Name/Title: Stock Your Closets

Purpose of Event: Students will demonstrate the ability to consistently dribble a soccer ball with control and dribble a ball while keeping it away from a defender (i.e., keep body between ball and defender).

Activity cues: Dribbling: Keep it close!
Against Defense: Keep your body between the ball and defender!

Prerequisites: Students should have had multiple opportunities to practice dribbling with their feet, including changing direction, speed, and pathways while dribbling.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-5

Materials Needed: 6 hula hoops; cones; one soccer or other type ball per student; scrimmage vests (pinnies) for half the class.

Description of Idea

Scatter three hula hoops on each side of the playing area. Divide the balls equally between the three hoops (add additional hoops if need be). Use cones to mark off the center of the playing area.

Explain and demonstrate (or having two students demonstrate) the position the offense should take against a defender (turning back to defense) when dribbling. Then explain that the activity they will play today will require them to turn their back to a defender while dribbling, in order to keep their ball away from the opposing team.

The activity is as follows: Students divide evenly into two teams; one team wears pinnies of the same color. Students then scatter throughout the playing area in a self space. The hula hoops on their side are their team's "closets". It is explained that they want to take balls from their opponent's closets and bring them to their closet, by (only!) dribbling with their feet. Be sure to stress that they can take the ball away from another player, so be sure to keep it close when dribbling! They will have a few minutes to try and collect all the balls into their own closet; when the signal is given, they should stop and balls can be counted, if desired. Periodically stop play and discuss how well students are using their offensive and defensive positioning cues as well as their dribbling skills. You may also wish to pinpoint a few students for all students to see.


If some children are not ready for multiple attackers, allow them to play at one end in a partner setting. They will then play one on one and will only have to protect against one attacker, likely one of a similiar skill level. If they play at one end, perhaps segregated by cones, they can still contribute to their team's total.

Assessment Ideas:

You can informally assess by observing students and working one-on-one with them. Formal assessment can be done by observing students' abilities to correctly dribble/use offensive and defensive strategies, etc.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Allow students to move a ball using their wheelchair, walkers, etc.

Submitted by Jane  Gregg who teaches at Myrtle H. Stevens Elementary in Rocky Hill , CT . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/11/2000.
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