Grade: Elementary
Subject: Phys Ed

#2153. Man Overboard

Phys Ed, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Feb 27 19:13:44 PST 2001 by Sandy Reeves (
RDPS #104, Red Deer, Canada
Materials Required: none
Activity Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Concepts Taught: following directions, running and moving quickly

I have used this lesson with many of my classes over the years. The kids seem to really enjoy it and all children can participate at some level. I am not sure where this lesson originated though.

The lesson:

Have the children line up about twenty feet facing a wall in the gym. Have the children space themselves out by at least elbow lengths. Have them stand in a very straight line and tell them that they are now in the navy and they must learn some commands and that you are no longer their teacher but you are their captain. Let them know that as their captain you are going to be calling out several commands and that you expect them to follow these commands immediately upon request!

The commands are as follow (review these with the kids before initiating the game):

Scrub the Deck - the students get down in a squat position and 'scrub' the floor.

Man the Rigging - the students pretend to be pulling down on the ropes of the ship.

Captain's Coming - the students stand straight and rigid and salute.

Stand at attention - the students stand straight with their arms at their side.

Bombs Overhead - the students bend down and they clasp their arms over their heads as to avoid being hit in the head by the flying bombs.

Man Overboard - the students have to run to the wall and back in line as quickly as possible.

***Remind the kids not to slam into the wall with their wrists/hands out so as to avoid any injury.

You could even create further commands with your students.

You could eliminate children if they are too slow to follow a command or fail to follow a command or set them further down in the ranks of the line up. Your best Navy officers at the 'head ' of the line. Have fun with this one and enjoy! Thanks to all of 'you' for your wonderful gym ideas.