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This idea uses the giant plastic bull's-eye, based on this strategy from the fabulous Kristina Smekens, and some balls from Hungry Hippos.  


Gist:  Teams aim a ball with their answer choice on the target to knock their opponents out of the rings and to try to win the most points.


Why Do It?  A little competition, balanced with collaboration with one's teammates, added with the fun of aiming ANYTHING at a target, makes this an engaging way to get students answering questions.



-giant plastic bull's-eye

-ball pit balls (one for each team)

-dry erase markers (one for each team)

Directions to Make:

None if you've already made your bull's-eye.  Find more directions here.

Set Up:

1. Push desks out of the way to clear floor space for the bull's-eye.

To Play:

1. Distribute one worksheet to each student or otherwise project/share questions for them to answer.

2.  Divide students into teams.

3.  Give each team one ball (I use a different color for each team, or since the balls are numbered from Hungry Hippos, each team could have a number.

4. Each team talks together to answer the first question.

5.  One player from each team writes the answer on their ball using dry erase marker.

6. Those players are the first to roll.  They stand outside the target with their feet off the plastic.  For the first round, all teams roll at the same time.  Their feet cannot touch the plastic during their roll.

7.  Teams score the points for the ring their ball landed in if their answer is correct.  Correct answers that stopped outside the target get 1 point.

8.  Teams work together again to answer the next question.  The next player up writes the answer on the ball.  FOR EACH ROUND AFTER THE FIRST, players roll one at a time, starting with the team with the HIGHEST point total.  Each subsequent team can try to knock other teams out of the rings.  Starting with the highest scoring team keeps the competition hot!

9. Check answers, add points, and continue until all questions are answered or the end of playing time.

Caution and Tips:

-You may want to let teams practice rolling first or let them use that 1st round to really get a feel for it.  It's harder than it looks and requires a pretty gentle roll.

-Set clear expectations for how to handle the ball.  For example, it is to be ROLLED, not chucked, pitched, kicked, etc.

-As with Hungry Hippos, be prepared for some giggling with the word "ball."  Yeah.  You can consider milder alternatives like sphere, round object, etc.  But remember to loosen up and enjoy the fun, too.

-Set expectations up front about how to respond if someone rolls VERY badly.  Some kids are very uncomfortable with anything loosely resembling an athletic exercise or that requires aiming.

-Keep teams small.  3-4 students is probably best.  Any more than that and someone will sit back and ride on his or her teammate's coattails or get off-task.


-Be sure to check out how the bulls'-eye can be used to narrow multiple choice answer options, supporting evidence, etc!

-The bull's-eye can also be used as a great Homework Buster--students evaluate answers to an assignment question to discover exemplar answers.

-See how to use the target as a Lecture Buster or exit ticket too!

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