Snowsnake - How to play?

Snowsnake Preparation

  1. In order to participate in the Snowsnake game the spear-like tree must be developed. The Snowsnake is made from a straight spruce tree (or stick) about 2 cm in diameter (3/4 inches) and 1.3 meters long (4í6Ē). The surface of the snowsnake should be as smooth as possible and pointed at one end. After which the Snowsnake should be varnished, this coat of stain creates less friction when the Snowsnake is thrown along the snowfield.
  2. Spear-like tree1.3m long stick Varnishing the surface of the stick
  3. The playing surface of the Snowsnake does take some time to create and develop. It requires help from the students or colleagues. The playing area has to be level and well packed. I usually build the course approximately 100 meters (or 300 feet) in length and build a snow-wall (or trough) about 30-40 centimeters high (1.5 to 2 feet) and about 2-3 meters wide (8-10 feet). As well at the beginning of the Snowsnake course, a line is sprayed painted in the snow across the width of the snow, from side to side. This is called the throwing line. From there I pace 20-25 feet back and spray paint a second line, called the run-up line.
  4. Playing field2Playing field 2Playing field 3Sled back view Sled back view 2
  5. Along the track I place sticks 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, 100 feet, 125 feet, 150 feet, 175 feet, 200 feet, 250 feet and 300 feet. As well I spray paint lines across the width of the track. By doing this it makes it easier to measure the distances of the throws.
  6. Placing the sticks along the field

The Snowsnake Team

In Physical Education class, prior to going outside I create a table of the class list on paper, with 5 columns; one for the student name, 3 for their throws and 1 to record their best score. (See below) As well before going outside I will number off each student which corresponds with my class list. This way the student knows when it is their turn to throw.

 
Name Throw #1
(in feet)
Throw #2
(in feet)
Throw #3
(in feet)
Best Throw
(in feet)
Antonia D.        
Cordelia B.        

Letís Play!

The concept of the Snowsnake game is to throw the spear-like object over a flat and contained surface of snow for distance. To describe the throwing technique of the Snowsnake I am using the right-hand throw, in order to describe the left hand throw please make the necessary changes to body positioning and grip. In order to throw the Snowsnake you need to grip the snowsnake with a palm up grip, try to find the center of the Snowsnake so it can balance in your hand and have the pointed end of the Snowsnake in the direction you are throwing the Snowsnake. When releasing the Snowsnake have it resting on your fingers and palm, with the knuckles facing down towards the snow. Students throwing the Snowsnake measure of their strides from the throwing line back to the run-up line.

Getting ready for throw Throw  formation

As you begin your approach to the throwing line from the run-up line, carry the snowsnake at waist level. It is very important to practice your stride and step formation, and this can only be learned through practice. At the release point of the Snowsnake it is important to get low, thus preventing the spear from sticking into the snow and do not pass the throwing line with your body. I have students during the competition help me record the throwing distances. Two students have a measuring tape to measure the distances from one of the many distant markers on the track. Regardless of what marker you decide to measure from, you always measure to the tip (pointed end) of the Snowsnake. As well, if the Snowsnake leaves the Snowsnake track, mark the area where it left the track and record a distance from a marker. Once the scores have been recorded they will shout out the results to me.

View the movie clip.

How do you keep the scoring?

 
Name Throw #1
(in feet)
Throw #2
(in feet)
Throw #3
(in feet)
Best Throw
(in feet)
Antonia D. 62 74 120 120
Cordelia B. 45 89 140 140

Lesson Planning

When you read through the lesson plans, please realize that you can create and change these plans to be suit your class development levels. As well it is very important and necessary to incorporate both stretching and strength exercise progressions in your lesson plans to foster a safe learning environment. I encourage you to construct your own unique lesson plans and modifications that make for a positive learning experience for your students. However, if you do incorporate the Dene Games into your classroom please share your experiences, in the Bannock and Tea Room, education is an opportunity to explore, letís explore our Dene Games journey together.

Click here to see lesson plans.