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Teacher: Jan Bierschbach who teaches at in Milbank, SD. Jan Bierschbach can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Pirate PE Field Day

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To enjoy a day of fun movement activities.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-8

Materials Needed: General Equipment for the 16 stations (not all stations are described here): 16 clipboards (and pencil) with (laminated) station instructions & group lists, station signs, garbage can, water jug, piece of equipment to rotate students from station to station, See each station for specific equipment

Pirate PE Field Day

Over a two-hour period of time, a grade will have the opportunity to celebrate physical activity by participating in "pirate" stations. Pirate attire is optional.

Previous to the event, the students will be assigned to one of the 16 groups. The students rotate from station to station every 6-7 minutes. Make sure to allow time for the students to rotate. The stations are run by parent volunteers.


Walk the Plank (Dunking Booth):

Equipment: Tank filled daily by the fire department; wet suits; High School volunteers in one-half hour shifts; towels; 4 softballs; 2 parent volunteers

Activity instructions: The students take turns throwing. One try per turn. The students may record results on a "P.E. form".

Gone Fishin':

Equipment: swimming pool; 7 homemade fishing poles; cardboard fish with exercises on the back; 1 parent volunteer

Activity Instructions:

Each student will have a fishing pole and he/she will try to catch as many fish as possible and perform the exercise that is on the back of the fish. The student may record the results on a "P.E. form".

Cannon Blast:

Equipment: 2 laminated ship figures placed on a wall; 3 dyna-bands; nylon "donuts" - lots; 1 parent volunteer

Activity Instructions: Students will get into groups of 3. Each group will have a dyna-band and 3 donuts. They will take turns "shooting" at the pirate ships. Also, they may keep score as they hit the target. Students may record the results on the "P.E. form".

Swab the Deck:

Equipment: 6 ice cream pails; 3 sponges; water; 1 parent volunteer

Activity Instructions:

Students will get in groups of 2. There will be one pail filled with water and 1 pail empty for each group. Each group will have a sponge. The object is to fill the empty bucket from the filled one, using the sponge only.

Boat Races:

Equipment: Filled plastic swimming pool; box of straws; small boats; 1 volunteer

Activity Instructions:

Students will be given one straw and one boat. They will try to move their boat across the pool by blowing through the straw.

Pirate Parachute Play:

Equipment: parachute; large playground ball; 12 nerf or wiffle balls; beanbags x24; stopwatch; volleyball; 2 volunteers


a. Rim Ball: A ball is placed on the rim of the parachute. The object of the game is to keep the playground ball rolling around the edge of the parachute. This requires a cooperative effort by the students who must raise and lower the parachute in sequence to keep the ball moving in the proper direction. The class can try to increase the number of successful rotations the ball makes before it is propelled off the parachute or rolls to the center. The ball may be rotated clockwise or counter clockwise.

b. Chuting Baskets: The students face the center and hold the parachute with an overhand grip. The class is numbered from 1 to 4. All the 1's will act as a team, all the 2's will act as a team, etc. All students with the number 1 release the parachute and take 4-5 steps back. Each number 1 player is given two balls. On the "begin" signal the students who are still holding the parachute begin to shake the parachute vigorously. The players with the balls try to "shoot" the ball though the center hole of the parachute. Any ball thrown off the parachute can be retrieved by the shooting team and shot again. The shooting team has one minute to make as many baskets as possible. At the conclusion of one minute, Team 1 returns to the parachute and Team 2 becomes the shooting team. This rotation continues until all teams have had an opportunity to shoot. Time may be stopped if a majority of the balls come to rest on the parachute.

c. Popcorn: Place all the beanbags on the chute. How long will it take to "pop" all the popcorn off the chute? Time with the stopwatch and repeat.

d. Parachute Volleyball: Assign one group to one side and the other group to the other side. Throw the volleyball into the center of the chute, try to shake it off to touch the ground on the opponent's side of the chute. Score one point each time. Play to five points.

e. Bring Home The Bacon: Divide the group into two equal teams, each team facing the other on opposite sides of the parachute. Players hold the chute at waist level using both hands in the overhand grip. Assign each team member a number. Place a beanbag or towel on the ground under the middle of the parachute. As the parachute is inflated, a number is called. The two players with that number, duck under the chute, race to grab the beanbag, and try to return to the position before the opponent tags the other player.

