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Name of Activity:

Flying the Chicken Coop (Underhand Throwing Practice)

Purpose of Activity:

To practice underhand throwing and catching from a variety of distances.


Prior practice in underhand throwing and catching.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Hula Hoops (1 for every 2 students), 50 Poly Spots, 50 Rubber Chickens (may substitute with Kush balls, beanbags, or other objects that can be thrown and caught safely).

Description of Idea

Spread hula hoops around the outside of the playing area as "chicken nests". Chickens all go in the middle of the playing area in the "chicken coop". Poly spots (i.e., "stepping stones") are spread randomly throughout the area between the chickens and the hula hoops. Split class into pairs, and each pair shares a hula hoop.

The goal is to collect as many chickens as possible in the hula hoop. To do this, one partner must underhand throw the chicken, and the other partner must catch the chicken while standing in the hoop.

Partner A will run to the chicken coop, and pick up one chicken. When holding a chicken, a student cannot move. Partner B can run to a poly spot that is closer to Partner A than the hoop is. Partner A underhand throws to Partner B, who catches the chicken. Then, Partner A runs to the next poly spot closer to the hoop, and Partner B underhand throws to Partner A, who catches. This continues until one partner is standing in the hoop, and the chicken is caught. Then, Partner B runs to the coop, gets a new chicken, and the relay starts again. If a chicken is NOT caught, the team returns the chicken, returns to their hoop, and tries again.

Assessment Ideas:

Observing for developmentally appropriate underhand throwing and catching patterns.

Teaching Suggestions:

The distance between the poly spots should be changed based on your observations.

Use different objects for throwing and ask students to choose what object they want to throw and catch.

Submitted by Hannah Sobieski who teaches at Barkhamsted Elementary School in Barkhamsted, CT. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 7/8/2019.
Viewed 61380 times since 4/10/2019.

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Flying the Chicken Coop (Underhand Throwing Practice)

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Previous Comments:

Georgine Guettler

these are all great ideas but what do you do when you are limited on materials.


Need a diagram I think, to help those of us who are mentally-picture deficient! :]

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