Here’s a neat school-wide event that can be used for your middle school’s “Spirit Week.”
Submitted by Russ McHenry from Greensboro, North Carolina. 6-8
Background: Here’s a neat school-wide event that was used as a part of our middle school’s “Spirit Week” that was held in early April. It was designed and developed by our school’s Intramural Committee to celebrate our students’ successes and hard work.
Format: The activities were conducted over several days during the students’ blocked “Encore” classes (art, music, physical education). Each of the teachers were assigned to an area of the gym and/or given a certain role (i.e., basket #1, time keeper, photographer). Score sheets for each event were provided to all teachers. Points were deducted for lack of sportsmanship on behalf of the group/individuals.
Events: Each homeroom competed with their grade levels (6th, 7th, 8th). Some of the events were for the entire class, other events just used representatives from each homeroom.
(#1) Basketball Hoopla: Each homeroom is assigned to a basket. On the signal to begin, all of the girls in the homeroom run to the hula hoop at the top of the key. Each hula-hoop contains five basketballs.
Scoring: The teams earn a point for each basket made. At the end of 1 minute, the horn/buzzer sounds and the teams stop shooting. the students retrieve the balls and place them back into the hula-hoop as quickly as possible. The first team to get the balls in the hoop and return to the start line earns 2 bonus points. In the second round, the boys shoot for 1 minute. The students alternate in this manner for three rounds (6 minutes). Points are recorded on the score sheet by the teacher assigned to each goal. A student “runner” will turn in the school sheets to the scoring table.
(#2) Multi-Ball Passing Relay: Homerooms will be in two lines of 12 students placed about 15 feet apart. Each homeroom has three basketballs. The first person in line passes the basketball using either a chest pass or bounce pass to the person across from them. This pattern will continue diagonally down the line. Once the first person has passed the first ball down the line, he may continue with the second ball and then the third ball. The last person at the end of the passing line will set the first two balls in a hoop. Once they get the third ball, they begin the pattern over again, this time in reverse order. Points are earned based on the team that finishes first or has the fastest time. (Ex: First place =10 points, second place = 9 points, etc.)
(#3) Granny Shot Relay: Homerooms are assigned to a designed basket. This is a hilarious version of the “granny” shot. Participants will wear a pair of oven mitts. If a student makes the two-handed underhand shot, they will receive 2 points. If they make an overhead set shot, they will receive 1 point. Once the person has shot they will rebound their ball and give the mitts to the next person in line who will then take a shot from the designated shooting line.
(#4) Final Four Relay: Four students from each homeroom will grasp hands or wrists and keep a ball between them without using their hands. The team will then utilize teamwork to travel to the end line and then back to the starting line. If the ball drops, the group must stop and replace the ball between them before continuing with the relay. Points are earned based on the team that finishes first or has the fastest time. (Ex: First place =10 points, second place = 9 points, etc.)
(#5) “In the Paint” Relay: Homerooms will shoot “basketballs” (wadded paper) into a “basket” (5-gallon paint bucket). Homerooms will shoot from behind the designated line and may have two people to get rebounds. These two individuals will then pass the “basketballs” back to their teammates. Points are earned based on the team that makes the most baskets. (Ex: First place =10 points, second place = 9 points, etc.)
(#6) Human Baskets: Participants will attempt to make a basket with a nerf ball. The shooter will shoot the ball at the “basket” (teammate who will be standing in a hula hoop). The person will hold a 5-gallon paint bucket. The person holding the bucket will then attempt to catch the ball in the bucket. The person who was holding the “basket” now retrieves the ball and takes it to the next person in line. The person who was the shooter now holds the 5-gallon bucket and becomes the new “basket.”
(#7) Basketball Tic-Tac-Toe: Two teams are assigned to a basketball goal and stand behind a designated shooting line. Alternating shots, a player from each team attempts to make a basket. There is a tic-tac-toe grid made from gym floor tape at the top of the key. Next to the grid are five red and five green beanbags. When a player makes the shot, he places his team’s beanbag on the tic-tac-toe grid. Each team scores 2 points per basket and a bonus of 5 points if they are able to win the tic-tac-toe game. Play this game for 5-6 minutes.
(#8) Basketball Balloon Blow-out: This is a fun activity that utilizes students’ basketball shooting skills. Students will shoot from a designated spot. One person from the homeroom will stand behind the baseline with a balloon and a small hand pump. The students will then shoot the basketball. Each time a shot is made, the person with the balloon will pump three times. Teams will score 5 points for each balloon that they pop.
(#9) Wacky Basketball: Teams will shoot from a designated line. Each student will take a shot and then get their rebound and give the ball to the next person in line. Points are awarded as follows:
(#10) Basketball Scrabble: Each homeroom has three players in this event. A basketball is placed between the three participants. The ball is “wedged” between the students. On the signal to start, the players move as quickly as they can to the other side of the basketball court while holding the balls between them. If a ball falls, the players must stop and reposition the balls.
Create-a-Word: On the other side of the court are Scrabble pieces. When the students successfully move down the court, they will turn over three Scrabble pieces. Once they have turned the pieces over, the students run back to their team and place the basketballs between the next group of three. This continues for 4-5 minutes. When time is called, each homeroom will use the overturned letters to spell words related to basketball (i.e., jump, ball, hoop). Three-letter words score 3 points, four-letter words score 4 points, five-letter words score 5 points, etc.
Closing Thoughts: To add an extra air of excitement, we decorated the gym with basketball-related items.
For example, we were able to contact the Atlantic Coast Conference headquarters (located in Greensboro, NC) and borrowed several banners from the ACC conference basketball tournament.
Other Nice Touches: You can also try using appropriate fun and upbeat music (“Let’s get ready to rumble….”) to introduce each event; have an opening ceremony, a guest speaker (local college basketball coach), and/or a special “halftime show;” incorporate your school cheerleaders in the event; or add your own interesting touches based on local resources to make your event unforgetable!