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Name of Activity:
Indoor Snowball Game
Purpose of Activity:For students to practice the overhand throw in a game situation. The game strategy of placing an object to where the opponent is NOT can also be emphasized in this game, as well as the skill of catching.
Prerequisites:Students have to have been taught basics about the proper overhand throw and catching.
Suggested Grade Level:3-5
Materials Needed:As many sets of volleyball standards and nets or ropes as can safely be set up in your teaching area; one basket with 20-30 [white] yarn balls (they don't have to be white, but it makes it look like snowballs if they are) and 2 empty baskets or buckets for each set of nets and poles.
Description of Idea
Before class begins, set up the volleyball nets/ropes and place the basket of yarnballs in the middle under the net. Then place an empty basket at the far end, in the middle of each playing area.
Review the cue(s) for the overhand throw you want students to focus on when playing the game. Explain to students that they are to throw the yarn balls across the net to the other side as well as catch any balls that are being tossed to them. If they catch the ball in the air, they should place it in the basket on their side. If it ball drops to the floor without being caught, it can be picked up and thrown back to the other side.
Let students know they can catch balls off the walls. If they slide on the ground, however, or any part of their body besides their feet touches the ground when they are trying to catch, they then have to walk to the "penalty box" (an area set aside by a wall), count backwards from 30 then return to the game.
Divide the students into small groups (the number depends on how many net areas you have set up. The more areas you can use, the more opportunities each student has to retrieve and throw balls). Send the groups to their area to begin. Stop the game periodically or when you notice a group is close to having all their yarn balls in a basket. Have students count the balls in their basket, then divide them back up equally and begin again. During one of these breaks, relate to students the strategy of trying to throw the ball to where the other team is NOT.
You may wish to switch groups so they are throwing against different groups, as well.
The net can be lowered for disabled students. You can also use a balls that make sound, like bell balls. The key is the balls have to be safe. Mild visually impaired students should use very colorful ball, or contrast balls.
Nets can also be set up using the "slanty rope" concept so students can throw over the height they feel most comfortable with.
As students are playing, observe to see their ability to throw correctly "almost all the time", "some of the time", or "rarely". Catching can also be focused on insteadof throwing, if desired.