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Learning Activity for Students with Visual Impairments: Hula-Hoop Fun

girl wearing sunglasses, hula-hooping

Contributed by Kimberly Mountjoy for the book ECC Essentials: Teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum to Students with Visual Impairments

Primary ECC Area: Recreation and leisure
Component: Physical activity
Grades: 3–8
Other ECC Areas:

  • Social interaction
  • Sensory efficiency
  • Compensatory access
  • O&M (motor skills)

Goal: Students will increase motor coordination and physical endurance by timing one another to see how long each participant can keep a Hula-Hoop going.

Key Tasks/Concepts

The student will:

  • Use a Hula-Hoop
  • Use low vision or tactile strategies to read a clock or use a stopwatch or other method of timing.
  • Chart minutes on a graph or other paper.
  • Interpret another student’s chart.
  • Take turns and compare results with fellow students.

Key tasks may need adaptation for appropriate media and physical capabilities of the students.


This activity is best done with two or more students who are 6 to 8 years old. Students work in pairs and take turns timing each other using a Hula-Hoop. The duration of successfully keeping the Hula-Hoop in motion is charted in minutes on graph paper. Students compare times and read each others' charts.

Prior to participating in this activity, each student will need to know how to do the following:

  • use a Hula-Hoop
  • use a graph for charting time
  • use a clock or other timing device

This activity provides exercise, socialization with peers, and practice with timing and charting progress. Students may be paired with classmates who are not visually impaired.

Depending on the proficiency of the students involved, it may be appropriate to blindfold students with sight while they are using the Hula-Hoop.

Instructional Materials and Supplies Needed

  • Hula-Hoops
  • Graph paper in the medium used by the student with visual impairment
  • Marking devices
  • Timing devices accessible by all students involved


A large room that has enough space to do the activity and where there are tables for the students to use when filling out the charts. Adequate lighting for students to read the timing devices is necessary. Depending on the lighting needs of the students with visual impairments, this activity may not work as well when undertaken outside.


  • 15–20 minutes minimum
  • This activity can be repeated once a week over an indefinite period of time


The goal of this activity is to improve motor coordination and physical endurance. The teacher might choose to evaluate progress in these areas indirectly by keeping track of the longest period of time that the student with visual impairment was able to keep the Hula-Hoop in motion during each session. If desired, data on students; progress on reading a clock or timer correctly, reading another’s graph, correctly charting time on a graph, and demonstration of appropriate play skills could also be collected.

To view a sample chart for this activity, or to access other strategies for teaching recreation and leisure, check out the AFB Press book ECC Essentials: Teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum to Student with Visual Impairments, available at

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