Playing Sports Together

A discussion activity to think about both the friendly and competitive ways in which we play games and sports together.

KS2/3 | 30 Mins | Teacher led

KEY QUESTION: How do we play sport and games together?


Playing games and sports is a very visible and often very personal way in which we live together with other people. We can use this idea (perhaps alongside practical PE lessons) to explore how the way we play together can help us to discuss the ways we relate to each other and treat each other more generally.


  1. Take a few minutes to discuss with learners a range of different purposes to sport, PE and games we play for example: healthy lifestyle, fun, teamwork, competition, representing your country or town or school.
  2. Discuss and ask learners to list the range of emotions involved in sport and games.
  3. You could develop this further with older learners and discuss and list the range of emotions involved in friendly and competitive play. Ask and discuss how the style of play and the way that teams are chosen might vary according to which purpose is driving the game. E.g. An example might be a warm up between players on a tennis court, where the aim is loosening muscles and they actually hit the ball to each other, before playing to win, where they deliberately make the ball hard to reach. A ‘friendly’ match between teams for fun may be more inclusive with more people given a chance to play but will often still be taken very seriously despite the title ‘friendly’ whereas a competition where a lot is at stake would involve more focus and careful team selection.
  4. Ask the question: why is important that we have rules in competitive sport? Do we need rules in friendly play and if so why? Why do we have referees and umpires in sport?
  5. Now link to the way we live together – is there a similar need for rules in the way we live? Do we ‘compete’ in life? What for? (give examples – jobs, houses, the last toy on the shelf etc) Which people would play the part of a referee or umpire in life?
  6. You could discuss or ask learners to list: sporting values and their opposites. Following this discussion a useful website to connect to is the Getset London 2012 site (see link below) which has an education section for all key stages including interactive quizzes and games  about the Olympic values.
  7. In the sports lessons that follow come back to these ideas and values, and make the purpose clear in each lesson, so that learners are thinking about their ‘life skills’ such as the ability to work with different groups and include others, as well as subject skills such as skill and personal


Related Link


 Extension Activity

An idea would be to look at world sports competitions that include athletes or sportspeople from different countries competing against each other, and think about the slogans that they use, for example the Olympic Movement’s 3 values: excellence, friendship and respect and their slogan To build a better world through sport. What other slogans are there? For example the F.A. or a local team, or even the school’s vision or mission statement. What do these slogans mean for our everyday life and the way we treat everyone else in the world?

Based on original material created by The Linking Network and Lifeworlds Learning

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