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Name of Activity:

Ants in the Pants Underhand Throwing Activity

Purpose of Activity:

The purpose of this activity for students to be able to throw underhanded at different distances using the the critical elements of the throw.

Activity cues:

Face target to start
back swing with throwing arm (arm way back)
step with opposite foot
follow through with fingers pointing at the target, waist height


Students have practiced the underhanded throw against a wall and to a partner.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Hula hoops
Different sized soft balls (yarn/gator)
poly spots.

Description of Idea

A classic game turned into an activity. Split the students into two sections. Each student will have a partner. Spread the students out 15 feet from each other, and have them face each other. One student will be the thrower and the other will be the catcher. The catcher will have the hula hoop around the waist. The thrower will perform the underhanded throw to try and get their ball into the hula hoop. If successful, the catcher will scoot their poly spot back 2 steps. If unsuccessful, the thrower will try again. Once the catcher makes it to the other side of the floor, they will switch with the thrower.

Throughout the activity make sure the teacher gives specific feedback about the the throwing cue you are working on like "Nice step with the opposite foot, Sally", "Way to follow through to the target, Robert".

To make it even more meaningful have the catcher be the one who gives the feedback to their classmates. So you can tell them that today in class we are working on the underhand through and we are focusing on the follow through "fingers pointed to the target after ball leaves hand, waist height" so students can say that to their classmate. The teacher will need to go around and help to make sure they are giving proper feedback. This is probably best with the 2nd graders.



To make it more fun and active, we had the catcher hula hooping, while waiting on the throw. The catcher could jog in place during the activity. The catcher could also turn around 360 degrees and when they stop that is when they toss the ball through hoop. Have the kids come up with their own games for this too.

Hula hoops could be bigger or smaller for a different challenge. So put out different sizes.

Assessment Ideas:

Use this exit slip to assess follow through cue. You can create your own if you were focusing on another cue.

Teaching Suggestions:

Make sure to instruct kids to toss the ball so it gently goes through the hoop. Do not allow them to aim at classmates chest so it goes through.

Submitted by Drew Burris who teaches at La Monte R-IV School District in La Monte, MO. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/4/2018.
Viewed 98337 times since 4/1/2018.

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Ants in the Pants Underhand Throwing Activity

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Kelli Waller

We played this game but we used potato sacks as the kids "pants" and had a big pile of balls "Ants" in the middle of the gym. They were in partners one wearing the pants and the other being the tosser of the ants from a poly spot. If they made it the ants stayed in the pants and tosser ran and got another ant to throw. If they missed they had to retrieve the ball and bring it back to the middle and get a different ball to toss. Tossing into the sacks cut down on balls going all over the place. Kids loved it! Thanks for the idea!


I can't wait to try this with my class.
Great idea!



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