Tag Archives: James Naismith

The History of Basketball


With March Madness going on we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit about the history of the sport. The sensory group explored boxes related to different facts about the sport. The fine motor groups made basketball themed art projects and the language group played an adapted version of the game.







James Naismith invented the game of basketball. This box was dedicated to him and had lots of Canadian symbols since that is where he was born. We included a toy stethoscope because not only was he a PE teacher but he was also a physician—-how cool is that!

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point that can be addressed with this activity.





Using Koolaid we made our play dough a nice bright basketball orange. The students could make balls, stamp letter B’s, or just squish and squeeze the play dough. They throughly had a good time.

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





Basketball is played with 2 teams consisting of 5 players each.We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reinforce some math facts with this box! There were 5 blue and 5 red items for the students to explore and sort——-or shake 🙂

The math access point solve simple problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects can be addressed here.





There were more opportunities for sorting with this box filled with beads in the colors of the NBA—-red, white, and blue! Of course, it was mostly an opportunity to wear or shake the beads!

Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.





In 1936 basketball became an Olympic sport. Using giant fluffy chenille stems the students had fun making circles, joining them together, and taking them apart. The chenille stems also provided another opportunity to discuss colors.

Recognize when an object is added to or taken away from a situation is a math access point.





The students were encouraged to draw circles/balls in this orange tinted shaving cream.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.





We put some foam numbers in our water play this week. The students got to “score” by scooping up either 2 or 3 points!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.





Since the original hoops were actually peach baskets, peach was the obvious scent to use this week for our water play and lotion! Our students are getting pretty good at using the Pixon board to tell us where they want the lotion.

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.






On Tuesday the students made their own basketball playbooks!

We started with a rectangular piece of paper with a basketball court sketch and some X’s and O’s drawn on it by Ms. Zenia the fabulous OT intern!

Then the fun began! The students got to operate a switch activated drawing tool to illustrate their play calling. There were certainly some interesting strategies planned 🙂

Distinguish between objects in motion and objects at rest is a science access point.





TA Da—-game on!











On Wednesday the students made paper plate basketballs!

We started by identifying the shape of our plates and color of our paint using communication symbols.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point. Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.





Then the students stamped their plates with a dish scrubber. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.





TA DA—-time to play!











We had our own tournament today in honor of March Madness.  We used an All-Turn-It spinner that had 2’s and 3’s all around it to signify the points that basketball players make during a game.

Both adults and students got to be in the tournament.  We started out by picking 2 names out of a bag.  These 2 people would play against each other.

We had communication boards in front of each student so that they could convey “my turn”.  The 2 “players” took turns and had 3 times each to press the switch and see what points they got.





We used a white board to write down the points that each player made.  Once they each went 3 times, we added up the scores and talked about who had MORE points.

Once we figured out who the winner was, the next 2 players competed and so on until we finally had an overall winner.





This group was so great today because it gave the adults a great chance to model the use of the communication boards while they were playing the game.  Everyone got so excited, too, when we had to go into overtime if the players tied.

                                               Finally, we had a winner!




Of course, we can’t NOT have a little snack in this group so we summed it all up with some basketball shaped Vanilla Wafers 🙂

Join us next time for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!