Physical Education is… ACTIVE
Background: 2006, the North Carolina State Board of Education began requiring schools to provide 30 minutes of daily physical activity for grades 6-8. To help schools infuse physical activity through academic content, a series of “Middle School Energizers” were developed.
Free on the Web: For a free downloadable (pdf format) copy of the Middle School Energizers, please see Kymm’s website!
Purpose: The purpose of the energizers is to provide classroom teachers with suitable examples of how to get students moving and physically active while teaching the academic content. There are six separate Middle School Energizers available on the website. These include:
- Language arts
- Social studies
- Healthful living
Listed below are examples from the six free downloadable documents.
Name of Activity: Cholesterol Shuffle
Grade Level: 6th
Equipment: Paper plates, white/yellow paper
Formation: Students stand by their desks
Rules/Directions: Here’s a fun activity to reinforce the two types of cholesterol – high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is often called “good” cholestrol because it seems to protect against heart attacks. This is because it tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it is passed from the body. LDL is “bad” cholesterol. When too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up with other substances to form plaque and cause a heart attack.
1. The object of the game is to get rid of the bad cholesterol and pick up the good cholesterol.
2. Students a have paper plate on their desk with three white and three yellow pieces of paper on it. The white paper represents “Good cholesterol” – HDLs; and the yellow represents “Bad cholesterol”- LDLs.
3. The paper plate must stay on the desk.
4. On the signal, the student takes one bad cholesterol off his plate and places it on someone else’s plate while picking up one good cholesterol.
5. Students take the good cholesterol and place it on his or her own plate, taking one piece of paper at a time. They may not guard their plate or visit the same plate twice.
6. Students must move continuously.
7. The teacher signals the end of the 15-second round by calling out “Heart Attack!”
9. Students return to their desk and assess whether they have more good or bad cholesterol.
10. Repeat for several more rounds.
Name of Activity: Find the Hot Tamale
Grade Level: 6th – 8th
Formation: Beside desks
Rules/Directions: This is a fun problem-solving activity. One student is selected to be the Guesser and leaves the room. The teacher hides the “Hot Tamale” (a small object such as a pencil, marker, etc.) somewhere in the room. When the Guesser re-enters the room, the rest of the class will provide him with “clues.” These include:
- Move backwards – back stroke (swimming motion)
- Move forward – march in place
- Move to either side – side stretch in the direction of the tamale
- Up higher – climbing ladder motion
- Down lower – squats
- Within 1 foot of the tamale – students pretend they are stepping on hot coals.
Other Rules: During this time, the students are not allowed to talk. Once the student locates the hidden “hot tamale,” another student is selected to exit the classroom and the “hot tamale” is hidden in another location so that the game can be repeated.
Name of Activity: Shake, Bake, Twist, and Mist
Grade Level: 6th
Subject Area: Science
Rules/Directions: The teacher writes the following four phenomena and corresponding physical activities on the board:
- Earthquake (“shake”) – shake or wiggle.
- Volcano (“bake”) – squat down and jump toward the ceiling.
- Tornado (“twist”) – twist.
- Hurricane (“mist”) – imitate jogging through a strong wind.
The teacher reads a statement from below that describes one of the four phenomena. The students must allow the teacher to finish reading each statement. They then determine which phenomenon the teacher is describing and perform the corresponding activity for 15-20 seconds.
- One of these is felt approximately every 30 seconds (earthquake).
- Its ultimate source of energy is heat and moisture from warm water (hurricane).
- Ocean water must be warmer than 81 degrees for this to occur (hurricane).
- This is called a “funnel” until it comes in contact with the ground (tornado).
- This generates vibrations called seismic waves (earthquake).
- This phenomenon occurs when rock from the earth’s mantle melts and moves up to the surface (volcano).
- These weaken when traveling over land or cool ocean waters (hurricane).
- The Saffir-Simpson scale categorizes these on a scale from 1 to 5 (hurricane).
- These send fiery bits and ash into the air. The bits that cool and return to the Earth are called “tephra” (volcano).
- Winds must be at least 74 mph (hurricane).
- The molten rock (magma) from the Earth’s mantle that escapes during one of these is called “lava” once it reaches the Earth’s surface (volcano).
- A “hotbed” for these in the U.S. extends from Texas up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas (tornado).
- Over 1 million of these occur annually, with some too small to be felt by humans (earthquake).
- Hazards associated with this phenomenon are storm surge, high winds, flooding, and tornados (hurricane).
- These occur along faults, or fractures in the Earth’s crust. (earthquake) – These cause a storm tide, which can increase the mean water level by 15 feet or more (hurricane).
- In the mid-western U.S., these often form when warm, moist air from the gulf of Mexico collides with cold air from the north (tornado).
* Editor’s Note: The activities have been modified/edited from their original format.