Lesson 4 of 8
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Rubber Band Ball Activities

Rubber Band Balls

SHAPE America National Standards

1, 4

SEL Competency:

Social awareness

  • Perspective taking
  • Empathy
  • Respect for other

Teaching Outcomes:

  • I can use a rubber band ball to toss and catch with my partner.
  • I can explain the importance of being respectful to others and how it contributes to a positive classroom environment.

Activities: (adapted from health. moves. minds.)

Don’t Bust the Water Balloon:

Have one partner get a rubber band ball from the teacher and the other partner find a space in the play area to work. Partners pretend their rubber band ball is a water balloon. Allow students to choose the distance they would like to start from. Students toss the rubber band ball back and forth taking a step back after every successful catch and toss. Be careful, don’t let your “water balloon” break!

After a few minutes, have students perform a locomotor movement of their choice back to the center of the instructional area. Explain to students that people can be fragile like water balloons.

Example script: “What happens if we drop a water balloon? It busts. Well as humans we aren’t water balloons, but we do have feelings. When we treat others with respect, we are thinking about their feelings, so we don’t hurt them. Just like when you were tossing your ‘water balloons’, I saw how each of you were careful to not drop your water balloons. This is how we should be towards one another even when we don’t like someone, or they are different than us. It doesn’t matter if someone has a different religion, looks different, or has different physical or processing abilities because we are all people and we all have feelings, so we should be respectful to each other no matter what.”

Respectful Listening:

Students will pass the rubber band ball to one another while music is playing. When the music stops, the student with the rubber band ball will be the “Apple.” The student without the rubber band ball will be the “Banana.” Apples will be talkers and Bananas will be listeners. Ask the students a question.

Example questions:

  • What is your favorite thing about being in school and why?
  • Define what it means to be respectful.
  • What’s the hardest thing about not being in school every day and why?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do with your friends?

Apples will have 20 seconds to answer the question while Bananas are quiet and listening. After the 20 seconds, Apples will stop talking (even if they didn’t finish their answer) and Bananas will say something their Apple said. Have students give an air high five, air fist bump, smile, or another way to show positive recognition and start another round.

Communicate and connect the SEL competency of social awareness along with its sub-competencies (perspective taking, empathy, and respect for others) by explaining to students that part of practicing social awareness by considering how are actions might affect people, respecting others and understand how someone might feel (empathy) helps create a culture of trust and creates a positive environment in the classroom where everyone feels safe and respected.

  • How do you think it might make someone feel if their partner was mean to them while they were doing an activity together?
  • Why is it important to consider how others might feel?

How is wearing a mask to school or in public a way we are considering other people’s feelings?

National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education is used under license from SHAPE America. © SHAPE America 2014, www.shapeamerica.org.  All Rights Reserved.

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National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education is used under license from SHAPE America. © SHAPE America 2014, www.shapeamerica.org. All Rights Reserved.

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