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NAME OF ACTIVITY:  Cheese Movers

GRADE LEVEL: 3-5

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  10-15 soft covered balls, two items to represent cheese.

HIGHLIGHTS:  Throwing at a moving target, running, dodging and teamwork           

INSTRUCTIONS:  Class will be divided into to equal teams, with one team starting as the mice and the other starting as the cats.  The cats will line up in two lines and in relay formation.  These lines will be at the starting end of the playing field (basketball court).  The cats will be lining the two sidelines of the playing area.  The rules to the game are as follows:

     Mice The first runner in each mouse line will be given a piece of cheese (I use a large yellow ball).  The object of the game is for the mice to move the cheese to the opposite end of the playing area and return it to the next player in line.  Each time the cheese is returned safely, the mice score 1 point.  In order to stop the mice, the cats will be throwing the balls, attempting to hit the mice below the shoulders.  If a mouse gets hit he will immediately sit down and hold the cheese in the air.  This is the signal for the next mouse in his line to come and attempt to move the cheese.  The mouse that was hit must stay seated until all mice are hit, thereby signifying the end of that round.  At the end of the round the mice and the cats will trade roles.

     Cats - The cats will begin each round lined up along each sideline of the playing area.  Ideally, there should be enough balls for each cat to have one.  The object of the game for the cats is to stop the mice from scoring by hitting them with the dodgeball, below the shoulders.  Each time a mouse is hit, that mouse will remain seated for the rest of the round.  When all of the mice are hit, the mice and cats will switch roles. 

     Cats must stay behind the sidelines while throwing at the mice.  Cats are not allowed to throw from behind the endlines.  Cats any hit any mouse that enters the playing area whether they do or do not have the cheese.  Now for the hard part; As the game progresses balls will get trapped in the playing area.  Cats may go to this area and retrieve (1) ball.  When retrieving the ball the cat must throw it back to one of his teammates.  He may not retrieve a ball for himself!  The cat may pass (1) ball back to any player on the sideline and then he must immediately return to the sideline.  Once he has returned to the sideline he may wait for a ball to throw or he may go back into the playing field to retrieve (1) ball.  Keep in mind however, that cats may not throw a ball that they have retrieved.  It must be tossed to another cat on the sideline.    

HELPFUL HINTS:  Emphasize the importance of teamwork and cooperation.  Cats will find out that the mice will score often if no one retrieves the balls.

     After each team has had an opportunity to play the role of the cats, I will give them some time to review and discuss strategy.

     Personally, I call out any mouse who has been hit with any moving ball regardless of whether it was a direct hit, a carom or a bounce.

     If the cheese is on the way back from the opposite wall when the mouse was hit, the next mouse only needs to return it back to the base, he does not need to run it back the opposite wall again.

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