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Year 5, Tennis, Lesson 1

Learning Intentions

  1. Play against an opponent to score points
  2. Recap the different shots learnt in the previous unit and apply to the game (forehand & backhand)

Skill Development: Approaching the ball before the 2nd bounce

Success Criteria

  1. I can remember and perform skills learnt in previous units
  2. I can play against my partner to try and score points and recognise why points were or were not scored

National Curriculum Links

Play with and against others for sustained periods of play

Work to implement tennis skills into games

Literacy and Numeracy Links

L  Discuss with partners why they did or did not score a point

N Keep count of scores in assessment for learning game

Starter Activity

Turning Chase

Set out a rectangle of cones and children line up around the rectangle. Children need to turn the cones over that is in front of them and side step to the next cone to turn it over and so on. Children all need to side step the same way.

Extension– Change direction of the way children are sidestepping, spend distance between cones and try to catch the person in front of you, specify which hand children can use to turn the cone over.

Skill Development

Pairs work

Give each pair a playing area; pupils should progress through the four activities below. Player A and player B should take it in turns to attempt the skill. After 4 or 5 attempts swap roles.  Work through the activities in order culminating in returning the serve in activity 4.

Activity 1 – Hitting the ball with a forehand shot (player A feeds by throwing and underarm ball to player B – swap after 4 or 5 attempts)

Activity 2 – Hitting the ball using a backhand shot  (player A feeds by throwing and underarm ball to player B – swap after 4 or 5 attempts)

Activity 3 – Serving an underarm ball (player A serves under arm to player B who catches the ball – swap after 4 or 5 attempts)

Activity 4 – Return the serve (player A serves under arm to player B who attempts to return the ball over the net – swap after 4 or 5 attempts)

Activity 1

Forehand hitting

  1. Start in the ready position
  2. Bring the racket back into backswing (before moving feet)
  3. Take a step forward to bring your foot close to the bouncing ball (if the player is right handed it will be their left foot that moves)
  4. The footwork will turn the body sideways
  5. The swing should go from low to high as you hit through the ball in a smooth action
  6. Racket pointing in direction player wishes to send the ballForehand

Activity 2

Backhand hitting

  1. Start in the ready position
  2. Move feet towards the ball
  3. Pivot with the racquet hand towards the net
  4. Hold the racquet behind your body ready for the backswing
  5. Take your racket back with your right elbow close to your body; shoulder should be facing the net
  6. While extending your racket in front of you, move your weight onto the front leg
  7. Swing from low to high hitting through the ballUntitled 40


Activity 3

Underarm serve

  1. Start balanced and sideways behind the line
  2. Hold the ball out and near the racket face
  3. Step back and bring the racket
  4. Put the ball gently in the air a little higher than the hand and racket
  5. Swing through in a controlled manner
  6. Tap the ball gently at first



Activity 4

Returning Serve

  1. A balanced and relaxed ready position
  2. Watch the direction and height of the ball coming over the net toward you
  3. Turn the upper body quickly towards the ball
  4. Body turn should lead to either a forehand or backhand return
  5. Hit the ball out in front
  6. Recover to the centre of the court after the return



Assessment for Learning

The aim of the game is to score points against a partner by hitting the ball into their opponent’s court and it bouncing twice. The game should be played 1 v 1. Play with racquets and a soft low bounce ball, over nets, cones or benches. Players can decide how they begin the game—pupils worked on serving in previous tennis units so some may wish to use underarm serve to start the game again, some may wish to throw or just hit over.

Challenge: Make the playing area bigger or use a higher net.

Development: Use no net or use hands to hit.

As this is an AFL lesson, use it as an opportunity to assess pupils ability. It may be appropriate to move children between teams to gauge how they transition their skills working with higher or lower ability classmates.

Teaching Points

Approaching the ball before the second bounce

  1. Be in a good ready position
  2. Keep eyes on the ball and watch it come over the net
  3. Move towards where the ball is going to land
  4. Get racquet prepared to hit
  5. When the ball comes up from its first bounce swing through hitting it over the net

Key Questions

  1. Can you recall any specific details about how to perform any of the skills?
  2. Can you describe or show how to approach the ball to prevent the 2nd bounce?
  3. How do you score points in the game?