Batter’s Bonanza

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise using an implement to strike an object at targets in the activity area.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 4 hula hoops per group
  • 1 hitting implement (e.g., bat, racquet) per group
  • 1 soft ball per group
  • 1 tee or pylon per group

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Ensure that activities take place a safe distance apart.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into small groups (e.g., two to four). Set up an activity area for each group, ensuring a safe distance between groups.
  • Each group sets up a tee or pylon to one side of their activity area.
  • Each group places four hula hoops at various distances in front of the tee or pylon and determines how many points each target is worth. Guide students to consider allocating more points to the targets that will be more challenging to hit.
  • Groups divide up, with one student being at bat while the remaining students in the group are in the outfield retrieving the hit balls.

Activity Instructions

  • The first batter chooses an implement (e.g., bat, hand, racquet) to hit the ball off the tee or pylon toward one of the hula hoops. If the ball lands inside a hoop, the batter scores the number of points that hoop is worth.
  • After a batter makes three attempts, another participant takes a turn. Group participants work to collect the maximum number of points possible during the playing time. When players have had a turn, batting and fielding groups switch roles and places.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Which targets did you aim for and why? In what position is it best to stand in order to strike the ball accurately? How do you move your body in order to strike the ball so it hits a close target or a far target? How much force did you have to use when you were striking the object toward a close target? A far target? And what did you do to make those adjustments?
Batter’s Bonanza

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Change the object they choose to hit (e.g., beach ball).
  • Decrease the space between the striking position and the hula hoops.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Remove a hula hoop once a ball has been hit into it.
  • Try to prevent balls from landing inside the hoops by catching the ball before it hits the ground.
  • Use a different type of ball for each attempt.
  • Use smaller targets instead of hula hoops.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for using an implement to strike an object into a target. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness – applying controlled force to use an implement to strike an object into targets different distances away
  • Body awareness – awareness of how one’s body is positioned when striking an object (e.g., standing sideways facing the ball with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with most of the body weight on the back foot; shifting body weight from back foot to front foot while moving toward an object)

Movement Strategies

  • Understanding and developing tactics in order to strike an object into targets to accumulate points (e.g., choosing the target worth the most points, choosing the target they will be most successful at hitting)

Living Skills

Personal Skills

  • Understanding one’s own strengths in applying skills, concepts, and strategies, and understanding areas that need improvement (e.g., selecting the target based on the participant’s level of optimal challenge)

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

  • Applying adaptive skills and strategies to decide how to use an implement to strike an object into targets