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Name of Activity:

Dribbling Math

Academic content:


Purpose of Activity:

To practice adding, subtracting and multiplying numbers while working on dribbling skills.


Students must have prior experience dribbling a basketball and prior experience adding, subtracting and multiplying.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

1 ball for every student, a deck of cards (1-10 only), and music

Physical activity:


Description of Idea

All students but 2-3 (depending on the number of students in your class) have a ball. While the music is playing students dribble the basketball under control while practicing appropriate dribbling cues. When the music starts the students without a ball go to the teacher and get 2 cards. They must add, subtract or multiply the numbers on the cards and give the correct answer to the teacher. Once they have the correct answer, the student without a ball goes into the playing area and tries to munch (take a ball) from somebody. If a student's ball is munched (taken), (s)he must go to the teacher to get 2 cards and add, subtract or multiply the cards and tell the instructor the correct answer. The students without balls (munchers) will change frequently, so everyone should get a turn to be a muncher and a dribbler, and, have the opportunity to do math equations. As long as the music is playing the game continues. As soon as the music stops everyone freezes where they are. At this time if you notice some students have not had an opportunity to be a muncher, select them to serve in this position.

Encourage all students to munch the ball from other students whose ability equals their own skill level. The instructor could also set up zones or areas where different ability levels would carry out the required task.


You can change the number of math problems students need to do before trying to munch basketballs from others. Students could have to do 2 or 3, if they are quick math solvers. Also, you could predetermine a number that everyone will have to multiply by. For example, if a class is working on the 8 tables in multiplication, you could give each muncher only 1 card and they have to multiply that 1 card by 8 before trying to munch.

Vary the way that the students dribble between the dominant and non-dominant hand.

Assessment Ideas:

Write math equations on the board before going to munch basketballs and have the class check the work of their peers when the music is off. Also, teacher assessment or peer assessment works for checking on appropriate dribbling cues.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Let a student with special needs buddy up with another student, and they can work as a team to dribble or even pass the ball. The muncher can try to take the ball while they are passing or dribbling. Limit the frequency of munchers taking the ball from special needs partners or low level dribblers.

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Submitted by Katie Aho Weinstein who teaches at Brown Elementary in Smyrna, GA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/13/2005.

Viewed 62775 times since 11/1/2005.

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