My classes have been practicing their frisbee skills — catching and throwing. I used this game as a final activity for my 3rd and 4th graders and as a lead-in to ultimate frisbee for my 5th and 6th.
Divide class into groups of 4 (groups of 3 or 5 also work). Each group makes a playing field by using poly-spots to mark corners of a 10×10 box (I teach them to take big steps and count off 10 paces). Each group has one person that is defense and the other 3 are offense. Offense tries to keep the frisbee from the defense. Basic rules are:
1. person with the frisbee may not take steps
2. must pass the frisbee within 3 seconds
3. players must stay 3 feet from each other
4. if the frisbee is thrown out-of-bounds, the thrower becomes the defense
5. if a catch is missed or dropped, the catcher becomes the defense
6. if the defense intercepts the pass, he or she chooses who becomes the next defensive player
I add the option that if I blow the whistle, a new person becomes the defensive player. With my younger classes, I had to help some groups understand the idea of the defense trying to get in the middle of the offensive players to intercept; and also showing the offensive players how to move around when they don’t have the frisbee in hand. Once they get the hang of it, they have a great time. My older classes were playing within seconds and kept an active game going. It was a fun spring-time activity.
We have been working on throwing and catching in 1st and 2nd grade. This creative story and game made practicing the skills fun.
Make a big rectangle using cones or poly spots. This is the ship.
Throw 8-10 hula hoops around the ship — about 4 paces away.
Place a bin of soft yarn or foam balls on the “ship”.
I had all the students sit in the cone box for a story. I told them they were on a ship, but in a minute a big storm was going to hit and most of them would be knocked off. They would need to swim quickly and climb on an iceberg (hula hoop) because the water around them was full of hungry sharks. I demonstrated that those sailors still on the ship would need to save their friends by throwing them a life preserver (yarn ball). If the ball is caught you can reel your friend in with the imaginary rope tied to the life preserver. If the ball is not caught, it must remain in the water. I note that the water also has some friendly and brave dolphins who will retrieve the lost life preservers and bring them back to the ship.
I then send all the students to stand in a hoop (several can stand in the same one). I then designate 3-4 children to stay on the ship and be rescue sailors and 3-4 to be dolphins. The sailors then begin tossing balls to their friends in the hoops. Once these students are pulled on board they can help with the rescuing. The dolphins run around and retrieve lost balls so the ship doesn’t run out. You can add a timer, if wanted, and see if all our friends can be rescued in one minute before their ice berg melts.
The children love the imagination of the game as well as getting lots of throwing and catching practice. A round just takes about a minute, then I scattered them in hoops again and start over. They loved it!
Here is a fun, fast, and easy game idea:
I labeled old tennis balls with numbers 1-8 (or how ever many groups you want to have). Then labeled five or six extra balls with random symbols (triangle, smiley face, star, etc). I divide the class into groups and line them up behind cones. Each group draws a numbered tennis ball and that becomes their group number. I then throw all the tennis balls out into the gym. The first person in each line runs forward and tries to find their numbered ball. When they do they bring it to me and I give them a point value. The first person to bring me a ball gets 8 points, the second 7 points, and on down. After they have found their ball they can go and grab symbol balls one at a time. Each of these are worth 5 points. When all the balls have been picked up, I gather them, the team adds up their points and the next person moves forward in line. I throw the balls out and repeat. We play until each group member has had a turn to chase. The groups have to add on to their points each time so they use some math skills.
The main rule you have to emphasize is that they can only have one ball in their hands at a time. Depending on the level of competitiveness and the students’ ages you can let them toss or kick unwanted balls around the room making it harder for other groups to find their ball.
The kids really get running. It is mainly luck to find their ball so anyone can win the game. My class had a lot of fun playing it and all had their heart rates up. I love the math element with the points.
My 3rd and 4th graders have been working on frisbee skills. We worked on backhand throw and 2-hand clap catch. We spent the bulk of class practicing with a partner using a regular plastic frisbee. I ended the lesson by switching to some foam frisbees and playing this game:
“It” has a foam frisbee. Have one “it” per every 5-7 players. ”IT” backhand threw the frisbee to try and hit another player. If a player was hit, they became “it”. The game was very simple and the class did a lot of running. ”It” player changed frequently so no one got too tired. It was a fun ending game for a frisbee day. I have also tried the game with 1st and 2nd grades with good success.
This game worked out great as a follow-up to work with soccer skills. Some previous lessons and practice with dribbling, trapping, and punting make it a productive game.
Game was set up on a baseball diamond. Instead of bases I used hula hoops on the ground, with the exception of home plate which was a standard cone. Fielding team played traditional baseball positions. Kicking team needs 5 soccer balls. First kicker comes to home plate with 2 balls. The first ball is punted (I let them drop kick or kick from the ground as they are comfortable). The 2nd ball must be dribbled to 1st base and trapped in the hoop before the fielding team gets the punted ball trapped in the base. No hands are allowed — kicks only. Next kicker again has 2 balls, one punted & one dribbled to base. Fielding team can get either player out by trapping the punting ball into a base hoop. Game continues with the possibility of 5 balls being in play at once (1 on each base, kicker with punted ball and dribbling ball). To score at home, the dribbled ball had to hit the cone before the punted ball. It was a good paced game with some real focus on the dribbling and trapping. Everyone had a chance to kick and practice. Baseball and soccer fans alike seemed to enjoy the game.
*note: I had 8 players on a team. I did not play 3 outs. Every player kicked and then teams rotated. Strongest punter should kick last as they person needed “home run” to score.
