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Name of Activity:

Leprechaun's Gold

Purpose of Activity:

To improve cooperative skills, teamwork skills, and eye-hand coordination, using a variety of implements.


Students need to be able to successfully scoop a ball off the ground or floor using a lacrosse stick or scoop.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

100 or more tennis balls, lacrosse sticks or scoops, foam or wood paddles, Teamwork Towels (bath-sized towel with 6"-8" hole cut in the center), buckets or hoops for containers.

Description of Idea

Set up: Put the class into partners. Each set of partners will have a home base on the perimeter of the play area which has the following items: Pot for the gold (bucket or hoop) and Leprechaun Tools (lacrosse stick or scoop, two paddles, and a Teamwork Towel). The tennis balls (gold nuggets) are scattered in the center of the play area.

Directions: Explain that the partners will be working together to gather as much gold as they can to put in their pot. They have a variety of Leprechaun tools to use for the gathering. The Leprechauns may not touch the gold with their hands and must pick up only one piece at a time. The tools are to be used as follows:
Lacrosse stick or scoop - Students shovel or scoop up one ball at a time and drop it in their bucket or hoop.
Paddles – Students must "sandwich" a ball by squeezing it between the two paddles, pick it up, and carry it to their bucket or hoop.
Teamwork Towel – Each partner holds two corners of the towel. The partners work together to position the center hole of the towel over a tennis ball. By moving the towel forward and backward or side to side, they try to get the ball rolling so that it slides on top the towel. Once on the towel, the students must lift the towel carefully and carry the ball to drop into their bucket or hoop.

While one partner uses the scoop, the other uses the two paddles. After a few minutes have the partners switch implements. After a few more minutes, partners will work together using the Teamwork Towels. When all the balls have been picked up, return the balls to the center of the playing area and start again, with a different partner.


For upper elementary students, increase cooperative opportunities by having partners work together with the paddles, each holding one paddle to pick up and carry the ball to the bucket.

Assessment Ideas:

Listen for communication between partners, particularly when using the Teamwork Towels. Also, noting the number of tennis balls in each bucket would indicate the levels of success.

Teaching Suggestions:

Demonstrate how to scoop a ball using the lacrosse stick. Tell students to stand over the ball with the foot next to the ball, using a "digging" motion, like digging with a shovel. For lower elementary students, use the scoops rather than the lacrosse sticks.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Allow students to use their hands to help put the ball in the scoop.

Submitted by Candy Thompson who teaches at Duke Schoo in Durham, NC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/2/2009.
Viewed 47796 times since 3/12/2009.

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Leprechaun's Gold

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