Students were challenged to build bucket pyramids using the old game of telephone. One student would look at a blue print and have to relay the message to the next player. As the message was relayed to teammates the students created a pyramid that resembled the one on the blue print. If the message was given or received incorrectly it made an impact on the overall product. A great activity to work on communication skills, flexible thinking and sharing ideas with confidence.
Secret passcode was another team challenge game that forced teams to use collaboration, empathy and perseverance. Each student had the opportunity to be the leader with the passcode. Other teammates worked to solve the puzzle by stepping on dots in a given order. When students stepped on an incorrect dot, the group actually found success because they knew that the code did not go in that direction. When the code was completed a more challenging passcode was presented to the team.
The final challenge was to complete a Jigsaw Dance. Groups were randomly chosen and each group created a short three beat dance. Each member was dispersed to another group and taught their three beats to the new group. As each new group worked to learn all of the other beats a short dance evolved and became a unique dance that the entire group created and performed.
Basketball is always an exciting unit for me. Playing and coaching basketball has always been a passion and I love the opportunity to share it with my students. We begin the unit with ball handling and dribbling skills. As the unit moves along the I always add more challenging drills. A student isn’t ask to compete against other students, rather, they are asked to try improve their own numbers and increase their speed at their own rate. The basics of both bounce and chest pass become a crucial part of the unit as well. These skill are practiced in both stationary settings as well as moving situations to simulate game play. Students love to shoot the ball and we have an unlimited number of shooting games. One of my favorites is called 25, 50, 75 and 100. The students are divided into pairs and are asked to combine their dribbling, passing and shooting skills into one activity. They are also free to choose their shooting spot; some spots are closer and some are further away. Students can make their choice as to where they think they will be most successful.
Besides shooting the students also learn offensive skills such as head fakes, ball fakes, give and go, moving without the ball and rebounding strategies. Defense is equally important and the students are exposed to the concepts of zone and man to man. Students are also introduced to the difference between on ball defense and one or two passes away (or off ball) defense.
Finally, the students are asked to put their newly learned skills into game play. We begin game play with half court, 3 versus 2. The final tournament is full court, three on three games. Students make choices about their skill levels and teams to play a non-competitive game. Each student is sure to find success and enjoy the basketball unit.