Get the ball rolling with this amazing bowling game! Bowling is a life long sport that can be done by ANYONE. I am a physical education teacher at PS 457 in the Bronx, NY. I developed this game because my program uses a lot of small group/station work. I have been bowling for over 25 years. I am in the United Stated Hall of Fame for a perfect game and 800 series. I am always looking to give my students opportunities to try activities they may not otherwise have access to. This game focuses primarily on the underhand rolling skill. It works for students K-5. It’s also great because it encourages teamwork. You can add in peer/self assessment. Based on your availability of bowling pins, you can use the following instructions.
- Bowling pins
- Balls of different sizes and materials (bean bags if you’d like)
- Task card
- Score card
Set Up/ Directions:
As it is written it is designed for grades 3-5, set up groups of 3. They have a choice of standing 8, 10 or 12 steps away from the head pin. Make a group of 3. Place 3 bowling pins against a wall. Person A is the bowler. They stand on a poly-spot and get 1 turn. Person B stands next to the bowling pins. They are the pin person. Person C is an extra pin person/score keeper. After the ball is rolled, person B sets up the pins again. Person C writes down the scores. Person A takes over for B. B becomes the score keeper (Person C) and person C is the new bowler.
This activity is new and unique and students just LOVE it. The game itself works well because you can teach students about building muscular strength and endurance (components of health related fitness). Once the students get started, they will be on task for a LONG time.
This game can be modified for different grades. Depending on your class size, pin availability and space, you can add more or less “lanes”. When I teach it, I show a gif of a person bowling so they can refer to the whole time. It’s a game with not many rules, so students have lots of time to practice. While students are playing, you can easily conference with them. If you feel confident, they can use the score cards. What’s also great about it is that you can do it in a gym or even in a hallway (which I have done before). It’s universally designed to be inclusive of all students and can be modified to fit your space and the skill level of students.
Watch a video of myself bowling!
About the Author:
Jim Hambel is a PE teacher in the Bronx, NY. He has taught for 8 years. He is also certified in Childhood Education and Special Education grades 1-6. He has over 25+ years of bowling experience and was inducted into the US National Bowling Hall of Fame for a 300 perfect game and 800 series. Presenting workshops on bowling at the city and state level, he works diligently to promote good practices in PE. When Jim is not teaching or bowling, he enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife and amazing daughter.