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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Alligator Alley
Students must be familiar with the basic types of jumps. i.e.; (one foot) hopping, leaping, two foot jump, one-to-two feet jump; two-to-one foot jump, etc.
Purpose of Activity:
This activity will allow students to practice the different types of jumping and landing.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
30-40 (or more) hoops and/or polyspots; drum or other signal; cones to make end lines in a rectangular shape; if your playing area does not have lines on the floor to use; 4 medium sized foam balls;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

As a good "instant activity" as well as review of the types of jumps, have each student get one hoop, place it in a self space on the floor, and stand in the middle of the hoop. At your (drum) signal, call out a type of jump (hop, for example); students must then hop out of the hoop and then hop back into the hoop. No matter what type of jump they perform, they should always end up back in the middle of the hoop. If need be, demonstrate each type of jump before calling it out; give students the chance to practice each of the jumps, such as two-feet out and two-feet back in; from one-foot to two-feet and back in the hoop using one-foot; and even leaping over their hoop (don't have to land in the hoop for this one).

After practicing the jumps, call students over into a group. Explain they will now be getting to use these jumps in a "game" situation, and that you will need to first show them how to play (use students to demonstrate as needed).

First scatter all of the hoops around the playing area so that each hoop is close enough to another so that for students to jump from one to the other. (You may need to use only half of your gym or playing area, for example, in order to do this.) Four students will be chosen to be the "alligators"; these students will use the foam balls in order to gently tag students. All other students will be spread out on different end lines, so they are not close to other students.

On your start signal, students will jump from the end line to a
hoop, then proceed to jump from one hoop to another. Their goal is to reach a different end line without getting tagged by the "alligators" (you can choose to also have alligators jump in order to move). Alligators may only tag someone that does not have both feet in a hoop. When both feet are in a hoop, a student is "safe"; only one person is allowed in a hoop at a time. Taggers may not "guard" a hoop, waiting for a student to jump out; conversely, a student may not stay in a hoop for more than a count of ten.

When tagged by an alligator, the student must go back to their beginning line and start once again. They can earn a "point" if they make it safely to a different end line, if desired -- they can see how many points they can earn in each "round" (they just begin again from this new end line). Periodically stop the game; allow each tagger to give the ball to a new student, and everyone begins again at an end line.

During the game, you can specify different types of jumps for the students to do, or allow them to choose their own jumps.


Students in wheelchairs can move among the hoops to be alligators. Or, they can use a bean bag or other object to put into a hoop to signify that they are "in" that hoop (alligators or other students can pick up the bean bag so they can begin once again).

Students who do not jump as well have the choice to be given "swamp shoes" that allow them one step between the hoops before jumping to a new hoop.

For those schools in Florida, this game works well during the 4th grade Florida history studies, as alligators and their habitat can also be discussed in the lesson.

For an added challenge, give older students not only a jump to use in and out of their hoop, but also give them a direction to jump in (i.e. forward, backward, right, or left).

Assessment Ideas:

You should be able to observe students jumping during the game to see if they are able to correctly perform the jump that has been called out.
Brent Johns who teaches at Springfield Elementary School in Panama City , FL . Posted on PEC: 5/30/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
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