Student-Led Instant Activities for Physical Education
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to increase my students MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) time. Since my students receive Physical Education only once a week for 45 minutes, time is very precious. I don’t want it to be wasted. When I decided to start looking for quality instant activities or ASAP’S (Activity As Soon As Possible), I wanted them to infuse the 5 Components of Fitness, as well as, be able to expose my students to subject matter that they’re learning academically in their classrooms. Throughout my career, I have gathered quite a collection of integrated academic ASAP’S.
I firmly believe in giving back to my profession of Physical Education. Many fellow Physical Education colleagues have helped me throughout the years, and I would like to help future Physical Education Specialists coming into this great profession. There needs to be more sharing of ideas whenever possible to ensure that best practices continue into the future. This will improve our profession and subject matter.
Below I have shared 10 academic instant activities for you. You can either make them yourself, buy the book they are located in, or look up the website that they are featured on. I will admit they’re not all my original ideas. I have found these ideas through professional Physical Education conventions, PE books, social media, Internet websites, and a few I have created myself. These 10 activities are student-led Fitness/Academic infused instant activities that will require very little time to reproduce. I hope they are useful. Thank you for reading!
1. Fitness Puzzles – Created by Me!
This activity is great for teaching Cooperation and Teamwork, as well as, any exercises you would like your students to learn. I use this activity at the beginning of the year to teach core exercises to my students that will be used throughout the year. This game also allows students to work together!! Put your students into predetermined groups around a packet of puzzle pieces. On the music, the groups put the puzzle pieces together. When they finish putting them together in a column, they perform the exercises. They can not start a new exercise until everyone in their group is finished with the previous one.
2. Loco-motor Match – Created by Me!
An excellent activity to teach locomotor skills, as well, as basic math skills like odd/even, higher than/lower than, like numbers, etc. I have my students pair up down the midline of the gym. I spread out one set of number cards on one side and the other set numbered cards on the other. On the music, Each pair of students use a predetermined locomotor skill and head out to find matching numbers. When successful, they bring them back and continue until the time is up or the cards are gone.
3. Dice Fun – Created by Me!
This activity can be done individually or in groups. It can also can be played with one die or two. Have the student or students roll the dice and have them either add, subtract, or multiply (if they multiply have them use the second digit of the answer).
4. Fitness Grid – Created by Dr. Hinson
This is a great Dr. Curt Hinson activity. It can be bought on his website or you can create it yourself. Have the Fitness Grid sheets lying on the gym floor with two different colored dice before your students arrive. In what ever predetermined groups you put your students in, have each student take turns rolling the two different dice. For my grids, the dice are black and red. Just roll the dice and match the color and number of the die. Slide them together and perform the exercise. You decide how long they participate.
5. Fitnopoly – Created by Dr. Hinson
This activity is play just like a typical board game. Separate your class into groups and have them see who can get further and/or finish the game first. Each shape has a choice of two exercises in them. Make sure to have a pair of dice and some game pieces. These items can be easily found at the dollar store.
6. Pass It Down – Great Activity Company
This activity is excellent if your students have assigned seats with rows. Just give the first person in each row a 5 Components of Fitness Pass It Down card and start the music. The leader reads the first activity on the list and performs that level of fitness for their row. The students in the row then copy the leader until the teacher says “Pass It Down”. That’s when the second person in the row performs the second exercise and everyone in the row copies. This activity is great for assessing and checking for understanding of the 5 Components of Fitness.
7. Pathway Cards – Great Activity Company
These cards are great for teaching pathways. Just hand each student a card as they enter and have them copy the pathway on the card. When they are finished just have them get a new one. I often combine this by reinforcing their locomotor skills and tempo skills.
8. Line Graph and Bar Graph Workouts – Great Activity Company
These are great activities for incorporating math into your class. I give each student a card as they come into my class and they start exercising. I usually have them do one graph one week and the other graph next week. When they finish, they put the card in a bucket and get a new one from me. Sometimes I have them do the exercises with a partner, but it has to be a boy and girl group.
9. It's In the Cards – I originally got from Dr. Curt Hinson
This is another great activity to get your students moving right as they enter the gymnasium. Just hand a playing card to each student as they enter the gym and they match their card to the It’s In The Cards key card. I usually just place several Key cards in cones throughout the gym. When they finish their exercise they just get a new card from me or from a predetermined location.
10. Clock Warm-Up
This activity can be done many different ways, individually, with partners, pick a student one at a time, play music and go. Go to pecentral.org and print as many as you need, laminate them and your done. The students spin the hand and where it stops they perform the exercise. Great for teaching how to tell time. Also an awesome in the classroom activity!!!