Five fun fitness activities for grades 4-5.
Submitted by Jim Stillwell, Pittsburg, Kansas.
1.) Draw Two: With the students in exercise formation, have one student leader come to the front of the class and draw one card from each of two piles. One pile of cards has the names of different exercises to be performed. The other pile of cards will indicate the number of repetitions.
For example, one card could say “curl-ups” and the other card may indicate “15.” The student leader would then lead the students in performing 15 curl-ups.
2.) Thinking Exercises: Here’s a way to add a little “brain power” to your exercises. Rather than having the students perform a set number of repetitions for each exercise, try these novel challenge approaches:
- “Perform one toe touch for each letter in your first and last name.”
- “Total up the numbers in the year of your birth. Example: 1980 would equal 1+9+8+0=18. So, perform 18 arm circles.
3.) One Behind: With you, the teacher, leading the 6-10 exercises for the day, have the students stay one exercise behind you. It works like this.
Begin with running-in-place. When you stop to do curl-ups, the students will begin to run-in-place. When you start to do side stretches, the class would do curl-ups.
This not only requires the students to be physically active, but to be attentive in order to remember what each preceding exercise was.
4.) Imagery in Exercises: Try modifying the exercises to explore the movement concepts of speed and force. For example: Have your students perform selected exercises
- as slowly as possible,
- as if they were standing on ice,
- if they were waist-high in water.
- In Between ‘em: Another unique way to perform your 6-10 exercises.
The exercises for the day are displayed on a chalkboard or poster for everyone to see. The number of repetitions for each exercise can also be displayed.
Before performing the next exercise, the students must perform a certain movement. The “in-between” movement could be an additional exercise, such as 5 jumping jacks. In which case, the students must perform these between each of the other exercises.
Other “in-between” movements could be a seat spin, clapping your hands five times, or doing a heel click!