Scoop It Up
Participants learn about and practise striking and fielding a ball while using an implement. This activity is inspired by lacrosse which has First Nation origins. One of the oldest North American sports, lacrosse evolved from games played by nations such as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois nations) found around the Great Lakes.
- Primary (Ages 6-9)
- Junior (Ages 10-12)
Materials and Equipment
- 4 floor markers (e.g., polyspot, base, pylon) for each group
- 1 scoop for each participant
- 1 whiffle ball for each group
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.
- Divide class into groups of 4 to 6 participants.
- Each participant receives a scoop.
- One participant per group is designated as the batter. The remaining participants are fielders.
- Have participants set up a floor marker to act as home base and the three remaining floor markers in a line at varying distances chosen by the participants (e.g., 3 metres away, 5 metres away, 10 metres away).
- Participants assign point values to each floor marker (e.g., 1 point, 2 points, 5 points).
- Standing at the home base, the batter uses a scoop to send the ball into open space.
- The batter decides which floor marker he or she would like to run to and then return to home base before the ball is returned by a fielding player to home plate.
- The fielders try to catch the ball with their scoops and get it back to home base before the batter does.
- Participants rotate positions after the batter has had three turns at bat.
- Participants keep track of their own scores.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: As a batter, where can you send the ball to help you score points and why? As the fielding team, what can you do to help your team prevent the opponent from scoring points? How does communication help if you are on the fielding team?
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:
- Decrease the distance between the home base and the floor markers.
- Throw an object rather than using a scoop.
- To stop the batter from scoring runs, the fielders just have to receive the ball.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Have the batter send three balls before attempting to score runs.
- Increase the size of the activity area.
- Pass the ball to all fielding participants before bringing the ball to home base.
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for sending and receiving a ball with an implement. 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 the appropriate force when sending an object with an implement to the opposing team to retrieve (e.g., using the scoop to send the ball with a strong force into open space as far away as possible, so that the fielding group has a challenging time returning the ball)
- Activity appreciation: learning and understanding the structure of the game and being able to participate meaningfully by following the rules (e.g., working as a group to retrieve the ball to stop the batter from scoring runs)
- Tactical awareness: understanding the game structure and making connections to striking and fielding games (e.g., sending the ball into open space to make it challenging for the fielders to retrieve it)
- Decision making: making decisions about what to do and how to do it (e.g., as a fielder, being able to read the batter’s body position to anticipate where the ball will be going and preparing to receive it)
- Relationship and social skills: understanding differences in skill level in others and showing respect by working collaboratively in a group (e.g., sharing strategies with other group members to help them be successful at batting/fielding the ball)
Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
- Reflecting on the game play, and evaluating what could have been done differently to increase chances of success (e.g., as a batter, understanding if the ball is sent directly to a fielder, it decreases the chance of scoring a high number of runs.)
First Nations Inspiration
Lacrosse is an important component of Haudenosaunee culture in terms of conflict resolution, spirituality, and community well-being.
The game was originally played by a large number of participants and was played to help solve disputes in time of conflict as well as to keep participants in good physical condition. Lacrosse also prepared players for their role as peacekeepers in the community.
For all community members, the game is considered “good medicine” as people gather to play, watch, and enjoy themselves. Playing lacrosse can build personal qualities applicable to contemporary life such as showing respect, getting along with others, and trying your best.