This article describes teachers' deeds and contents in physical education classes in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted including two hundred and forty observations in sixty-eight classes. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) was used to assess physical education classes. The "free-play" (45.3%) was the methodological strategy more used in the classes. Collective sports were the most frequent contents and teachers' deeds were described as "other tasks" or "monitoring activities" according to the observation. The participation of teachers in the class context was low, expressed by exaggerated use of "free play". Such situation needs to be changed urgently in order to avoid questions on the role of physical education at the school system.
Physical education; contents; class context