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Name of Activity:

Zoo Parade Days

Purpose of Activity:

Engage the students in proper throwing and catching activities, different locomotor activities and cooperative activities.


Throwing and catching, basketball shooting and passing, and cooperative activities.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Stuffed animals, towels, scooters/roller racers, gym mats, pictures of animals, animal posters for decorations and parade music.

Description of Idea

On Zoo Parade Day we have students introduce their animal, parade around the gym with their animal and then do warm-ups. Using different locomotor skills with their animals, the students perform stretches and exercises for the warm-ups.

We have centers with about 4 students at each center. They work at a center for a few minutes and then stop when the whistle is blown. They move like a certain animal to the next center.

The centers are:

1. Gym mats with animal pictures. They choose an animal and move like it down the mat.
2. The students place their animal on a towel and sit on the other end of it on a scooter or roller racer and take their animal on a "magic carpet" ride.
3. Throw and catch their animal (underhand, overarm, chest pass - Assessment Center).
4. Share a towel with a friend and bounce their animal up and down, roll it up and down and swing it back and forth.
5. Toss animal in lowered basketball hoop (mat underneath so it lands gently).
6. Put the animal on a stepper board and step and catch it. Challenge: step, clap and catch or step, turn and catch.

Assessment Ideas:

We have a throwing and catching assessment sheet for each class. The chart has the student names, date of assessment, outcomes and cues. It has the code on it: NY = Not Yet, DEV = Developing, and ACH = achieved. (adapted from P.E. Central's Karyn Shellhase's Grades K-6 Assessment System). For example, underhand throwing: Is the student facing the target, swinging arm back and forward (tick/tock) and stepping with the opposite foot? Overarm throwing: Does the student have the side of his/her body to the target, drawing arm back and over (rainbow) and stepping with opposite foot? Chest pass: Does the student have both hands of the object at their chest (own heart), stepping with opposite foot, and throwing to partner's chest (heart)? Catching: Keeps eye on the object, reaches out for the object, keeps pinkies together for low catch, thumbs together for high catch, and brings object into his/her body? Assessments can be made for other centers, as well.

Teaching Suggestions:

We coordinate with classroom teachers when they teach about animals. We have had an assembly showing animals from the Rainforest prior to our Zoo Parade Days. Notices go home two weeks in advance which tells parents to have their children bring in their favorite medium sized animal and to wear a shirt with animals on it. In addition, the notice invites parents, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives to join in the fun. We have two lessons per week in our school, so they bring their animal twice. This activity teaches the students responsibility, as well as cooperation.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Excellent lesson for students with disabilities. Most all of the centers can be modified: lower basket, shorten distance for throwing and catching, bigger towel for easier handling, larger animal for easier handling, picture of animal with appropriate movement, and/or use roller racer, scooter or similar "vehicle."

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Submitted by Beth Altmann who teaches at L.W. West Primary School in Endicott, NY. Additional authors for this idea were Patti Schanz. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/16/2003.

Viewed 91331 times since 2/5/2003.

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