Hockey is one of my favorite sports to teach, play, and watch! I have always loved the sport, and as a striking unit, I make sure that we cover it each year. There are many different movement skills and concepts covered in our lesson plans, and the students really enjoy practicing for their mini-games.
Students in grades K-2 have been using our pillo-polo sticks, which have a handle, a shaft, and what looks like a giant q-tip on the bottom for striking. These sticks are smaller and softer than our hockey sticks, and provide a larger surface space to hit with. We cover stick safety, proper way to hold the stick, controlling a ball, spatial awareness, pathways, directions, and speeds. Students practice dribbling and passing with partners along with shooting on goals. Our kindergarten students spend more time with dribbling, and might not get to shooting, but still have a blast! We play dribbling games that keep everyone involved and engaged. Students in first and second grades have the opportunity to shoot on nets, and are introduced to goalie positioning and strategies. Some classes will have he opportunity to play in mini-games.
Some grade three students will start the unit with hockey sticks, and some with pillo-polo sticks, it all depends on if I feel that they are ready for hockey sticks or not. If a third grade class starts with pillo-polo sticks, they will ultimately play a large team game at the end of their unit, and will probably have time with the hockey sticks as well.
Fourth and fifth grade students spend time working on stick drills. We have students practice dribbling weave drills through cones, passing/receiving, and we play shooting games to practice a safe shot. We then move onto playing a healthy competitive team game where we focus on safety and sportsmanship. Fourth and fifth grade students will spend a class playing a pillo-polo game at the end of the unit as well.
Everyone is working hard on developing their striking skills, and I am proud of all classes for being safe and respectful throughout our striking unit!