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Name of Activity:

Turkey Bowl

Purpose of Activity:

The purpose of this activity is to develop eye-hand coordination by rolling a ball towards a stationary object. Students will practice mature ball-rolling technique as they attempt to hit an object with the ball.


Students have previously been taught the mature stage of ball-rolling (lead with one foot, ball held with one or both hands on the dominant side of the body, weight transfer from back to front, release ball as it passes forward foot, follow-through, eyes on target).

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

20-30 bowling pins, pictures of turkeys taped to the bowling pins, softie balls for at least 1/2 the class

Description of Idea

Begin this lesson with a review of the ball-rolling technique. Line up all the turkeys (bowling pins) against one side wall. Have students get with a partner and practice rolling the ball to the “turkey” from 10-15 feet away. One student rolls the ball while the partner retrieves the ball and sets up the “turkey.” Switch roles until each has had several chances to practice rolling the ball.

Before playing the Turkey Bowl game, talk to the students about the first Thanksgiving, who was there and what they might have eaten. The class is then divided into two groups, one being the Pilgrims and the other the Indians. Each group stays on one half of the gym, with the center line being the boundary. The bowling pins with the turkeys are placed behind each team against the wall. The balls are distributed and the students begin rolling the balls trying to "catch" a turkey by knocking it over. After a few minutes, stop rolling the balls and see which group knocked over the most turkeys. That group will be the ones who bring the turkey to the Thanksgiving feast. The pins are set up again to begin a new round. Students are allowed to pick up the balls before they knock over a turkey.

This lesson can be expanded into a nutrition lesson by discussing what other food items may be served at the Thanksgiving feast. Using the food pyramid, categorize each food item mentioned by the students to see if the Pilgrims and Indians have a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

Assessment Ideas:

Use a checklist to assess proper ball-rolling form:
• lead with one foot
• ball held on dominant side of body
• weight transfer from back to front
• release ball as it passes forward foot
• follow-through
• eyes on target

Submitted by Alicia Thorngate who teaches at Crescentwood Elementary in Eastpointe, MI. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/8/2004.
Viewed 71667 times since 11/13/2003.

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Turkey Bowl

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