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Name of Activity:

Card Sharks Basketball Passing

Purpose of Activity:

To practice the bounce and chest passes in the game of basketball.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

1 deck of playing cards; 1 basketball or playground ball for every 2 students.

Description of Idea

Divide students into pairs. Gather students in front of you and explain that they will be working on the basketball chest and bounce passes. Pinpoint two students to demonstrate a correct bounce and chest pass. Explain to students that they will be using a deck of cards in a game that involves these two types of basketball passes. A black card represents a bounce pass while the red cards represent chest passes.

The teacher holds the deck of cards while standing in the center (or side) of the activity area. One student from each partnership visits the teacher to draw a card. The student then returns to his/her partner, where the partner is holding the ball. The team then performs the type and number of passes which their card indicates. For example:

  • 10 of Spades = 10 bounce passes
  • King of Hearts = 13 chest passes
  • Ace of Clubs = 1 bounce pass

As soon as the task is completed, one member of the partnership places the card in their pocket (or places on the ground in a safe place), runs (or another type of locomotor movement as indicated by the teacher) and draws another card, and play continues.

When the deck is completely drawn, students count the number of cards each has in their pocket. Shuffle all the cards and begin again, if desired.


You could have the teacher hold two decks of cards.

Instead of having the students run have them use different locomotor movements as they collect the cards from the teacher.

Teacher can move around the room so the kids have to find them to collect the cards.

Teaching Suggestions:

If dribbling or tossing and catching are too hard, students may bounce and catch the ball.

It would be very helpful to have a large chart to hang on the wall in which a card is pictured along with the "point" value underneath it, as some students may have difficulty in remembering what the face cards are worth.

So that students get maximum time to practice the skill of dribbling, you may want to put a few more "black" cards out, vs. red.

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Card Sharks Basketball Passing

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Previous Comments:


Just played this with 2 grade 3 classes.They absolutely loved it!It's been hard to find activities that the grade 3's with love and not complain; This was a hit! Will definitely play this again and try it with my younger classes. They were sad when I told them it was time to pack up and head back to class. Thank you for sharing!


This was a great game! We actually played it by placing 3 cards under several different cones in the middle of the gym and had the classes on each side of the gym, on the end lines with their partners. The "Runner" would go and gran 1 card from under a cone and run back to their partner and execute the proper pass. We had the student add up their score from the #s on the cards and then they switched roles.
This work out great!
Thanks for the idea!


Great game! When the cards are all gone, you could have the students form two lines, facing their partners, and then form new pairs with the person beside them, starting a new round.

Joshua Franz

This is a winner! my kids Loved it I rarely see them work this hard and have this much fun. K-6


The kids loved this game. I used it for grades K -6 and it worked well with all of them.

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