Hoops and Ropes | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Hoops and Ropes

    Physical Activity Level
    • Moderate Vigorous

    • Gymnasium

    • Multipurpose

    • Outdoors

      • 2 pylons

      • Appendix B

      • Audio equipment and music

      • Hoop Dance hoops

      • Hula hoops (1 per student)

      • Skipping ropes (1 per student)

    Safety Considerations

    Students must move safely between stations. Remind students to be aware of the personal space of others as they swing ropes and hoops.


    Students will actively and safely explore movements using both hoops and ropes through a series of stations.

    Warm Up

    Let’s get Ready

    • Demonstrate and lead students in different stationary activities performed on the spot (e.g., walk, jog, run).
    • Hold up one of the hula hoops.
    • Explain to students that when the hoop is held low it means the activity should be done slowly, when held at shoulder height it means the activity should be done moderately, and when held high it means the activity should be done quickly.
    Getting Active

    Hoops and Ropes

    • Set up 8 stations around the activity area.
    • Divide students into groups of 4–6 and assign them to a starting station.
    • Students work at their station for 45–60 seconds, until you signal for them to move to the next station.

    Station 1 - Skipping: Students practice 2-foot skipping on the spot with skipping ropes, increasing speed as they improve.

    Station 2 - Hoop Dance: Students hold a hoop (Hoop Dance hoop or hula hoop) and dance to the powwow song, feet touching the ground each time the drum beats. They can try experimenting with the hoop (by stepping into it, lifting it up, twirling it, etc.), while holding the hoop in their hands.

    Station 3 - Original Hula: Students begin with the hula hoop at waist level and rotate their hips so that the hoop revolves around the body, remaining suspended as long as possible. Repeat.

    Station 4 - Heel Tap: Students skip rope and touch one heel to the ground in front of them. They alternate feet and repeat.

    Station 5 - Arm Hula: While marching in place, students put the hula hoop on an outstretched arm and rotate that arm in large circles, causing the hoop to spin around the arm. They alternate arms and repeat.

    Station 6 - Slithering Snake: Two group members hold the ends of a long skipping rope. Keeping it low to the ground, they shake their hands back and forth so that the rope wiggles. The other students take turns jumping over it. Alternate who holds the ends after several jumps (e.g., 5-10).

    Station 7 - Rolling Hula: Students roll their hula hoops forward, and jog beside them guiding the hoop to maintain the rolling action. Students keep hoops close to their bodies. Upon arrival at a pylon, students turn around and return. Repeat, using the other hand to roll the hoop.

    Station 8 - Woven Hula: Students join hands in a circle, with a hula hoop hanging from one person's arm. The student with the hoop must step through it, passing it to the student on the other side without letting go of hands. Students continue moving the hoop around the circle as quickly as possible. Students hop or jog on spot while waiting for the hoop.

    Cool Down

    Find Someone

    • Students scatter around the activity area.
    • Say “Find someone wearing a red shirt” or “Find someone with blue shoes.”
    • Students move around the space, find those people, and connect to them with the body part you call out (e.g., toes to toes, finger to finger, arm to arm).
    • Help the students to identify stretches for different parts of their body (see Appendix B for ideas).
    Other Considerations
    • Connections could be made to the “creative works” strands in drama and dance (e.g., ask students to demonstrate ways to move and control their bodies, and to explain the techniques/strategies they chose to use and why).
    • Show a video of someone doing a hoop dance (e.g., Lisa Odjig, Ojibway Hoop Dancer) if you think it’s useful.
    • If you can find a proper size hoop for the two hoop dance activities, the size is more appropriate, but this is not necessary.
    • Consider playing Powwow music for the duration of the circuit to help inspire and motivate students. (See Appendix D for ideas)
    • For students who are having difficulty controlling skipping ropes, hula hoops may be substituted, or they can practice the skipping action with an “invisible” rope.
    • To decrease the intensity of the circuit, students can perform the skipping stations as part of a group of 3, with 2 members turning ends, while 1 student jumps, and then alternate roles. To make it easier for all to succeed, allow the non-skipper to “walk over” the rope instead of jumping it.
    • Remind students to replace all equipment in starting position before moving to the next station.