Growing up in a small rural community in Oklahoma, I remember exploring, playing, and being blessed to have a father that set up the ultimate basketball court for me to practice. I played basketball on the court and baseball on the land, and I was always up for any game involving sport balls. Then I received my first frisbee and thought, “What is this foreign object and how in the world do I throw it and actually make it go where I want?” I still have flashbacks to those feelings today when I introduce disc and frisbee games into my physical education classroom.
I first introduce discs to my primary students in the form of Rainbow Spin Jammer Discs. The introduction of these discs allows students to learn to integrate fundamental skills necessary to build handling skills. Students place the center of the disc on their fingers and spin it rapidly.
Coming from a love of basketball, what a great way to incorporate a basketball skill and show off balancing! Once students master that skill, we then move to crossing the midline and transferring the disc from left to right. We then introduce partner tricks and the students work with partners to create their own tricks. This introduction to discs helps develop confidence as we progress to throwing and catching skills.
From spin jammers, we move on to catching and throwing skills. My first year of teaching brought on my first injury of a student and the search for a safer product for elementary aged students. Working for a small private school, a parent donated some plastic frisbees and I planned my lesson using all the best practices that I had learned in college. We set out to our concrete parking lot to learn throwing and catching skills, and after a few minutes of what I thought was high-quality instruction, I proceeded to allow the students to play catch!
Within a minute, I watched in horror as one of my students missed catching the Frisbee and it opened a 3-inch cut just below her eye that required a call to the parent and a trip to the doctor. The student and parents forgave me, and I learned that catching and throwing skills are best taught using Fun Gripper Discs. Textured and easy-to-grip, these discs bridge the gap between foam discs and regulation discs and allow students to safely practice new skills. Check them out here!
Saucer Slam is a simple, fun disc game that can be played indoors or out. Divide students up into teams of two (it’s a 2 versus 2 game). Each teammate stands at an opposite container. One person throws the disc, and the partner attempts to redirect it into the container. Hitting the outside of the goal is worth 1 point, redirecting into the goal is worth 2 points, and an unassisted goal wins the game. You play up to 21 points. Shop Saucer Slam Here!
As teachers, we may have a fear of the unknown and stepping out of our comfort zone. When introducing new equipment, start simple and be smart. Embrace discs and frisbee games and allow students to explore a new way of throwing an object. What tips do you have for introducing disc or frisbee games to your students?