Basketball toss – Early Stage 1

ES1 – A thinking mathematically context for practise focussed on collecting, representing and analysing data on length


Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Mathematics K–10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2023


  • MAO-WM-01
  • MAE-GM-02
  • MAE-DATA-01

Collect resources

You will need:

  • pair of socks

  • basket, bucket or container

  • a clear space

  • 1 piece of paper

  • pencils or markers

  • 10 pegs

  • a ten-frame

  • pencils or markers

  • your mathematics workbook.


Watch how to setup basketball toss video (0:26).

Set up of basketball toss game.

[A title over a navy-blue background: Which one doesn’t belong? 2. Small font text in the upper left-hand corner reads: NSW Department of Education. In the lower left-hand corner is the white waratah of the NSW Government logo]


Getting ready for basketball toss testing my left hand with my right hand, so I need a basket. Which is this thing and I need a marker so I put my marker down here as you can see and from here I need to take three big steps.

One. Two. Three.

And I drop my basket here.

[Over a grey background, the red waratah of the NSW Government logo appears amongst red, white and blue circles. Text: Copyright State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2021.]

[End of transcript]


  • Challenge: See how many times you can successfully shoot your rolled up socks into the basket.
  • Mark a clear ‘starting line’ for your basketball toss.

  • Take 3 big steps from your starting line and place a basket, bucket or container at the end.

  • Stand at your starting line and throw your socks with your right hand.

  • Each time you get a sock in the basket, clip a peg onto your chart.

  • Go back to your starting line and have your second throw.

  • Repeat this until you have thrown your socks 10 times with your right hand and then 10 times with your left hand.

  • Draw a picture of your chart in your mathematics workbook.

Further investigation

  • Other people in your family might have been playing basketball toss today too.
  • If they’re taller than you, they might have had their baskets in a different spot. Using some blocks or spoons, for example, work out how far you had to throw your socks and then work out how far someone else had to throw theirs.

  • Draw a picture to show your measuring.

  • Can you create a new game your family and friends could play at home?

two baskets placed in distance measured by 3.5 spoons two baskets placed in distance measured by 3.5 spoons


  • How many baskets did you get when you used your left hand?

  • How many baskets did you get when you used your right hand?

  • How many did you get altogether?


Share your work with your class on your digital platform. You may like to:​

  • write comments​
  • share pictures of your work​
  • comment on the work of others.
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