Skip’n to the Beat!

Tam Bobbitt

Students will learn to jump rope.


Every student needs a jump rope.


1. Students will grab a rope and spread out over the gym floor to their own empty spot. This is to keep students from accidently hitting another student with their rope.
2. Have students measure their rope to see if it is a good fit for them. You measure by standing in the middle of the rope and pull the ends up toward your armpits. If the rope stops close to the pits, it is the correct size. If the rope is over the shoulders, it is too long and the student can roll the extra rope in their hands. If it doesn’t reach the pits, have them get another rope or exchange with another student with a longer rope. (Minutes: 2)
3. Have students move the rope over their head from front to back. Make sure the arms are always pointing straight down when they finish in both the front and back. Have students watch the rope disappear as it travels to the back and have them look for the rope to reappear over their head as it travels to the front. (Minutes: 2)
4. As the rope travels over-head, have the students try and catch the rope under the front part of their foot and rock over the rope. Repeat. For those students that find this task fairly easy, have them reverse the process. Have students catch the rope under their heels and rock over the rope. (Minutes: 5)
5. Have students start with the rope in the back. When they see the rope appear over-head, have them take a step up and over the rope as it comes to the floor. Step over the rope with the other foot. Repeat. Students may find it easier to move around the room during this activity. Please remind them to watch where they are going. (Minutes: 5)
6. Have students stand in an empty space for this next skill. Without traveling around the room, have students try and jump over the rope with both feet at the same time. Remind students to look up for the rope, not at their feet. The key to success is to start their jump when they see the rope appear over their heads. (Minutes: 5)
7. Have students try this backwards. Start with the rope in front of their toes and watch the rope as it disappears over their head. When the rope disappears over their head, the student should jump up. Repeat. (Minutes: 5)
8. Have students jump in different ways: jump as fast as you can, jump in slow motion, jump on one foot, jump on the other foot, jump with your eyes closed (make sure students do not move around the room with their eyes closed, also ask how were they able to do this jump with their eyes closed) (Minutes: 5)
9. Have students “fake” jump. Have students start with a forward jump, as the rope passes over their head the second time have them put their hands together and continue to turn the rope and let the hands continue together by their side, as the rope passes over their head the third time, have students open their hands and jump over the rope and repeat. The pattern should be: jump, fake jump, jump, fake…etc. (Minutes: 10)

Differentiation Approaches

1. Students may get frustrated at moving at such a fast pace. Remind students that we are trying new jumps and it may take a lot of practice.
2. For those students that can master the skills easily, have them help students that are struggling.
3. Another approach that may help students is jumping rhymes. Not only does it tie in poetry but also singing as a way of keeping students in rhythm.


Teacher observation

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

1. To give students more time to practice and rest, have students partner up. Have students measure their ropes and keep the longer of the two. Play rock, paper, scissors to determine who has a broken arm. The student chosen will decide which are they have broken right or left. Their partner will turn the rope on that side of the broken arm. This will give one partner a break from jumping while helping their partner jump. This is a lead-up to long jump rope that has two turners and a jumper in the middle. It’s also a great way to teach jumping in without stopping the rope.
2. Again you can ask the students to repeat the above activities, giving the jumper practice and the turner a chance to learn timing/tempo with their partner. Another partner activity is the helicopter. Again play rock, paper, scissors to determine who will turn the rope first. Have the other student sit down away from their partner.
3. I have my students leave the floor and sit on the stage steps. Have students fold the longest rope in half. Have them sit crisscross applesauce on the floor. Have the students sling the rope up over their head and back down to the floor in front of them. It’s important that the rope slide across the floor in front of them. This is to make it easier for the jumper to clear the rope. After everyone has the swinging of the rope down pat, have the jumpers rejoin their partners. Partners can switch at any time or when the jumper messes up or gets tired.

Additional Details

  • Grade Level: Third
  • Arts Content Area: Dance
  • Non-Arts Content Area: PE
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