Envisioning Southeast Asia

LESSON 3: From fragmented to shared histories: Sepak takraw

This lesson explores the historical origin of sepak takraw and its importance as a sport in the region.

Subject History / Social Studies
Topic From fragmented to shared histories: Sepak takraw
Key idea
Regional identity in Southeast Asia can and has been created out of diversities and commonalities by regional organizations and through regional events as well as  everyday activities such as popular sports, art,  and culture. This identity is continuously evolving and contributes toward the envisioning of Southeast Asia as a region for the future.
Sports such as
sepak takraw reflect both the diversity and commonalities within Southeast Asia. The popularity of sepak takraw as a sport has a part in contributing towards a global understanding and interest in Southeast Asia as a region.
Key concepts Identity
Level Lower secondary
No. of periods / lessons 2 to 3 periods (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)
Facilities needed A/V equipment and Internet access to play the video clips (or hard copy with similar content)
Sources and handouts for distribution
Prerequisite knowledge Some familiarity with sports and the SEA Games
Completion of Unit 4, Lesson 2 on SEA Games preferred

Learning objectives
By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:

  1. Understand the role of  popular sports in building national and regional identities.
  2. Understand and discuss the historical origins, development and popularization of sepak takraw in Southeast Asia.
  1. Practice source reading skills through use of
    primary and secondary documents.\
  2. Practice listening and note-taking skills
    through watching videos.
  3. Experience collaborative group discussion
    and research.
  4. Practice writing and oral communication
  1. Value sports, popular culture and other supposedly ‘non-serious’ aspects of human endeavour as worthy areas of historical exploration.
  2. Appreciate the importance of sports in the development of shared histories within Southeast Asia and the region’s interaction with the world.


Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.

1. Teacher talk

The teacher explains that the lesson will examine how the development of indigenous sports contributed to the development of regional identity.

2. Hook activity: Identifying different sports

The teacher displays photographs of different sports (on PowerPoint, handout, flash cards) and ask  students to identify them.

3. Think-pair-share: Popular sports in Southeast Asia

In pairs, with the support of a article or a video, students discuss and identify which sports they are familiar with.

4. Introductory discussion on sepak takraw

With the support of photographs or a video, students share observations about the game.

Suggested video:  ‘An introduction to sepak takraw

5. Group work: Find out more about sepak takraw

Students read and discuss an article on sepak takraw.

6. Group work: Historical sources on sepak

In groups, students study and reflect on a source. Then they present their findings to the class.

7. Teacher talk

The lecture explains the origins and development of sepak takraw in Southeast Asia and its spread through the world.

8. Class discussion

Students reflect on the link of sepak takraw and their identity, and how this sport reflects interconnections of Southeast Asia to the world.