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Force Olympics    Read-Along Mystery 4

Read-Along Mystery 4 image

In this Read-Along Mystery, Daniel worries he won’t do well at a friend’s Bumper Bowling party…until he figures out an unexpected way to win.

Beginning Exploration (1 of 1)
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This is Daniel.

He’s not feeling very happy.

“What’s wrong?” asked Mom.

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“Mateo is having a bumper bowling party next week,” said Daniel. “I don’t want to go.”

“Why not?” asked Mom.

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Daniel frowned. “I never knock down any pins,” he said.

“My ball always gets stuck in the middle!”

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“Don’t give up,” said Mom. “Let’s go and practice.”

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That night, Mom and Dad took Daniel bowling.

They found a lane with bumpers that would keep the ball from falling into the gutters on the sides.

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“This is neat!” said Dad. “If the ball heads for the gutter, it bounces off the bumper!

“Want to give it a try?”

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Daniel chose a bowling ball and set it down on the line.

He stood with the ball between his feet. Then he bent down and gave it a careful push.

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The ball rolled down, down, down the lane.

It got slower and slower and slower.

Then it stopped. Right in the middle of the lane.

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“Aargh!” cried Daniel. “See what I mean?”

“It’s okay,” Mom said. “The manager will get it.”

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As Daniel waited for the manager to bring back his ball, he thought about what might be going wrong.

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“Maybe I’m using an old, slow ball,” Daniel thought.

“Or maybe there’s a bump in my lane. Or maybe I’m not pushing the ball hard enough.”

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stop & talk

Stop & Talk

Why do you think the ball didn’t go all the way down the lane?

What do you think Daniel could do to make it go farther?

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“The ball didn’t go far enough,” Dad said. “How could you make it go farther?”

“I guess I could push harder,” Daniel replied.

“Try it and see!”

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Daniel picked up his ball and tried again.

This time he pushed a lot harder.

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He watched his ball roll down the lane.

It started in the middle, but then went to the side and rolled along the edge of the bumper.

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Plink!

The ball knocked down one pin.

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“Oh!” cried Daniel.

“I only hit one pin. If I want to win, I need to knock down lots of pins.”

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“You’re doing great!” Mom said.

“The ball went all the way down the lane, right? Think about what you did to make that happen.”

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Daniel stopped and thought.

“I pushed the ball harder. It went faster and farther,” he said.

“But I still only hit one pin!”

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get up & move

Get Up & Move!

Let’s go bowling!
Bend down and push that ball down the lane.
You got a strike! Jump up and down to show everyone how happy you are.

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Daniel wasn’t ready to give up.

“I want to hit those pins right in the middle,” he thought.

“I need to try something new.”

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Daniel did everything he could think of to make the ball roll down the middle.

He tried bowling from one side, and then the other.

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He tried bowling with his eyes open and with his eyes closed.

But the ball always ended up rolling down the side.

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Daniel sat down with his parents. “I don’t know what else to try,” he said.

“You’re good at other sports,” Dad replied. “Do they give you any ideas?"

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“I play basketball,” Daniel said.

“Sometimes you have to bounce the ball off the backboard to get it into the net.”

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“I like soccer, too. People bounce the ball all around before making a goal.”

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stop & talk

Stop & Talk

What happens when a ball bounces off something?
Does it keep going the same way, or does it go someplace new?
What other games use balls that get bounced around?

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“Hey,” Daniel cried. “That gives me an idea!”

He jumped up, grabbed his ball, and headed out to try one more time.

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Daniel took a deep breath, set down his ball, and gave it a really hard push—straight toward the bumper!

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He watched as the ball bounced off the bumper on one side, then bounced off the bumper on the other side, and then bounced back toward the pins.

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CRASH! It was a strike!

Daniel’s ball knocked down all the pins.

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“Wow!” said Mom. “How did you think of that?”

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Daniel laughed. “I thought about the other games I play,” he said.

“When balls hit things, they go off in different directions.”

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On the way home that night, Daniel and his parents got ice cream to celebrate.

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Before he went to bed, Daniel wrote a reply to Mateo’s birthday invitation.

He couldn’t wait to go!

THE END

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Beginning Activity Prep

Recommended Activity: Human Bumper Bowling

In this game, students work together to knock down the bowling pins. The next slide provides details on how to play.
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Beginning Recommended Activity: Human Bumper Bowling

Recommended Activity: Human Bumper Bowling

Scroll down for Activity Prep.

  1. Form groups of four to six.
  2. Assign roles. Each group needs one person to be the Roller and one person to be the Catcher. Everyone else is a Bumper. Decide who will take the first turn in each role.
  3. Get supplies. Roller gets a ball. Each Bumper gets a hardcover book. Bumpers use their books to bump the ball when it’s about to roll out of the alley. They also keep the ball moving down the alley so it can knock down the pins.
  4. The goal of Human Bumper Bowling is to knock down the pins with as lots of bumps along the way.
  5. Let each Roller have two turns, then move in a circle to switch roles so everyone gets a turn as Roller.
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Activity Prep

We recommend having students work in groups of 4 to 6.

For each group, you’ll need:

  • 6 large plastic Solo cups to use as bowling pins
  • 1 tennis ball
  • hardcover books to use as “bumpers” (two for each group of four; four for each group of six)

You’ll also need:

  • Masking tape for setting up “bowling alley”
  • Ruler or yardstick for setting up “bowling alley”

To prepare before class:

Decide how many “bowling alleys” you’ll set up and where you’ll put them. Using masking tape, mark off alleys that are 10 feet long and 2-½ feet wide. Mark a box at the end to set the pins in. Leave room between your bowling alleys for students to sit on the floor. (See picture below.)

Bowling Set Up

Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Read-Along & Recommended Activity!

If you have more time, view the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below is an idea for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.
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