As promised in my last blog, the following are fun fitness PE activities to teach students about fitness and provide meaningful fitness experiences. Find many of these fun fitness PE activities and more for free at Dynamic PE ASAP.
Using 30-second intervals, the teacher leads the class through a variety of activities. Typically, cardiovascular activities are alternated with activities for muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility.
Example for a lesson with flexibility emphasis. Perform each for 30 seconds.
- Abdominal challenges
- Locomotor movement (student choice)
- Flexibility challenges
- Flexibility content
- Push-up challenges
- Flexibility activities/review
Repeat the sequence twice for an 8-minute routine (which works well in a 30-minute lesson). This activity works well all the way from kindergarten to high school. If lessons are longer, this activity can be revisited in elementary schools. In middle and high schools, interval lengths could be increased which opens the door for great discussion on overload and progression principles. Fitness Challenges work particularly well at the beginning of the year or when you want to teach new challenges. You can also integrate 30 second tag games rather than 30 seconds of the locomotor activities.
- Use 6 cones to outline a hexagon inside the teaching area. On each cone is a sign (see example).
- When the interval music is on (usually it’s a 30/30 interval with 30 seconds of music and 30 seconds of silence), students move around the hexagon performing the activities on the signs.
- As they move, they read the sign which indicates the hustle activity they are to perform as they approach the next cone.
- When the music is off, the teacher provides activities from either flexibility, abdominal strength, or muscular strength/endurance.
- After the 30 seconds of silence, the music automatically starts and students continue around the hexagon.
This works well for 8-10 minutes. For high school students, increase the distance between the cones and increase the interval time to 45-60 seconds. Signs on both sides of the cones allows you to alternate the direction and provide a variety of activities.
- In small groups of 4-6, provide students with a Scavenger Hunt card (see image) and an item number to start on. This prevents all groups doing the same activity. Try starting with 45/5 (45 seconds of music, 5 seconds of silence) interval music.
- When the music goes off, this signals groups to move to the next item on the list. Notice, the activities do not include repetitions or times (other than how long to hold each stretch). This avoids the “we’re done” syndrome from students. They will be working the entire 45 seconds (quality, not quantity).
As with other routines, halfway through the activity, stop the class to discuss the fitness concept of the day.
- Students are arranged using partners (Classroom Management: The Foundation of Effective Instruction)
- In the middle—also known as “the pit” – are 6-8 signs, each with a different activity on it.
- Partner A reports to the pit and performs the first activity on the card. Partner B performs a locomotor activity of his/her choosing around the perimeter of the activity space (make this one lap or two).
- When finished with the assigned number of laps, Partner B gives Partner A a high-five, and they switch places.
- After a lap or two, Partner A goes back to the middle and Partner B returns to going around the perimeter.
- This process continues until both partners complete all activities on the card.
I typically do this activity with continuous music. Halfway through I will stop the class and have a short discussion of the concept of the day. If desired, this activity could be done with an interval music with partners switching each time the music goes off. In this instance, a 30/10 interval might be in order. During the 10 seconds of silence, partners switch. You can also put mats in the pit for activities if desired, especially for older students.
These are just a few of the countless fitness routines and PE activities you can use or create to integrate the strategies to teach them about fitness, make fitness fun, and provide them with meaningful fitness experiences.
Find more fitness lesson plans for free atDynamic PE ASAP.
Pangrazi, R.P. & Beighle A. (2015). Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children (18th ed.) San Francisco: Pearson.
Darst, P., Pangrazi, R.P. Brusseau, T., & Erwin, H. (2015). Dynamic Physical Education for Secondary School Students (8th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson.