Three Ball Toss
In Three Ball Toss students toss multiple balls or beanbags across the circle in a particular pattern. Students work together to keep the pattern going, generating strategies to be successful as they practice. Three Ball Toss offers a way to physically rehearse a sequence and also serves as a metaphor for collaboration and working together towards a common goal.
Get three balls or beanbags to use that can easily be thrown (or rolled) and caught by the participants. Invite students to stand (if throwing) or sit (if rolling) in a circle. Introduce the activity: our goal is to successfully pass this ball to each person in our group. To do this we will make eye contact with someone else, say that person’s name, and throw (roll) the ball using a gentle motion so the other person can catch it. We will do this until every person has had the ball once. Then it returns to me. Any questions? Play a round to establish the pattern. If students can’t remember who hasn’t had the ball yet, invite those waiting a turn to raise a hand. Once the full round is done ask everyone to point to the person who threw the ball/bag to him/her. Then, ask everyone to point to the person they threw the ball/bag to in the circle. After this review, start with the first person and repeat the toss pattern exactly as it was done before; rehearse this pattern until students can move through the full cycle with speed. Once the group is comfortable, add the second ball, a few seconds after the first, to follow in the same pattern or a new pattern. Finally, add a third ball/bag in the same pattern or a new pattern.
- On a scale of 1 – 10, how successful were we at this activity?
- What skills did you have to practice to keep up with the task?
- If you were giving someone else hints about how to play this game well, what would you say?
- What does this game have to do with everyday life or upcoming tasks or the task we just completed?
- Remember the goal is to be successful as a group. What choices can you make to help your partner catch the ball?
- Remember to make eye contact with you partner before you toss the ball.
- What strategies can we use to help us remember the pattern that was created?
- Have the second balls/bags to move backwards through the throwing pattern.
- Direct the third ball/bag to go in a clockwise movement around the outside of the circle only.
- Sequential Content Review: Have a ball track a pattern sequence for content review: MATH - skip counting; FOREIGN LANGUAGE – verb conjugation.
- General Related Content Review: Have a ball track a content topic for review: GEOGRAPHY – name a country in the world; SCIENCE – name a mammal or element on the periodic table; WRITING – name a part of speech (e.g., verbs).