Snake Toss

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending an object farther than their group members. This activity is inspired by a game with First Nation origins. It is a modification of a Haudenosaunee game called Snow Snake.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 floor marker (e.g., pylon, poly spot, piece of tape) per participant
  • 1 stick (e.g., twig, wooden craft stick, dowel rod) per group

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
  • Each group has a stick.
  • Each participant has a floor marker to mark his or her distance.

Activity Instructions

  • Create a starting line and have all participants begin at this line.
  • Participants take turns sliding the stick along the floor by placing the stick on the floor and pushing it forward.
  • Participants mark the distance they slide the stick using their floor marker.
  • Once all participants have had a turn, they retrieve their floor markers and play again, trying to slide the stick farther than they did during the previous round.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Describe the body positions that will help you slide your stick to the farthest position. How does being the first participant to slide the stick across the floor impact how you play? How could you play this game with a different object? What would change?

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:

  • Use three slides for each turn and mark the farthest distance.
  • Have a variety of objects that participants can choose from to use in this game (e.g., bean bag, dice, flying disc).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Use a heavier object.
  • Add a target that they are aiming toward.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively sending an object toward 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 an appropriate force to send the object in a specific direction (e.g., sliding the stick with a controlled force so that it goes farther)
  • Body awareness: knowing what parts of the body move and how to move them (e.g., bending the body into a low position while moving the arm and flicking the wrist to slide the stick across the floor)

Movement Strategies

  • Activity appreciation: learning about the game and appreciating the game structure, rules, and skills needed to participate successfully (e.g., taking turns to slide your stick, using greater force to send it farther)

Living Skills

Personal Skills

  • Understanding one’s own strengths in applying skills, concepts, and strategies, and understanding areas that need improvement (e.g., knowing how to send the object across the floor, so that the skills being used can be practised and improved on)
  • Using coping skills when dealing with stressful situations and/or emotions (e.g., if finding it challenging to send the object as far as one would like)

First Nations Inspiration

This activity is inspired by a game with First Nation origins. It is a modification of a Haudenosaunee game called Snow Snake. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois nations) are found around the Great Lakes and have played this game for centuries. Snow Snake is a popular winter activity in which a wooden stick is sent along a track made of snow.