Forearm passing in volleyball Gr. 4-6 (first 2 lessons)


Beth Judge        Meadows Elementary School

2 lessons on volleyball bumping (forearm pass)

Gr. 4-6

State Standards: see Appendix 2

 Lesson 1

Warm-up: Daily warm-up routine: Perimeter Walk or Four Corners as soon as students enter play area

Warm up/intro activity: Parachute Volleyball- divide players holding parachute into two teams down middle of chute. Team A v Team B. Place VB in middle of chute. Object of game is to send VB off the chute on the opposition’s side to score a point.

 Skill: Intro to forearm pass (bumping)

Bump Skill Cues:

  • Make a flat platform & lock elbows
  • Contact ball w/ both arms simultaneously
  • Shrug shoulders and straighten knees without swinging up at ball


            Demo technique and students shadow it w/o equipment, repeat several times. Use cues.

            Partner Toss and Bump one partner gets in knee sit position 3 giant steps from other partner. Standing partner tosses VB to kneeling partner who tries to bump it back. Catch bumped ball, repeat 3x then switch. Increase distance gradually

            Free Style Bumping Bump ball on your own, to yourself. Toss, Bump, Catch. Then Toss, Bump 2x then Catch. Increase # of bumps gradually.

            Wall Bump same as Partner Toss Bump but to wall not partner

            Partner Bump as skills improve have partners bump to each other

            Bump it Up Game Circles of 6-8 students. Use balloon, Nerf then VB. On signal “bump” team tries to keep object in air and count # of bumps made in time limit.


Closing: Discuss volleyball history and current VB news while performing slow cool down stretches.


Lesson 2 

 Warm-up: Daily warm-up routine: Perimeter Walk or Four Corners as soon as students enter play area

Warm up/intro activity: Five-Star Set  Players in groups of 5 position in a star pattern and set the ball around in a certain passing order. Passers are not allowed to set the ball to a player on either side. Use a small balloon ball, large soft Nerf ball, or large volleyball trainer ball. Change the order and establish a new star pass

Skill: bumping


Review technique from lesson 1 with cues while students shadow it w/o equipment, repeat several times.

            Bump Volleyball Relay: Make teams of 4-6 students and position in shuttle formation with each half file facing and standing 3 giant steps away. Player #1 on signal bumps balloon, Nerf or VB to the front player (#2) of opposite file, then quickly runs to end of his/her file. Player 2 bumps to 3 and so forth. Count # of bumps made in certain time limit.

            Cooperative Countdown: object is to complete a “countdown.” Start with a bump (can use set also once learned) making sure everyone in your group has a turn. Make groups of 4-5 in a circle with one VB. Number yourselves 1-4 and #1 goes into middle of circle. On signal #1 tosses ball in air, calls “countdown” and quickly moves out of center. #4 quickly moves into center and bumps ball up followed by #3 then #2 then #1. The sequence is complete when #1 bumps it. Only one bounce between each pass is allowed. If ball bounces more than once start new countdown. The last one in the circle becomes #1. Everyone gets a new number after each countdown round. Change groups often.

            Volley Up: This activity is one of the six challenges in the PE Central Challenge that our fourth graders participate in every year. ( Groups of 6-8 students form a circle (approximately 8 paces in diameter) On signal students attempt to keep the ball in the air (by bumping) without it touching the ground. Students are not allowed to contact the ball twice in a row. Count the number of bumps made in a certain time.


Closing: Discuss importance of calling for the ball, volleying high, ready position. Stretch slowly and review cues for proper bumping.



Perimeter Walk: My PE space always has 4 cones for boundaries. The size of the boundaries change depending on the activity for the day. As soon as students enter the play space (gymnasium or blacktop) they begin to walk the perimeter (around the cones). I always have lively music playing at the start of class and they know to start moving right away. Once everyone is walking I call out locomotor skills for everyone to do around the perimeter. If I call out “Your choice!” students get to select the locomotor skill they want to do but can only do it to the next cone. Once they reach the next cone they must switch to a new locomotor skill. When the music stops everyone must freeze and turn to look at me.

Four CornersAt each of the four corners of the play space are 4 cones with “shoulder folders”. Inside the holders are cards with different activities numbered 1-4. Each card has 4 different activities. Students do the #1 activity until they reach the next cone. Then they switch to the #1 activity on that card. This continues at the next cone until they are back to where they started. When they get back to the starting cone, they do the task listed for #2. This continues around all 4 cones, then on to task #3, etc. If anyone wants a copy of the cards, let me know and I will send to you or put on the site.

Reference List

Landy, J.M. (2002) P.E. Teacher’s pre-sport skill lessons, activities & games for grades 4-6. Paramus, NJ: Parker Publishing

Pangrazi, R.P. (2004) Dynamic physical education for elementary school children (14th ed.). Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Rosengard, P. (2006) SPARK: sport, play and active recreation for kids.  San Diego,CA: SDSU Foundation

 Appendix 2

CA State Standards for Gr. 4-6:


          1.14 Serve a lightweight ball to a partner, using the underhand movement pattern.

            1.20 Volley a tossed lightweight ball, using the forearm pass.

            1.17 Volley a tossed ball to an intended location.

            1.1 Volley an object repeatedly with a partner, using the forearm pass.

            1.3 Strike an object consistently, using a body part, so that the object travels in the intended

direction at the desired height.

            2.4 Describe the appropriate body orientation to strike a ball, using the forehand movement


            2.6 Explain the role of the legs, shoulders, and forearm in the forearm pass.       






Great Lesson Plans!
They are easy to follow and very well thought through! You have great activities. I like that you spend the cool down stretching time talking about history of and current events in volleyball or other important parts of the game!

Thank you, Angela. I appreciate your comments.

Good quality lesson plan. I recommend consolidation your instructional cues. Usually just 3-4 should be the maximum, especially if you are covering them all at once. It is difficult for a learner to retain a lot of information while trying to perform a motor skill, so you should pick out the most important points. In this lesson example, one thing you could do is make the flat platform and lock elbows into one cue.

Thanks for the constructive feedback. I will go back to consolidate the cues to include only the most important points. I will do this for the volleyball unit I submitted as well. Thanks.