Zig Zag Snake Toss
Participants learn about and practise sending an object through a designated course and toward a target. This activity is inspired by a game that has First Nation origins. The activity is a modification of a Haudenosaunee game called Snow Snake.
- Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
- Senior (Ages 16-18)
Materials and Equipment
- 1 hula hoop per group
- Low profile floor markers (e.g., skipping ropes, tape) per group
- 1 stick (e.g., twig, wooden craft stick, dowel rod) per participant
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 participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
- Have participants create a course that includes a zig zag pattern using low profile floor markers. A hula hoop is used to set up a target at the end of the course.
- Each participant has a stick.
- Participants place the stick on the floor and push it along the floor to slide it through the prepared course.
- When participants reach the end of the course, they use an underhand throw to toss the stick into the hula hoop.
- Participants count how many slides it takes to complete the course.
- If a participant hits the side of the course (e.g., skipping rope or tape) with their stick, they start again at the beginning of the course.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Describe the types of force you use at different stages of the course, and explain why you apply those forces at that time. Which part of the course is more challenging for you and why? Which part of the course is easier for you and why? What did you do to control your stick's movements and try to avoid hitting the edges as you move through the course?
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:
- Have a variety of objects that participants can choose from to use in this game (e.g., bean bag, dice, flying disc).
- Work as a group to complete the course.
- Continue from their current point on the course if they hit the side of the course with their stick.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Use a heavier object.
- Use an object that rolls.
- Make a longer or narrower course with more difficult turns.
- Have groups make courses for other groups to attempt.
- Try to complete the course in a set period of time.
- Add an additional task to complete if a participant hits a side boundary with his or her stick.
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 level of force to send the object in a specific direction (e.g., sliding the stick with a controlled force so that it goes through a designated course)
- Body and spatial 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)
- Decision making: Learning to make appropriate decisions at different points of the game (e.g., when approaching a narrow portion of the course, deciding to apply a lighter force when sliding the stick)
- 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 course, so that the skills being used can be practised and improved on)
Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
- Analyzing the game and thinking about what could have been done differently to increase chances of success (e.g., learning to adapt to use different amounts of force as needed, for different parts of the course)
First Nations Inspiration
This activity is inspired by a game that has First Nation origins. The activity 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.