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Team Up and Attack! - Invasion Games
Most recently taught: February 2023
Teachers Pay Teachers link for the unit task sheets (Formative and Summative)

Key Concept: Communication


Related Concepts: Adaptation, Environment


Statement of Inquiry: Communicating within a role can enhance adaptation in an environment.

Global Context: Identities and Relationships (Roles and role models)


Learner Profile: Communicators


Unit Outline


In this unit, students will explore invasion game skills and strategies, through the specific activities of Capture the Flag, Basketball, and Handball. While sport-specific techniques will be taught and practiced, the main focus will be on students learning and implementing strategies when playing the games as a team. The summative assessments will have students sorted into a team and work as a group to create and implement a handball practice plan before the end of the unit tournament. They will have built up an understanding of implementing sport-specific skills, fitness, and strategies through Basketball and Capture the Flag gameplay.


This unit, based on 10 hour-long classes, ended up taking 11 classes due to students going into great detail when reflecting on the effectiveness of their team’s practice plan. 

Learning Experiences

Lesson 1 - 2: Capture the Flag

Inquiry Question: What are roles?

Focus on gameplay. Students had a good understanding of how to play so I wanted to have them work on different strategies and take on different roles throughout the two classes of games. Great for pre-assessment allowing me to recognize leaders and how well students implemented strategies.


Lesson 3 - 6: Basketball

Inquiry Questions: What does communication in a role look like? To what extent does the ability to adapt in a changing environment play a role in effective communication?

The first couple of classes focused on the skills of dribbling, passing, and shooting. To consolidate the skills each class finished with mini-games like “Knockout”, and “Keep-away”. In lesson 5, students worked in teams to create their formative practice plan before playing full games. Then, in lesson 6, students ran through their practice plans before we started the final day of games. The Jr. NBA website has a variety of drills and games to focus on chosen skills and strategies, suitable for a wide range of skill levels.


Lesson 7 - 10: Handball

Inquiry Questions: What is adaptation? How can you adapt to an environment?

Similar to the basketball lessons, students worked on common handball skills and strategies before using these focus points in a mini-game to finish lessons 7 and 8. The first mini-game had students needing to pass the ball over the opponent's end line (like American football) before adding in smaller nets and having students get familiar with shooting outside the crease on target. In the final 2 lessons, students were sorted into new teams and worked on developing their practice plan for handball. On the final day, each team implemented their skill drill, and fitness drill, before our class tournament where they focused on trying to win and use their identified strategy. Teach England Handball is a great resource for drills and mini-games to meet all levels

Formative Assessments

Teacher observation and discussion on skills and strategies prominent in Capture the Flag.

Team discussions on the roles needed to be successful in Capture the Flag, Basketball, and Handball.

Practice plan for each Basketball team, an initial version of the summative practice plan for Handball.

Teacher pocket assessment of Basketball skills, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.


Summative Assessment

Criterion B: Planning for performance


As in the initial basketball formative task, students will team up and develop a practice plan for handball. This practice plan will have them take on roles to create and perform activities that will increase their success in the class tournament. Students will identify a fitness activity that will build a sport-specific skill, perform a drill that is relevant to the team (ex. Layup line in basketball) and explain a strategy they will try to use when playing games. Afterward, each team will individually reflect on the effectiveness of their practice plan. 


Criterion C: Applying and performing

Students will be assessed on their handball skills. The teacher will evaluate their ability to use handball skills, such as passing, and shooting. How they use strategies with their team, communicate, and play within their team role is all looked at and included on the rubric.

ATL’s focused on in this unit


Communication: Negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers


In order for students to plan a performance (Criterion B): in the form of a pre-tournament practice, they will need to negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers.


The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

- negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers: discussions on how they can each fairly take on a role and choose activities relevant to their team members. What knowledge do they have, and how can they seek out additional information. 

- negotiate ideas and knowledge with teachers: ensure their ideas are appropriate for the space, and resources the teacher can provide. Students will learn and practice justifying their decisions in a post-practice reflection.

Social - Exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles


Students will choose to take on the role of a skill coach, fitness coach, or strategy researcher when working on the formative and summative practice plans. We will explore how students can use their leadership to help their groups succeed in these tasks.

Teacher Reflection


Of the various invasion game units that I teach over the span of my 5-year MYP long-term plan, I find this summative to be the most meaningful. Students are engaged in the practice plan because it directly links to them being successful in the class tournament.

After teaching this unit originally at my old school, it was interesting to see how different practice plans turned out with my current group of students. I can’t wait to see how it goes next year, with students of different abilities and cultural backgrounds.


I played a more modified version of handball, without the dribbling due to needing to play on a field, but will look to get proper handballs and nets for next year. This modified version did enhance teamwork and included more students in the plays as one player could only take 3 steps/hold the ball for 3 seconds.

MYP3 Invasion Games Poster.png

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

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