Name/Title: Throw (Don't Mow!) the Yard

Purpose of Event: To allow students opportunities to practice the cue (s) introduced in earlier lessons on overhand and/or throwing, and to give the teacher an opportunity to observe and assess students' ability to use that cue (s)

Activity cues: Step with the opposite foot, arm back, side to target (front facing target if using underhand throw), follow through to target

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: A variety of objects to throw (i.e., yarn balls, gator skin balls, foam balls, etc.) and different-sized containers (i.e., milk crates, boxes, pails, cans, etc.); cones

Description of Idea

Start the lesson off with an instant activity that involves throwing and catching (for example, get a ball and a partner and begin to throw and catch to each other). When done, let students know that they will be working on a throwing game today. Remind them that the purpose of the game isn't to see who "wins", but rather, for them to show how well they can throw using one of the throwing cues. Let them know you will be looking for them to use this cue today all through the lesson, and you'd rather see them making a few "good" throws versus lots of "bad" throws.

Divide the area, and students in the class, into four (or more) equal-sized "yards" (use cones if needed) and teams, respectively (hint: place students on teams so that each team has students with differing throwing abilities--for example, don't put all the "good" throwers on the same team).

Place the same number of crates, large and small boxes, and large garbage cans (clean!) in similar places in each of the "yards". Give each team the same number of objects to use for throwing (e.g., yarn balls, "gator" balls, bouncy foam balls, etc.). On the "go" signal, students try to throw balls from their area into the containers in the others' yards. Students may pick up balls from the ground or take them out of containers to throw.

On the teachers "stop" signal have students divide the balls up so each team once again has an equal number of balls, and begin the game again.

As the game progresses, observe students on one team at a time. Record whether they are throwing using the cue you are looking for "most or all of the time"; "some of the time"; "almost none of the time". Try to observe each student for at least five throws. As you stop each round, give students feedback on their use of the throwing cue.

Teaching Suggestions:

The "competition" factor among teams should not be stressed. If a "team" challenge is desired, have students see if their team can get above a certain number of points in each round (announce the number at the beginning of each round). A point can be scored if a throw goes into a container in someone else's yard. Have each team give a cheer at the end of the round if they got more than the number of points you called out. You may want to start out with a small number of points (for example, 3 or 5) and increase it slightly each time. Doing this puts less emphasis on "beating" other teams and more emphasis on making good throws.

Submitted by Becky Decker who teaches at St. Catherine of Sienna School in Hammond, IN. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/7/2001.
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