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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Birthday Cake
Previous introduction to and practice using the cues for the throw on which you are focusing; this could have been in the same lesson in which this activity is used or from a previous day's lesson.
Purpose of Activity:
For students to improve their ability to underhand or overhand throw using cues appropriate for each of the skills. Activity cues: Underhand: Face your target; step with opposite foot Overhand: Side to target; arm goes down, back, and up; step with opposite foot
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
For each set of partners; you should have: one large white box [boxes that hold reams of paper are good for this]; three (or more) [lightweight] bowling pins; and three yarn or other lightweight balls;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

After introducing the cues involved with either the overhand or underhand throw and gaining practice with these cues, introduce the following task:

Each set of partners will set up one "birthday cake" as follows (may wish to have a pair demonstrate): the white box (the birthday cake) is set up close to the wall; students then place the bowling pins (candles) on the top of the birthday cake. After deciding who is to throw first, the thrower stands at their distance of choice away from the "cake". They get three throws with the yarn ball to try and knock the "candles" off the cake -- i.e., blowing the candles out! After three throws (one year!), the non-throwing partner sets the pins up and gets three turns to throw.


You may want to give students two objects (polyspots, cones, beanbags, etc.) to place on the floor. After each "year" (round) of three tries, each student may decide to scoot his/her object farther away from the cake. If he/she blows out all the candles, they scoot their object even farther away next time!

Assessment Ideas:

This activity would be an excellent way for students to asess their peers. The non-throwing partner can observe his/her partner to see if he/she is, for example, stepping with the opposite foot when throwing. You could have a pre-copied form on which the child "checks off" whether they performed this cue for each of the three throws in each "round".

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Give students who have difficulties in throwing larger balls; those in wheelchairs, for example, can be encouraged to throw using both hands and a form most appropriate for their abilities.
Vicky Lacey who teaches at Rayon/Martin Elementary in Parkersburg , WV . Posted on PEC: 10/18/2000.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
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