Popcorn Basketball

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: Foam balls, Lilly pads, mats
Game Description: Popcorn Basketball is a neat mini-game to play which helps reinforce shooting technique. Players move from spot to spot taking shots into a large target. One player is inside the target area, continuously tossing the balls out like a popcorn machine.

  1. In the middle, set-up an exercise mat on it’s ends so that it forms an oversized square basketball hoop-like target.
  2. Place about 20-30 lilly-pads or poly spots on the floor as shooting spots. Place dodgeballs ontop of them.
  3. One player sits inside that target (will be unseen to the rest of the players). The rest choose a starting shooting spot.
  4. On the signal, players will go around shooting from different spots, continuing to attempt to shoot the balls into the target area.
  5. As players move from spot to spot shooting over and over again, the player in the target area keeps throwing the balls out.
  6. Game continues until you want to switch the player in the middle and start a new round.

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  1. I tried this with K-2 students. It worked well with the 1st and 2nd graders but not so much with the kindergarten group. I changed it a bit and it worked very well the next day for all grade levels. We used the same set-up but had the poly-spots on the floor double as bases. If you’re on a spot you cannot be tagged. I assigned two taggers pool noodles cut in half and they chased the kiddos around when shooters tried to retrieve new balls. When a student got tagged they then would move to a corner of the gym where various exercise stations were set up. Since jump rope for heart is going on we had jumping stations….first was a jump rope station where a predetermined number of jumps had to be completed before returning to the game, a station of hula hoops placed in a large circle that tagged players would have to two foot jump around (think hopscotch but in a circle), and a station with two floor balance beams that students would jump over a predetermined number of times. After completing a station the student returned to the basketball game. It worked very well for each grade level.

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