The school year is coming to an end and I am trying out some new games with my classes — just some fun, active stuff to end the year. Today my 5th and 6th grade classes played this game of steal the flag with a twist:
1. Nerf footballs were used instead of flags
2. Divide the class into two equal teams and give each team different color flag belts
3. Set up field into a large rectangle with 4 cones then mark a middle line with another two cones. place a football near one corner cone and another in the opposite corner. The other two corner cones will act as a “jail”.
4. Team #1 tries to steal the football from team #2 by crossing over to their side of the field and grabbing the ball without getting their flag pulled. They can run the football back or pass it to another team player.
5. If a player has his/her flag pulled while holding the ball, the ball is placed where the flag was pulled.
6. If a pass is made that is not caught, the ball goes back to its home spot at the corner cone.
7. When a player has his/her flag pulled they go to jail on the opposite team’s field. They can be rescued by another team mate touching their hand and walking them back.
8. If the football makes it to the opposing team’s field without a flag pull it is a point for that team and both footballs go back to the starting position.
The kids had a lot of fun playing and most stayed involved. The passing gave the traditional game a new twist. There was a lot of running and activity.
I set the rule that the kids can’t “puppy-guard” the ball. They must stay at least 5 feet away. Still I always have a lot of arguing about this rule and one team thinking the other is too close, etc.
Playing volleyball with 36+ students in one small gym mandates some modifications. More than two teams are needed and I don’t like a lot of down time for waiting students. I am using rotations similar to what we did a couple of weeks ago with handball. I modified the rules to simplify things and involve as many students as possible.
I formed 4 teams of 9. Two teams are on the court with 3 rows of 3. Team 1 serves & when that ball hits the floor, Team 2 serves. Then, team 1 moves to team 2 side; team 2 goes out; team 3 comes in. Each team serves again. Team 1 rotates out, team 3 moves to the other court side; team 4 comes in. Repeat each 2 serves forming circle rotation. It goes quickly and smoothly once the kids get the hang of it.
1. Server gets 3 attempts. He/she can move closer to the net as needed. Cannot change servers in the middle of a turn.
2. A new person must serve each turn. The same person cannot serve twice until everyone has served once.
3. Play begins after a successful serve. Either team can score, not just the serving team. When the ball goes down, a point is scored.
4. Out-of-bounds is simply the walls, ceiling, steps. If it hits one of those things, it is a point for the opposing team. If the serve goes out, they get a re-try.
5. No double hits — same person cannot hit the ball twice in a row.
I start each team with 5 sportsmanship points. These points are lost if derogatory comments are made about a person’s team or teammate. This helps a lot to keep the atmosphere positive, especially when someone is unable to successfully serve the ball. I also remove a point if kids go on the court when their team is not up to play, etc.
Team captains are responsible for the rotation of players and making sure everyone has a chance to serve. I also encourage them to inspire sportsmanship within their team.
This turned out to be a lot of fun! I loved watching the kids help each other on their serves and cheering for each other. It moved really fast and as the rounds continued, they got better at hitting back and forth.
Here is a new game I tried with my 5th and 6th graders. It combines skills from several sports and they had a good time playing it. I like activities that can involve all my students without being threatening and this one did that.
2 teams of 8-10
one team should wear jerseys
set up a chair at each end of the court and mark a box around with cones
Each team spreads out on their half of the playing area, with one person acting as goalie and sitting on the chair on the opposite end. The offensive team gets 2 balls. They need to get their balls to their goalie by passing. The person holding the ball cannot move their feet or it is a traveling call. They pass the ball to other team members to get it down to the goal. The defensive team tries to intercept or swat the ball on a pass. If this is done or the ball hits the floor it is dead. If the ball reaches the goalie, they score a point. I made 2 defensive rules: can’t go into the goal box (marked by cones), and must stay 2 feet away from offensive players. The goalie cannot come off the chair.
Since my classes are big, I had 4 teams of 9. Each offensive team started with 2 balls. When both balls were “dead” (scored a point or hit the floor) we rotated. The offensive team moved to defense and a sideline team rotated in to offense. The game moved fast so there was a rotation every couple of minutes and everyone stayed involved.
My 3rd and 4th graders had a blast playing this game today. I liked it because it was easy to do for a few minutes and it really got them moving.
Spider and Flies:
One person is the spider. The rest of the class lines up against one wall. They have to run to the opposite wall without getting tagged by the spider. Anyone who the spider tags sits down where they were tagged and become part of the “web”. The spider can run anywhere, but the webs have to stay in one place, but can also tag anyone within reach. After all children reach the wall, I blow my whistle and those remaining run back trying to avoid spiders and webs. Repeat until all children are caught. I let the last person standing become the next spider.
This game was a favorite this fall with my 3rd and 4th graders. I also played it with 5th & 6th. Class is divided up into two teams. They each form a line on opposite sides of the field. The offensive team has small token (I used a bottle cap). Each team member holds their hands together as if holding the token and runs to cross the line of the defensive team. The defensive team starts tagging members of the offensive team. When tagged, they must stop and show what is in their hands. If they don’t have the token they just move on. If the person with the token is tagged then the defense becomes offense. If the token makes it across the line, it is a point for that team and they retain possession. Leadership ability really comes out during this game. I saw teams work together doing things such as blocking for the person with the token or faking who had it while someone casually crossed the line. Teams with out a clear leader struggled to be successful in scoring a point. As the game ended, I pointed out the need for strategy and teamwork and we talked about why or why not a team was successful.