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Name of Activity:
Striking Balloons with Implements
Purpose of Activity:This is the first lesson of my striking with implements unit. Students will practice striking a balloon up into the air with different implements and try to get as many hits in a row as they can.
Prerequisites:No pre-requisites required, although my 1st and 2nd grade students have done the activity in previous years and it does help if they've had previous practice.
Suggested Grade Level:K-2
1 Ballon per student
4 sets of 6 random items in 4 different buckets (you can use anything, in the video example I am using a Bowling Pin, Foam Paddle, Foam Frisbee and Half Pool Noodle)
Video of Lesson is Below
Diagram of Lesson
Description of Idea
Striking with Implements Unit Intro:
- What is a strike? (A hit that has control)
- What are some activities or sports that use the skill of striking? (4-Square, Soccer, Softball)
- Today we will be working on striking a balloon with an implement - “Implement” just a big word that means hitting something with something else – can you think of any sports that involve striking an object or ball with an implement? (Baseball, Hockey, Golf, Badminton, Ping Pong, Tennis)
- Discuss why it’s important to learn to hit the ball with control in order to play a game
-Today we will be using balloons. You will keep the same balloon with you throughout the whole class and will need to take care of it. When the music stops you will hold the balloon by the tail and put your implement back in the bucket and point to the next station – do not sit on or put pressure on the balloons or they will pop. If we run out of balloons, you will have to use an “imaginary balloon” which isn’t much fun.
Striking Stations (Level 1)
- Demonstrate striking a balloon at the different stations with different implements in each station that the students will use to strike the balloons as many times as they can before it touches the ground. Students will keep their same balloon throughout the entire lesson.
- Students will count the number of hits they can get in a row without letting the balloon touch the ground and attempt to set their own personal record. If the balloon hits the ground, they must start over.
- When the music stops, students will clean up their equipment, hold the balloon by the tail and stand by their station pointing to the next station and waiting for the teacher’s signal to rotate.
- Half Noodle - keep it up with a half noodle
- Lollipop Paddles - keep it up with a paddle
- Bowling Pins - keep it up with a bowling pin
- Foam Frisbee - keep it up with a foam frisbee
Other ideas if needed
▪ Small Cone, Volleyball Trainer Ball or Gator Skin Ball
▪ Be creative, you can use tons of items to strike a balloon up in the air - or
use body parts
If you have time - try Level 2
Striking Stations – (Level 2)
-Note: Usually, I only do this with 1st and 2nd, with Kinder students I simply switch out the objects used to
strike the balloons, but you can do whatever works for your students
-Students will now try to complete the striking challenge again, but with the constraint of remaining
stationary while striking the balloon – place their foot on a poly spot and attempt the challenges again.
-If students reach 25 in a row on a dot they can then attempt to complete the challenge with a partner by
striking the balloon back and forth with a partner while each student stays on their dot
How many hits did they get in a row?
Ask students to think about what the hardest and easiest items to control the balloon were and have a discussion around why some were easier, some were harder and also how some people have different opinions about the correct answer. (a good opportunity to talk about how everyone is different).
-What implements did you think were the hardest to strike the balloons with?
-What implements did you think were the easiest to strike the balloons with?
-Why do you think some implements were hard and some were easier?
Adaptations for Students with Disabilities
This is a great activity for kids with disabilities - reduce the number of hits in a row to a reasonable number for their skill and ability level
- blow up the balloon bigger to make it float slowly and allow them to be more successful