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Lesson Plans
Daily Exercise Chart

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that young people get at least 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every day.

Purpose: To guide students to keep track of the ways in which, and how often, they exercise each day.

Materials: Bulletin board chart (see below), printout of the center two-page spread from “Look What I Can Do!” (PDF)

Day
At School
At Home
Monday    
Tuesday    
Wednesday    
Thursday    
Friday    

Preparation: Set up the bulletin board chart and print the two-page center spread of “Look What I Can Do!” (PDF)

 

Procedure: Gather the class in a group around the bulletin board. Ask the students to identify the different physical activities the friends are doing:

  • Sandy Squirrel is jumping rope.
  • Ali Rabbit is running fast.
  • Wally Bear is riding a bicycle.
  • Thurgood Turtle is swimming.
  • Mee Possum is dancing.
  • Miguel Tiger is doing gymnastics.
  • Kristi Kitty is rollerblading.

Ask the children to raise their hands if they’ve done physical exercise (any kind of physical activity) today. Have children share their activities. Ask: What do you do that makes you sweat? Huff and puff? Get hot and tired? Feel really good?

Next, tell the students that it’s important for everyone to get enough physical activity every day to stay healthy. Explain that the bulletin board chart will help keep track of the physical activities they do at school and at home.

Start with the current day of the week and have the children once again share the types of exercise they’ve done at school—playing tag, running races, jumping rope, playing follow the leader, etc. Write these in the proper area of the chart.

When the students come to class the next morning, complete the second column of the chart, “At Home,” to discover the kinds of activities they do at home—play with balls; run and chase; walk to the store, the laundromat, or the playground; go to karate or dance class; swim; walk home; walk the dog; etc.

Track the students’ physical activity for a full week. Are there some days when the children aren’t as physically active at school (no physical education on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example)? Talk about how they can make up the lost time by adding more “at home” activities.

Challenge the children to track the class activity for another full week. Now that they know how important physical exercise is, do they spend more time exercising?

Optional Procedure: For older students, add columns for “TIME” to help them see how long they actually work out. Remind them that a 10-minute walk to school and back adds 20 minutes of activity, and if they walk the dog they can add another 10 minutes to that. Help them focus on decreasing the amount of time they sit and watch TV or play video games as they increase the amount of time they play outdoors or at a gym.

Resources:

  • My Activity Pyramid” from the University of Missouri is a great way for students to picture the many ways they can stay active.
  • Physical Activity for Everyone” from the CDC recommends that young people get at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days, and preferably every day.

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Updated on 4/9/2013