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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Tater Diggin' (Cartwheel)
Instruction and prior practice with performing a cartwheel.
Purpose of Activity:
The purpose of this activity is to help the students learn to transfer weight from one hand to the other when performing a cartwheel.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
One five gallon bucket for each mat; tumbling mats; bean bags; or small yarn balls;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

The mats are set up in a circle with the buckets in the center of the circle. If you were to think of a bicycle tire, the mats would be the spokes and the buckets would be the axle. The students line up at the outside end of the mat facing the center. Each student gets two bean bags. Before attempting a cartwheel the student sets the bean bags on the mat about where he/she thinks their hands will touch.

As students perform the cartwheel they try to pick up the closest then the farthest away bean bag. When they finish the cartwheel, they hopefully have a bean bag in each hand. They then try to toss the bean bag(s) (using an underhand motion) into the five gallon bucket. After they have tossed the bean bag(s), the student must return to the end of their line.

Once each student has tossed their bean bag(s), count them and start again. If the student only picks up one of the two bean bags, they may only shoot one bean bag. The one on the mat is set to the side of the mat until their next turn.

I tell the students that I am not concerned about what their legs look like as they attempt to do the cartwheel, however, they must try to do the cartwheel correctly. This means their legs and feet must come off the ground.

Teaching Suggestions:

Use enough mats so that the number of students waiting to perform their cartwheel is small.


To give the students more practice, give them four or six bean bags each.

Assessment Ideas:

You can see if the students are transferring weight from one hand to the other by watching how many bean bags are put to the side of the mat because they were unable to pick them up. Also, look and see how many bean bags are in and around each bucket. A high number generally means they are fairly successful.
Stephen Matthews in Atlanta , GA . Posted on PEC: 3/23/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
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