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Catch Me If You Can! - An Invasion Games Unit

Most recently taught: February 2023

Key Concept: Communication

Related Concepts: Choice, Systems

Statement of Inquiry: A team system is strengthened through the choice to communicate.

Global Context: Identities and Relationships (teams)

Learner Profile: Communicator (emphasizing the key concept, students will be encouraged to be active in working with their teammates on strategical decisions, and active talking during gameplay)


Unit Outline

This unit, a precursor to my Team Up and Attack! Unit that I teach to MYP students in the following year, focuses on the invasion games of Floor Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer, and American Football. Students will make connections between the similarities and differences of each game, transferring concepts to each new setting. For Soccer, students will design an offensive and defensive strategy after playing for a lesson, trying to take on roles and demonstrate their understanding of concepts.To solidify this knowledge on the summative assessment, students will create a playbook for American Football, using it in our final tournament.

Learning Experiences

Lessons 1 and 2 - Floor Hockey

  • Inquiry Question: What is a system?

Skill practice mixed with mini-games. Students will learn proper stick-holding techniques, and how to stickhandle, pass, and shoot, alongside learning the various positions necessary for team success. In our second lesson, students will quickly review these concepts and skills before playing small-sided games against each other.


Lessons 3 and 4 - Ultimate Frisbee

  • Inquiry Question: In what ways can you communicate?

Similar to Floor Hockey, students will learn the fundamentals of throwing and catching a frisbee, both stationary and on the move. In the first lesson of Ultimate Frisbee students will explore these techniques through a game of Keep Away where they try to complete 4 passes in a row without the defending team intercepting, and vice versa. The final lesson of Ultimate Frisbee will have students playing a full game, using the concepts of attacking and defending introduced in Floor Hockey. 


Lessons 5 - 8 - Soccer

  • Inquiry Questions: How is a team like a system? Why do we choose to communicate?

With Soccer being the first main focus of this unit, with their soccer skills being formatively assessed, more techniques and mini-games will be explored. In the first couple of lessons, students will perform a range of drills and games that have them practicing dribbling, passing, shooting, penalty kicks, throw-ins and corner kicks. In the third lesson, students will use a website to design an offensive and defensive play before practicing it with their team. The final lesson is soccer gameplay, with students using all the skills and concepts, trying to win against the other teams.


Lessons 9 - 12 - American (Flag) Football

  • Inquiry Question: To what extent is communication more important for a system than choice?

The summative focus of this unit, these lessons are based on students' understanding of how American Football is played compared to the other invasion games. Students will learn the concepts behind getting open for passes, playing defence effectively, and making strong throws as the Quarterback. The first two lessons will have students understand how to throw and catch the ball, different routes they can memorize as a receiver, and practice covering a receiver as a defender. In the third lesson, each team will create a 3-play, playbook, and practice the plays that they will use for the final lesson’s flag football class tournament. 

Formative Assessments

To prepare students for the Criterion B summative assessment, students will first develop an offensive and a defensive strategy to be used in soccer. They will use a website to create a play diagram, explaining the purpose of the two strategies. 

Students will be assessed on their Criterion C soccer skills as well, getting them familiar with the expectations of a summative skills assessment and focused on the concepts of invasion games.

Summative Assessment

For Criterion B students will be creating a game plan with their team to succeed in American football. Students will design 3 different plays, using their understanding of the rules, and route types. They will use these plays while playing in our unit-end tournaments.

For Criterion C students will be assessed on their ability to perform individual skills, such as throwing, catching, defending, finding open space, and maintaining possession. How they work as part of a team, communicating and taking on a role will also be assessed. 

ATL’s focused on in this unit

Communication - Interpret and use effectively modes of non-verbal communication

In order for students to plan for performance (Criteria B):  students will interpret and use effectively modes of non-verbal communication by creating diagrams of team plays that they will use in their American football games, and by understanding hand signals when executing each play.


The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-interpret non-verbal communication: We will look at how students can communicate with teammates during high-paced action, and understand how hand and body movements can inform teammates of your decisions.

-use modes of non-verbal communication: students will work in teams to create plays and strategies on whiteboards before trying to execute these decisions. Students will be able to look at a diagram and understand their roles.


Social - Listen actively to other ideas and perspectives

In order for students to apply and perform (Criteria C):  students will listen actively to other ideas and perspectives by taking on other roles, ensuring each teammate contributes to strategic planning and discussions, and being open-minded to trying new ideas.


The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-listen actively to other ideas: when creating plays for American football, each play should receive input from multiple group members. Different group members will be asked to peer assess different performances, and students should all be able to identify a moment they were strong leaders for their team.

Self-Management - Practice "failing well'

Throughout the unit, students will play a variety of team sports with a variety of teammates. We will have a consistent reflection on the benefits of failing to win all the time, the reasons teams fail, and how to react when you lose (fail). Students will set goals in the formative and summative and we will also make note of the benefits of not always achieving your goals.

Teacher Reflection

(February 2023 Reflection)

With soccer being a popular sport among my students in Barbados, it was exciting to see their passion for that sport and then try and transfer their knowledge to American football, a less popular and played sport. As American football is on my long-term plan for MYP 2 and MYP 4 I wanted to use the first introduction of it to build the basic skills and knowledge of the “how” the game is played, which will hopefully create more enthusiasm for when it is revisited by them in a couple of years.

The students enjoyed using the websites to create plays in their teams, and it led to greater excitement for both our class soccer tournament and our unit-end American Football games.

​Getting students to plan strategies in teams will also help them next year during our Team Up and Attack! Unit where they also plan strategies and build skills in their teams.

MYP 2 Invasion Games.png

Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel, I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.

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