PE Lesson Plan: Mixing Math and Movement


PE class is a great opportunity to help kids practice their other subjects. Use this Math and Movement activity to practice fractions!

Math and movement are easily combined to make cross-curricular games that reinforce the principles learned and provide a fun way to practice them.  

I sometimes reinforce what is being learned in the classroom by adding some math to PE class. A math movement game works best when a math concept has been taught, is mainly understood, and just needs some more practice time.

My 3rd graders have been learning about comparing fractions in class.  So, I came up with this game as a way to reinforce what they’re learning in math.

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Playing Math and Movement

To set up for this game, I made about 40 cards with numbers on them, including fractions.  I made sure to include equivalent numbers and fractions and have a good variety applicable to the skill level.

 My cards went from 1-10 with numbers such as 1/2, 2/1, 3/4, 3/3, 3/1, 5, 5/5, 6, 6 1/2, etc.

 I spread the cards upside down all over the gym floor.  I told the students we were going to make a human number line.  They were to choose a card and then find their place on the line.  

I designated one side of our center line as zero and one side as 10.  I gave some instruction as to moving if someone joined the line that was less than your card.  If they had a card that was equivalent to another card, they were to give that card to the first person and either find another card or help someone else.  There was lots of thinking and discussion as the students arranged their human number line.

Tips for this Math and Movement Activity

Here are some points that make this work well:

  • If a student is not sure where their number goes, pre-instruct them that they can work together and ask a friend.  I also tell them they can ask me.  That gives me a chance to do a little teaching if a child is not sure about their number.  I carried a whiteboard so I could draw a visual to help students understand a number. You could also use a printable visual like this one.
  • Leftover students who have given their card to an equivalent partner, helped me check the number line to see if it was correct.  We ended up with a little group checking the line and discussing problems.
  • Your brightest students are going to naturally take on a leadership role, telling others where to fit in.  Let them do this to an extent.  They are learning from each other.  Step in and pause the situation if you want another student to stop and think about where he/she fits in the line.


  • Even though I tried to talk through it as I checked the number line for accuracy, not all students can see the final result.  In a classroom, I would solve this by having them line the numbers up on a board and then sit back down so all could see and participate at the end.


  • This Math and Movement game can easily be adapted to fit any grade level.  Upper grades can include cards that have both fractions, decimals, negative numbers, etc.  Younger grades could have just whole numbers.  Fit your curriculum.

So, give this PE Math and Movement game a go with your students! It was a hit with my kids, so I’m sure it will be with yours too.

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