Advice on adapting and modifying activities.


The purpose of adapting and modifying activities is to:

  • minimise or eliminate disadvantage caused by the environment in which the activity is conducted
  • enable new rules and equipment to be introduced as players mature and their skills improve
  • continually review modifications and, if appropriate, phase out over time.

When adapting and modifying any activity it is important to:

  • ensure fair participation for all students
  • maintain balance between maximising each person's potential for involvement and success, and maintaining the integrity of the activity
  • make just enough changes to an activity so that it is meaningful and challenging for the entire group, but not so many that the specific skills required for the activity are underutilised
  • include appropriate challenges for all students in the class to support them to achieve a level of success comparable to their knowledge, understanding and skill levels.

Working with students with a disability

View inclusion through the inclusion spectrum. When working with students with a disability, concentrate on what students can do rather than what they can't.

Use the Australian Sports Commission's TREE model as a practical tool to help modify activities or programs. Modify the four essential elements of an activity to make it more inclusive.


Make modifications when planning units of work to cater for classes that may include students with special learning needs.

Type of modification Advice
  • Identify the key essential concepts related to the unit outcomes.
  • Sequence the activities/tasks in smaller steps for students who will need additional support.
  • Plan for additional demonstrations or guided practice of key concepts and skills.
  • Plan a range of alternate tasks that address the essential concepts at varying levels of challenge.
  • Use visual cues to aid understanding or expression.
  • Provide additional support for students through group work, peer tutoring, and/or buddy systems.
  • Change classroom organisation e.g. positioning students to enhance participation or maximise access to instruction.
  • Use scaffolds to support responses, both oral and written e.g. a planning proforma to structure response..
  • Provide for alternative formats for responses.
  • Allow oral, written or movement responses.

Working with high potential and gifted students

Differentiation requires deliberate adjustments to meet the specific learning needs of high potential and gifted students. The Differentiation adjustment tool can provide additional suggestions.


Make modifications when planning units of work to cater for classes that may include high potential and gifted students.

Type of modification Advice
Modifications should be:
  • be abstract, complex, varied
  • involve issues of organisation, study of people, methods of inquiry.
Modifications should:
  • involve higher order thinking processes
  • promote creative and critical thinking
  • require problem solving
  • involve group interaction
  • have variable levels of pacing
  • allow for debriefing of the process
  • involve open ended questions
  • allow for some freedom of choice.
Modifications should:
  • involve real world problems
  • involve real world audiences
  • require real deadlines
  • require transformation of learning
  • involve appropriate assessment and evaluation
  • involve extended or accelerated outcomes.

Related content


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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