Posted by: jockmackenzie | May 21, 2009

End of Class Activity – Silent Ball


The ball pictured above was a giveaway at a teachers’ convention – and it’s perfect for playing Silent Ball. With 5 minutes or less left in a class, my kids LOVE this quiet end to their time with me – either as a reward or because there is that awkward window where only a few moments exist. Here’s how we play:

1. Everyone sits on his/her desk (I couldn’t believe it when I first saw this played with a class sitting cross-legged on their desks – I allow mine to sit with legs dangling down.)

2. A student is given the sponge apple to throw to a classmate.

3. The ball cannot be thrown to an adjacent student.

4. The thrower calls the catcher’s name and tosses the ball. (As time passes, students learn the trick of looking at one student while calling the name and throwing to another.)

5, If the catch is successful, the game continues.

6. If it was a reasonable throw, and the intended catcher drops the apple, he/she sits down and watches as the game continues.

7. If the throw was unreasonable (too hard, out of reach), then the thrower is out and sits down.

*** If I have taught enough P.E. to avoid games where students go “out” but this one seems to work as it’s a fast-paced game that is fun to watch. The “outies” sit amidst the action and are back in the game the moment it ends so have new life. I am quick to encourage students who admit to a bad throw or who sit without complaint if the ball is dropped.)

8. Play continues as the apple is thrown around the room. When a student catches the ball, a “3 Mississippi” count is the time available (by the teacher’s count, and I play along with the students) to get the apple back in the air. Failure to comply means going out.

9. The only talking allowed is the calling of the name of the student to whom the ball is to be thrown. Failure to follow this rule (calling the name once the ball is in the air, calling the wrong name) results in being put out. (It sounds a bit like the opening scene to “Cool Hand Luke.”)

10. A round of the game is over when only two students remain. At that point, if time allows, everyone climbs back up and a new round begins.

*** A beauty of the game is that it can be played in as little as two or three minutes. If the period ends and a number of students are still playing, they are all declared winners.

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