Name/Title: Volleyball Deck of Cards (with Partners)

Purpose of Event: To practice and possibly assess the previously taught volleyball skills in a fun partner activity.

Prerequisites: To practice the previously taught skills: setting, forearm pass, overhand/underhand serving.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-8

Materials Needed: 1 -2 decks of cards, volleyballs, a poster key of the activity for students to cross-reference, various sizes of volleyballs and other lightweight trainer volleyballs, and nets set up across gym/space.

Description of Idea

Break your students off into partners around the gym. Place playing cards face down on the floor in places that are easily accessed by students on either side of the net, but are out of the playing area. On your signal, the activity begins. The partner without the ball will go draw a playing card and bring it back to their partner. Each type of card stands for an activity.

For example:

Spades=Underhand/overhand serve
Clubs=Overhead set
Diamonds=Forearm pass
Hearts=Any exercise (i.e., jumping jacks, push-ups, etc., could designate specific exercises or have student choice)

A normal card is worth their face value. For example, if the student draws a 4 of clubs, the partners have to do 4 overhead sets to one another. All face cards (jack, king, queen) are worth 10 of the activity and an Ace is worth 11. When they have completed one card, the other partner will take it back and draw a new card. I will usually play this for several minutes as a review of all the skills learned so far. Make sure to have a key hanging up somewhere around the room so that if students forget what activity a heart is supposed to be, they can run up and double check.


Lower the net for students or use a very lightweight ball. Can let the ball bounce before hitting it.

Assessment Ideas:

This is a great activity for assessing previously learned skills. The kids are actively involved in a group activity completing all the tasks previously learned. A teacher can stand with a rubric and easily assess the skills.

Teaching Suggestions:

Let the students know that they should practice serving over the net to their partner. If they draw the Clubs (Overhead Set) or the Diamonds (Forearm Pass), they should practice on the same side of the net as their partner. This would mimic game play since passing a ball over the net is considered an "attack".

Submitted by Alissa Clark who teaches at Canandaigua Primary-Elementary in Canandaigua, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/4/2022.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!