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Book of the Month Fitness Club

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Julie Stouffer from Oak Creek, Wisconsin submitted this great idea for grades K-5. 

In an effort to promote fitness and to integrate Physical Education in the classroom, I have created several clubs which the students enjoy. Here are two of them.

“NORMA JEAN JUMP ROPE CLUB “

Grade Levels: K-5

Equipment: Short jump ropes

How We Do It: The “Norma Jean Jump Rope Club” is an activity that builds endurance and encourages students to set goals. At the beginning of the jump rope unit, I set the scene for the younger students by reading the book Norma Jean Jumping Bean by Joanna Cole. Each class period or when time permits, we have tryouts for the club. To become a member of the club, one must jump for 1 minute without stopping or missing; once you have achieved Level 1 (1 minute), you can work though the various levels. The levels are:

Level 2: 1-1/2 minutes
Level 3: 2 minutes
Level 4: 2-1/2 minutes
Level 5: 3 minutes
Level 6: 3-1/2 minutes

I purchased a large stuffed kangaroo and put a jump rope in her pouch; one of the kitchen staff members made an original outfit like in the book and several other outfits, including a baseball outfit, a soccer outfit, and even a Green Bay Packer outfit! She sits on the shelf in the gym as a reminder that it is club day.

At the end of the unit, certificates are given to students indicating the level achieved. The kids love it; not only are they excited about the club, but they are checking the book out of the library to read!

“THE FIRE CAT CLIMBING CLUB “

Grade Levels: K-2 (Can be modified for older students)

Equipment: A volleyball standard or climbing rope

The purpose of the “Fire Cat Climbing Club” is to build upper body strength. To set the scene, I read The Fire Cat Book to the younger students. We concentrate on action words such as “run” or “chase.”

For warmups, when they hear an action word, the students get up and move in that manner until I start to read again. Students then attempt to become members of the club by climbing to the top of the pole and ringing a bell and then sliding down.

A certificate is given to each person who is successful. They also put their names on a cat that is made from construction paper with the die cuts and we place it on the “Fire Cat” bulletin board in the gym. Again, the students are going to the library and asking for the Fire Cat Book and are re-reading it!

Modifications: To use this activity with your older students, you can designate a given number of climbs. For example: Third graders can join the “Fire Cat 15″ Club by climbing the pole a total of 15 times. Fourth graders can join the “Fire Cat 20″ Club, and fifth graders the “Fire Cat 25″ Club. Merry fitness!

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