It has been my experience regardless of what level of education you teach, when you mention hand dribbling every student gets excited because this means basketball! Out of all the units, hand dribbling is their favorite with foot dribbling and catching/throwing as a close second. Before we can begin with the fun activities, I always have my students start with the fundamentals in stations using the SPARK basketball skill task cards (see below). This allows me to observe the individual skill levels of my students.
My students complete a self-assessment as they go through each station. This helps my students and me know where they feel comfortable and where we might need to improve. Once I know what skill or skills need the most focus, the fun can begin! I have shared my favorite games below. I hope your class finds them as fun and engaging as mine do.
Dribbling: Pirate Ship
In this game my class partners up with a peer. Each pair is given a basketball. One student is a pirate and the other is setting sail as part of an honorable captain’s crew. There are pirates on the ship and as a crewman, it is your job to protect your barrels (basketball). The crewman practice dribbling the ball using one hand while looking at the pirate. It is their job to keep the barrel in their possession for if they lose it all is lost! Once the barrel is stolen, they cannot try to get it back from the same pirate. Students go to a different pirate and try to steal back the barrel. This game practices dribbling, ball control, offense, defense, and the kids love it!
Passing: Monster Ball
In this game, my class is split up into 4 equal teams and assigned a color. The bowling pins are in the middle of the gym. Each team’s objective is to knock down their team’s bowling pin using the coated-foam ball. Once it is knocked down the team must go to their assigned basket, pass the ball to all players using only a chest or bounce pass, then shoot the ball. If the team makes the shot, then it is a point for that team. The first team to make a shot wins that round. The game continues until a team reaches 20 points.
Different Variation: Call out colors instead of using bowling pins
Shooting: Poly Spot Shoot Out!
In this game, my students are placed into 4 equal teams. One at a time, students will pick a spot and attempt to make a shot. If the shot is made, they can take that poly spot back to their team. The game ends when all poly spots are taken. The team with the most spots will win the game.
Different Variation: For younger students use coated-foam balls instead of basketballs.