Move Think Learn


This resource uses a Teaching Games for Understanding approach to work students through tactical gameplay problems, think through options and skills, and learn how to apply this learning to broader gameplay situations. The series explores archery, badminton, canoe-kayak, cycling, ringette, softball, squash, soccer and team handball. Targeted to educators working with children and youth approximately 8-14 years of age (grades 4-9), the goal of the series is to increase student knowledge, confidence, and competence to become further engaged in physical activity and/or sport.

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TGfU is a student-centred instructional model designed to actively engage learners in problem solving and decision-making while gaining an appreciation of game strategies, tactics, and skills. Through participation in small-sided games, students learn how tactical solutions can be transferred from one game or sport to another. Students develop the ability to make decisions about “what to do”, “when to do it”, and “how to do it” in response to game situations (Griffin & Patton 2005). Learning games this way, students develop game literacy and gain competence in a wide range of activities (Mandigo, Butler, & Hopper 2007).

The sport focus of each resource in the Move, Think, Learn series provides a lens through which to facilitate purposeful game play experiences. Although a single-sport provides the focus for each resource, the transferability of tactical solutions from one sport to another is emphasized. The small-sided games described in each resource align with the stages of LTAD by promoting participation in developmentally appropriate games as opposed to mature forms of the sport.

Resource Overview

Each resource in the series is organized into three sections; Move, Think, and Learn. The resources support teacher planning, but do not provide complete or sequential lesson plans.

Move: Six different games are described in the Move section. Each game highlights a different tactical problem relevant to the games category of the sport in focus. These games can serve as an entry point to a lesson and are designed to help students understand “what to do” in the context of the game.

Think: Tactical questions teachers can ask students are included in the Think section. Each series of questions relates directly to the preceding Move game, and is intended to engage students in critical and creative thinking to identify the tactical problem, solutions to the tactical problem, and the movement skills required to carry out the tactical solutions. Building on student understanding of “what to do” in the context of the game, this section explores “how to do it”.

Learn: Two games are described in the Learn section. These games are more complex than those in the Move section, and are intended to move participants toward the mature form of the sport in focus. During game play, students apply solutions to tactical problems and decision-making abilities. These games can serve as a culminating game to a lesson or unit.

Move Think Learn showcases the following sports:

  • Archery (Target game)
  • Badminton (Net and Wall game)
  • Squash (Net and Wall game)
  • Softball (Striking and Fielding game)
  • Ringette (Territory game)
  • Soccer (Territory game)
  • Team Handball (Territory game)
  • Canoe/Kayak (Racing game)
  • Cycling (Racing game)

While each resource focuses on a single sport, they emphasize the transferability of tactical solutions from one sport context to another.

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Special Edition

Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus

With Canada hosting the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, a Special Editions of the Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus resource has been developed.

The resource, for grades 4 to 6 and 7 to 9, will include supplemental cross-curricular classroom lessons highlighting unique aspects of both competitions as well as a variety of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) activity ideas to get your students engaged, moving, and learning the tactics and skills needed to participate in soccer.

Canada wordmarkThe Move Think Learn series is funded by the Government of Canada.