A team scores one point as follows:

  • If the player returns to his/her position without being tagged by the other player.

  • If the parachute touches the player while still under it, he/she does not score a point.

Sword Play:

Equipment: 7 koosh paddles and koosh ball x 4-5; 1 volunteer

Activity Instructions:

The student will have a partner to hit the ball to. Boundaries will be set and the student will attempt to hit within the boundaries. If the student does not return the koosh ball or hits the ball out of the boundaries, the opponent gets a point. The student may record the number of points he/she acquires. If an odd number, the volunteer will have to play.

Captain Hook's Frisbee Golf:

Equipment: eye patches; tire; backstop; trash can; over/under hurdle with cone; box; balance beam; flags; frisbees with instructions on them;cones; 1-2 volunteer(s)

Activity Instructions:

Wearing an eye patch, throw the frisbee x2 to the target, when at the "tee box". If miss, pick up frisbee at station, do what it says, put it on bottom of pile and go onto next station (or "tee box"). If you hit the target you can immediately go onto the next station.

Bucket Brigade Relays:


  • Water relay: 3 buckets filled with water; tall plastic cups (one per team); 2-3 volunteers;one small paper cup per team

  • Ice cream cone carry: 2 small cones, 2 beach balls; 2 tins

  • Table tennis ball spoon race: plastic spoons, ping-pong balls

  • Paddle Ball: 4 paddles and ping-pong balls

  • Beanbag Balance: 2 beanbags

  • Water Brigade: 4 pails; lots of water; one small paper cup per player; 2 volunteers

Activity Instructions:

a. Water Relay: Each group has to try and fill up a glass that is placed several yards in front of the group. The first players dip the paper cup in their bucket, place the cup on their head and walk to the glass. Once next to the glass, they can remove the cup and pour the water in the glass. Then they run back to give the paper cup to the next player in line. The first group to fill up their plastic glass is the winner.

b. Ice Cream Cone Carry:
The student will carry a cone upside down with a beach ball resting on top to a marker, travelling around it, and back to the next person in line. If it is dropped, have the student pick it up and keep going.

c. Table Tennis Ball Spoon Race: The student will carry a ping-pong ball on a spoon to the marker, around it, and back.

d. Paddle Ball: Each player holds a paddle and a ping-pong ball and the second player holds a paddle. Each player, in turn, balances a ping-pong ball on the paddle as he/she travels to the cone marker and back to hand the ball to the next player in line.

e. Beanbag Balance: Have the student carry the beanbag under the chin to the turning point, around it and back to the next person in line.

f. Water Brigade: Place a pail in front of and behind each line. Fill all the buckets in the front of the lines with water, making sure they are all filled to the same depth. The buckets at the end of the lines remain empty. On a signal, the first player in each line fills the cup from the bucket and pours that water into the next player's cup and so on, until it reaches the last player. The last player pours the water into the empty bucket and runs to the front of the line to begin the process again. The game continues until the front bucket is empty.

Cannon Ball Blast-off:

Equipment: water balloons, 6 small towels, 1-2 volunteer(s)

Activity Instructions: Students will be in groups of two with three groups on each side. Each group will have a towel to "volley" the balloon over the "net". The balloon has to be caught with the towel and tossed back using the towel. Opponents will receive a point if the balloon breaks or the opponents do not return the balloon.

Sink the Treasure:

Equipment: treasure chest, pennies, 7 basketballs, 1-2 volunteer (s)

Activity Instructions: The student will stand behind the assigned line. If he/she is successful at shooting a free throw, he/she will receive a penny from the treasure chest.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 150 votes.

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