As a PE teacher, I want to teach my students that not only is exercise good for your body, but exercise is fun! Here’s my lesson plan for teaching that!
A goal I have for my PE students is that they develop a positive attitude towards exercise.
I ask my students at the beginning of the year how exercise makes them feel. I repeat that question several times a year looking for a change in attitude.
At the beginning, I get a lot of answers like “tired” or “sore”. With some guidance, my students move towards answers like “awesome” and “happy”.
Here is lesson idea to help young students develop a positive attitude towards exercise and also learn a little about the body.
Teaching that Exercise is Fun
It is important that kids learn from a young age to value their physical health. Teaching about how exercise can be fun is a key to helping them make habits of regular exercise. This will promote lifelong well being and happiness!
Intro to the PE Lesson + Discussion
Help your kids know the focus of your lesson by verbally explaining it. Doing so will help them pay attention and internalize what you are saying!
Once you have told them the topic for the day, get a discussion going. I like to start by asking my class what happens to their body when they exercise.
I use questions such as: How do you feel immediately afterwards? I get a wide range of answers and I use certain answers to teach about the benefits of exercise.
For example, if a student answers that exercise makes their heart beat faster; I can talk about how good exercise is for their heart and how it needs opportunities to beat fast to get stronger.
This discussion is a great way to get the kids involved and thinking about their physical and emotional state following exercise!
Activity: Aerobic Games
After a brief discussion time, I play aerobic games that my students really like such as Noodle Ninja and Spider & Flies. In order for the kids to believe exercise can be fun, they have to have experiences with it. Games in class are a great opportunity to demonstrate this.
After each game, I ask the same question: What do you notice is happening to your body?
We add to previous answers and I usually get more specifics such as “I’m hot” or “I’m breathing hard”. I add that the game we played was a fun way to get exercise.
Depending on how much time you have, you can stick to one game or have the students play a couple.
As you finish class, ask the kids about what they enjoyed from the games. Give them a chance to share what they liked about exercising.
My advice: Don’t let this be a one time lesson. Continuing with ideas and small discussions mixed with physical movement throughout the year helps my students learn that not only are there lots of ways to get exercise, but that exercise is fun, and it makes them feel good!