Skill Learning – Use this Prac Activity & Show These Videos!


We presented at the ACHPER Sports Science Conference on Friday 20th March to help PE teachers implement sport science in their Year 7-10 curriculum. These videos and the prac activity were just a couple of the resources we shared with those in attendance. We hope you find them useful for your classes too.


When teaching students about the stages of learning we use these two videos to help students visualise the difference between the autonomous and cognitive stage (it also gives them a bit of a laugh too).  We recommend using them directly after teaching students about the different stages of learning.

The video above is a skills session from an All Blacks training session where they are clearly displaying skills at the ‘autonomous’ stage, whereas the video below is a ‘similar’ skills session from a Brumbies training session where they are displaying skills at the ‘cognitive’ stage.  These videos are not the most academically sound description of the stages, but they do help kids remember the difference and they really enjoy them!


Practical Activity

This practical activity is one that we have used with a variety of year levels to help them increase their knowledge regarding classification of motor skills and the stages of learning. Click the image below to download the practical task sheet.

Classifying Motor Skills Prac copy

In pairs, students make their way around 12 activity stations. Students complete each activity for one minute, scoring each activity.

At the end of each round, students then need to classify the skill as fine or gross (movement precision) and discrete, serial or continuous (type of movement).

They then need to identify their stage of learning for that particular skill (cognitive, associative or autonomous).

Once all activities have been completed, students then need to label each activity on the Open and Closed skill continuum.

You can modify the activities to suit your participants as well as increasing or decreasing the number of activity stations. We definitely recommend giving this one a go with your kids – they will love challenging each other at each of the stations!

If you have any questions about the practical activity or the videos, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Airlie & Heath

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