Name/Title: Sight Word Extravaganza (using throwing skills)

Academic content: English

Purpose of Event: Students will be able to demonstrate the correct technique for an overhand throw, while learning grade-level sight words.

Prerequisites: It would help if students had previous practice using an overhand throw. Also, familiarity with the sight words used in this activity would help. Talk to classroom teacher to find out.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed:
50+ Letter Spots
Cones or tape to mark the start line for each team.
Targets - for an overhand throw, I use a large stability ball perched on top of a basketball net and/or a large hoop hung from a basketball net.
Balls for throwing - one ball for each team to share.

Physical activity: Throwing

Description of Idea

To set up this activity, place 50+ letter spots spread out on the floor in front of your designated target(s). To allow students to choose their level of difficulty, it works better to use 2-3 targets. For example, the most difficult target could be a stability ball perched on top of a basketball net. A little less difficult could be to hit the backboard. The least difficult could be to throw a ball through a hula hoop that is hung below a basketball net. Also, if your PE space allows, providing different targets spreads the students out enough to minimize interference.

First, I divide my students into teams - three on each team is ideal. Each team has a cone or tape on the floor as their start line. We are using a relay format so one student from each time goes at a time. Each team receives a copy of the sight words being used and a ball to share.
Once the activity begins, one player at a time for each team runs across the gym and chooses a letter spot to stand on. That player then performs an overhand throw to attempt to hit the target. If the target is hit, he/she picks up the letter that he/she was standing on, retrieves the ball, and returns to his/her team and places the letter in the space behind his/her team. If the target is not hit, the player returns with only the ball. Once that player returns to his/her team, next player in line repeats the same routine.

For each sight word that a team spells correctly, designate a point system for each word. I like to use 2, 5, or 10 points for K-2 PE classes because that is what they practice in the classroom.

Variations:

This is an activity that can be used for varied skills such as kicking a ball at different targets, striking a volleyball or striking a ball or birdy over a net, hockey skills, etc.

Depending on how many sight words you are using (about ten words usually works well), you may need to create more letter spots to accommodate your sight word list. I am lucky to use 50+ letter polyspots in my gym, but I often need to create extra vowel and select consonant letter spots.

Assessment Ideas:

I like to observe the students as they perform an overhand throw, to give feedback and have students make corrections as needed.

As students on each team collaborate to form the sight words, I like to ask them to pronounce what they are spelling.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

For students with cognitive or learning disabilities, I place them on teams with classmates who possess higher literacy skills.

For students with physical disabilities, I would adapt the level of difficulty and/or throwing distance of the target.


Submitted by David Isenberg who teaches at Millville Elementary School in Millville, MA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/9/2022.
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