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Structured Play Expecations

Outside Play Expectations

Lesson Plan 

Each of the grade level teams is to determine their structured play zones and develop their own duty schedule. A copy of the zones and schedule will be included in the plan. Each group can only have a specific number of zones open for play – one zone per duty teacher.

Division of Zones for Supervision:

  • Zone 1 - Basketball Court
  • Zone 2 - Tennis Court
  • Zone 3 - Trees and Picnic Tables
  • Zone 4 Soccer Field
  • Zone 5 Playground (One class at a time on designated day only)

Classroom Pre-teaching Activity (Upper & Lower Campus):


What does it look like?

What does it sound like?


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Discuss what the expectation “Play in assigned area” looks like and sounds like, completing the Looks Like/Sounds Like chart with students.

Ask students, “Can anyone tell me what ‘Play in assigned area’ would look like?” Wait for students to respond, and write appropriate answers on the Looks Like side of the chart. If students are able, allow them to write their response on the chart. Responses should include: Stay within the designated zones; keep all equipment within designated zones…

Ask students, “Now let’s think about what ‘Play in assigned area’ would sound like. Can anyone tell me what that would sound like?” Wait for student responses, and write appropriate answers on the Sounds Like side of the chart. Responses should include: stay within the designated zone; safe words; kind words…

Show What You Know Activity (Upper & Lower Campus)
Student Activity (Practice)

Teachers should have recess charts and expectations posted in the classroom for students to reference.

Follow hall expectations; lead the class to the playground. Instruct students to stay in their class line, and to be seated on the sidewalk. Pay attention to student expectations: Walk to play area; play in assigned area; play with equipment correctly and safely; treat others as you would like to be treated; line up at first whistle.

Review the concepts of Looks Like/Sounds Like chart completed in class, “Let’s think about what we talked about with our Looks Like/Sounds Like chart. We are already following the expectation to ‘remain with the class.’ Remember to stay in line until I tell you the zone we will be using today. When released, we will walk to the zone.” Identify your grade-level zones.

“Now let’s practice the expectation for the (pick an activity or piece of equipment)…I’m going to choose a few students to show us how to play on the (pick an activity or piece of equipment)…using our expectations. Let’s see if these students can show us how to use the equipment and play safely, use kind hands, feet, and body, use safe words, and line up when teacher signals.” The teacher will select a small group (3-4) of students to model/role play. Allow the small group to role play for a short amount of time (approximately 3-5 minutes). While students are modeling, engage the class in observing and identifying expectations they see being used. “I see John using the basketball safely by bouncing it softly and gently throwing it into the hoop…” etc. Ask the class to identify other expectations being followed. Signal the small group to line up by blowing the whistle and raising your hand.

Repeat activity while modeling appropriate behavior and expectations for each of your zones.

Class Meeting (Follow-up)

  • You should have a class meeting following your recess practice to discuss how recess went today.
  • Have a class meeting each day for two weeks discussing recess expectations and procedures.
  • You may need to do some re-teaching of expectations depending on results of class meetings.
  • Review graphic organizers.

All resource classes including PE, Music, Library, Special Ed Classes, E.L.L., etc. will work with classroom teachers to support recess lessons.

Ways to revisit:

  • Go outside to practice and review playground expectations using the above activities.
  • Write and perform play.
  • Write, illustrate, and share a book with classmates or friends.
  • Make a poster stating or showing pictures of expectations.
  • Create an Obama Tiger on the Playground quiz.
  • Watch structured play video.
  • Review graphic organizers.
Structured Play Expectations Video

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