A goal I have for my PE students is that they develop a positive attitude towards exercise. I ask my students at the beginning of the year how exercise makes them feel. I repeat that question several times a year looking for a change in attitude. At the beginning, I get a lot of answers like “tired” or “sore”. With some guidance, my students move towards answers like “awesome” and “happy”. Here is lesson idea to help young students develop a positive attitude towards exercise and also learn a little about the body.
I start by asking my class what happens to their body when they exercise. How do they feel immediately afterwards? I get a wide range of answers and I use certain answers to teach about the benefits of exercise. For example, if a student answers that exercise makes their heart beat faster; I can talk about how good exercise is for their heart and how it needs opportunities to beat fast to get stronger.
After a brief discussion time, I play aerobic games that my students really like such as Noodle Ninja and Spider & Flies . After each game, I ask the same question. What do you notice is happening to your body? We add to previous answers and I usually get more specifics such as “I’m hot” or “I’m breathing hard”. I add that the game we played was a fun way to get exercise.
Continuing with ideas and small discussions mixed with physical movement through the year helps my students learn that not only are there lots of ways to get exercise, but that it is fun and makes them feel good.