Roll, Kick, or Throw?

Roll, Kick, or Throw? lesson plan

Which ball is bigger, basketball or soccer? Tennis or baseball? Measure and compare sizes and shapes of balls used in classmates’ favorite sports.

  • 1.

    Collect various sports balls. Find balls used in games played around the world (cricket, petanque, boules, bocce, croquet) as well as your favorites. Look at the different textures, stitching, lacing, and shapes of the balls. What characteristics make each ball unique? How do these features affect the game?

  • 2.

    Work in teams to measure the balls’ heights. Here’s one way to make a chart to show how their sizes compare.

  • 3.

    On posterboard, measure and mark even intervals (inches and millimeters) with a Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil. Draw horizontal lines and label each line. If you need to correct, just erase.

  • 4.

    Draw at least five sports balls on white paper in their actual sizes. Shape Crayola Model Magic into the same sizes and 2-D shapes as your drawings. To get the ball color you want, knead Model Magic with Crayola Washable Gel Marker color. Add details such as laces, stitches, or texture. Air-dry the balls overnight.

  • 5.

    With Crayola School Glue, attach the balls to the graph. Compare their sizes and shapes with those that other students represented.


  • Students identify various international sports or games and name which balls are used in each.
  • Students understand that the composition, sizes, and shapes of balls affect their performance.
  • Students work in small groups to measure, graph, and compare the actual height of at least five sports balls.


  • Add vertical lines and measurements to show the differences in sizes of height and width.
  • For younger children and those with special needs, suggest that they ask their families to help locate balls.
  • Construct a similar graph to compare various sizes of fruits, flowers, berries, or nuts to go along with a science and/or math lesson.
  • Discuss the outside construction of sports balls. Why is a tennis ball fuzzy and a baseball stitched? Illustrate the differences.
  • Assessment: Teams exchange posters and verify measurements and replicas.