classes is a great way to keep your students both active and engaged. Not only will they enjoy the dynamic activities, but they'll also learn skills and satisfy required PE standards while doing it. You can easily adjust the football activities to be more advantageous for your students, regardless of their skill level or development stage.


In this blog post, I have shared 6 fun football stations and activities that you can use in your own PE class. These activities were designed to help students improve their throwing and catching skills, hand-eye coordination, footwork, and team play. I hope you find these activities helpful and enjoy watching your students have fun while being physically active!


Do you have a favorite PE football activity that you use in your class? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.

 

Need resources?

Do you need some sport-related skill stations for your physical education program that includes detailed instructions and state-of-the-art graphics and visuals? Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered!


20 FREE Sport-Specific PE Station Signs on capnpetespowerpe.com

Fill in the form below to download 20 FREE Sport-Specific PE Station Signs. The set is a PDF digital download that includes two visuals (cards/signs) from the following sport stations sets: 1. Base Games, 2. Basketball, 3. Floor Hockey, 4. Football, 5. Lacrosse, 6. Paddle & Racket Sports, 7. Soccer, 8. Team Handball Stations, 9. Track & Field and 10. Volleyball Stations.



This freebie set will be sure to enhance your PE curriculum for years!


 

If you want even more soccer station ideas...my PE Soccer Stations- 20 Kick Around Zones resource can be downloaded here on Teachers Pay Teachers.


If you're searching for a way to really spice up your PE program, Cap'n Pete's PE Sports Stations- 10 Product Mega Bundle is the perfect supplement. You'll find over 200 fun-filled, sports-themed station signs/cards (20 stations per sport) in this set. You may utilize them in your gym or specialized learning area.


 Cap'n Pete's PE Sports Stations- 10 Product Mega Bundle

You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store


This comprehensive collection will help you teach your students important physical education concepts and skills from 10 different traditional sports including basketball, base games, football, floor hockey, lacrosse, paddle/racket sports, soccer, track & field, team handball, and volleyball.



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