Basketball Lesson Plans

Basketball lesson plans cover photo.

Basketball lesson plans aim to provide every student with a foundation in which they can develop their basketball skills, eventually leading to fun and successful gameplay. To do so, students can get comfortable and confident with a breakdown of basic dribbling, passing, and shooting techniques. 


While working on different skills and drills, students can also explore the basic rules and strategies of basketball, with an added bonus of different games and activities they can play at any time or place! Check out awesome resources and activities for your basketball unit. 

Skill Development Basketball Lesson Plans


Students who play basketball outside of physical education might be eager to jump into full 5 on 5 basketball games. However, within physical education, regardless of grade level, jumping right to full-blown games of basketball will leave many students in class feeling frustrated and left behind. 


Therefore, basketball lesson plans for physical education can focus on skill development. That doesn’t mean teachers can’t create an amazing basketball unit that engages all students in class. Through a skill development approach, teachers can differentiate and modify the fundamental skills of basketball for every experience and ability level. 


For example, one aspect of basketball lesson plans is developing students’ dribbling skills. To start class, teachers could start students with a basic warm-up focusing on a stationary dribble technique. Beginner-level students could start by dribbling with their dominant hand (e.g., right hand), while more advanced students could practice dribbling with their non-dominant hand (e.g., left hand). Everyone gets to practice basketball dribbling skills! 

Instructor from PLT4M basketball lesson plans demonstrating good shooting form.
PLT4M basketball instructor Aaron Annibali demonstrates proper shooting form.

Different Elements of Basketball Lesson Plans 


At PLT4M, we break down basketball lesson plans using the following categories: 


  • Dribbling 

  • Passing

  • Lay Ups 

  • Shooting 

  • Rules & Game Play 


A great way to plan a basketball lesson is to put together a lesson using one material from each section and finish the class with a game. (Note: Modified games are a great way to introduce students to all the different ways they can play basketball, not just 5 on 5.)


Let’s examine a sample lesson plan that teachers could create using the basketball unit resource pack in PLT4M. 

Sample Basketball Lesson Plan 


Teachers can introduce awesome basketball lesson plans using the resources and materials from PLT4M basketball. 

  • Dribbling: Stationary (5 Minutes) 

    • 5 rounds of: 

    • 30 seconds Right Hand

    • 30 seconds Left Hand 

    • 30 seconds Rest 

  • Passing: Two-Handed Push Pass (5 Minutes) 

    • Partner Passing – Starting just a few feet away from each other, accumulate 10 passes before taking a step back and repeating. See how far you can spread out from your partner while still getting your pass to reach your partners chest (no bounces!) 

  • Lay Ups: 2 Footed Lay Up (10 Minutes) 

    • In small groups, students must drive to the hoop and land on two feet before going up for a lay up. Students can practice different strategies like pump faking, pivoting, and laying the ball up right away.

  • Shooting: Free Throws (10 Minutes) 

    • In small groups, students can practice free throws. Have one student take 5 free throw shots in a row before the next person in the group shoots. Other group members can retrieve rebounds and return the ball to the shooter. Have each student be the shooter twice to see if they can match or make more free throws than the first round. 

  • Rules & Game Play: Knock Out (Remaining Time) 

    • Now that students have practiced lay ups and free throws, introduce the game of knockout, which combines both skills.

    • Have students explore the rules and instructions of knock out with PLT4M’s Different Types of Basketball Games PDF. (Additional PDF’s come with PLT4M’s basketball lesson plans including types of defense, types of defense, parts of the court, basics of basketball, and more.) 

Bonus! Classroom Management Strategies For Basketball Unit

Here are a few tips and strategies for implementing the skills and drills within your basketball lesson plans. 

After reviewing the skill or drill, teachers can have students break off to practice in three different settings: 

  1. Individual 

  2. Partner 

  3. Small Group

To practice, teachers can have students work through the skill and drill in a variety of ways: 

  1. Set A Timer

    • Ex 1: How many non-dominant hand dribbles can you accumulate in 60 seconds? 

    • Ex 2: You have 10 minutes to go practice different types of lay ups in your group. 

  2. Set A Number 

    • Ex 1: Complete 10 succesful bounce passes in a row before moving further apart. See how far you can go! 

    • Ex 2: Attempt 20 one-handed form shots from 5 feet away and see how many you can make. 

Key Takeaways on Basketball Lesson Plans 

Basketball is an awesome addition to your physical education curriculum! From manipulative skills to motor skills, students can learn a lot from the popular game of basketball. A few key takeaways for teachers as they set out to implement basketball lesson plans include:


  • Focus on Skill Development – Each drill from PLT4M has written and video instruction. We recommend taking about 5-10 minutes on any drill to introduce the skill and allow time for students to practice.

  • Make It Fun – Teachers can add fun twists and different variations to make the different skills and drills fun and challenging for students. Based on your age group and class dynamics, you can always tweak and modify drills to mix things up!

  • Add Assessments – Create custom metrics to log different types of basketball data relevant to your group/audience. Example: Free Throws Made (10 Attempts)


Want to tap into the basketball resources and technology to take your basketball plans to the next level? Reach out to PLT4M to schedule a free consultation on how to incorporate these resources and lots of other awesome PE lesson plans and topics!



What other types of lesson plans and workouts does PLT4M have?


Consider PLT4M your full learning management system for health and physical education.


PLT4M has a full slate of PE lessons for physical education teachers to choose from! From PE games to fitness activities, PLT4M has countless options. Check out some of the most popular below:


Is PLT4M aligned to Shape Standards?


Yes, every program is aligned to the PLT4M to the Shape Standards. SHAPE America’s National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education define what a student should know and be able to do as result of a highly effective physical education program. This guide demonstrates how the PLT4M programs align with grade level standards, helping you achieve and accomplish a standards-based curriculum.

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