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Name of Activity:
St. Patrick's Day Circuit
Purpose of Activity:For students to practice previously presented skills in a holiday-theme context.
Prerequisites:Prior experience in skills such as underhand and overhand throwing and kicking with the inside of the foot.
Suggested Grade Level:3-5
Materials Needed:Record player or CD/cassette boom box; "Irish Washer Woman" music; a medium-sized cardboard box; gold spray paint; 10-15 small to medium green shamrocks; masking tape; small posters; magic markers; hula hoops; yarn balls; (slightly-deflated) soccer or other type balls; cones for goals and lines; bean bags; spin-jammer frisbees; wood poles for spinning frisbees; mat
Description of Idea
Prepare the "props" (pot of gold; shamrock cut-outs; station signs) a few days ahead of time. Acquaint yourself with the steps of the "Irish Jig" (use information found with folk dance records, or ask your librarian for assistance). For the station signs, write each station name as well as the "cue" for it on each poster. Before class, set up the teaching area into the stations/centers as detailed below, using enough equipment at each station so that each student has an object (ball, frisbee, etc.) to use.
Have the "Irish Washer Woman" music playing when the class comes into the gym. Have students find a space in the area in front of you, with enough room to move in each direction. Note that the "Irish Jig" is an Irish folk dance. Quickly demonstrate (or have a student demonstrate) each of the different steps found in the dance. After a step has been presented, have students try it without music. Then put the steps together, trying them in a sequence first without, then with, the music.
After students have tried the jig, have them take a seat in a group; quickly explain each station, noting the the poster card found at each station reminds them about the skill they are using at each station. Divide students into equal groups; give each group a station at which to begin. Give each group approximately 3-5 (or more) minutes at each station (depending upon your class time); rotate to next station when time is up.
1. Leprechaun Kick: Students stand behind a line (made by cones or a jump rope) at least 4 feet from the wall and practice kicking a (slightly-deflated) soccer or other type ball into a goal area which is made by placing cones against the wall approximately 3-5 feet wide.
Cue: use inside of foot to kick to wall.
2. Blarney Stone Jump: Place a long strip of masking tape lengthwise onto a mat. Measure and mark off one foot increments on the tape. Students take turns performing the standing long jump by standing at the end of the mat and pushing off both feet at the same time, jumping as far as possible. A small cone or beanbag can be used to note where each student's feet landed; they should be encouraged to try and jump their height, as well as to improve their jump each time.
Cue: Bend knees; swing arms back and forth; push off both feet.
3. Pot of Gold: Turn a medium-sized box into a "Pot'o'Gold" by spray painting it beforehand with gold spray paint. Standing behind a cone placed any distance away from the box, students underhand throw bean bags into the box. If the bean bag goes into the pot, they can scoot one step backwards; if they miss, they move their cone one step closer to the box.
Cue: "arm back--step--throw!"
4. Ring around the Blarney Stone: Students use the hula hoops at the station to hula hoop around their waist, neck, arms, legs; can also throw it and have it come back to them.
5. Shamrock Score: Cut out small shamrocks using either an Ellison die/machine (if your school has one--many do) or a stencil from a classroom teacher. Write different point values on the front of each shamrock and tape them securely to the wall. Students stand behind a line (make using jump rope or cones) and overhand throw a yarn ball or other soft ball to the different targets. They can add the points found on each shamrock to get their "score".
Cue: side to target; arm back and up
6. Spinning Shamrocks: Using spin jammers, students spin them using one finger; on each hand; throw them up and catch it, keeping it balanced; and spin it on a pole.
If desired, you can observe students as they work at one station (for example, overhand throwing), to note whether they are using correct form.
If desired, you can use the "Irish Jig" warm-up as its own station. Instruct each group in the steps as they come around to this station (or better yet, have a volunteer do so!)
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