I try to plan all my PE lessons so that my students are moving a lot and getting aerobic exercise while having fun. Every once in a while, especially as they get older, I like to teach more pointedly about aerobic health. I tried this lesson today with my 3rd and 4th grade and it went great!
Start with a warm-up that gives a lot of aerobic activity. I used this game which my kids love. I followed the warm-up by having the kids sit down and telling them that today we were going to do an aerobic challenge. We talked about the word “aerobic” and what it means. They knew that it meant some kind of exercise, but not that it was referring to exercise of the heart and lungs. We had a good mini discussion. Then I gave them all a written aerobic challenge of about 10 activities. Instructions were to work on their own, to do the activities in a random order (to help space them out and share equipment), do exercises correctly, and to move clockwise for anything that asked them to move around the perimeter of the gym. I handed out the papers and let them work. They worked really hard and had a great time. I instructed them to pay attention to their heart and lungs working as well.
You can make-up your own aerobic challenge. Mix in some fun activities that involve favorite equipment. Here are some ideas:
jog around the perimeter of the gym 3 times
jump rope for 100 jumps
dribble a soccer ball (or deck ring) around the gym perimeter
toss and catch a yarn ball while moving around the perimeter
work on a trick with a hula hoop for 2 minutes
side slide around the gym
complete 35 jumping jacks
give 10 people a high five
hold a plank for 1 minute
grapevine around the perimeter 2 times
For fast finishers: For fourth grade and up I gave them a piece of scratch paper and pencil. They were told to write down their own exercise routine of 5 exercises that they could do at home. I challenged them to do their routine every night. If they had time, they could do their routine now. For my third graders, I let them have free time with any equipment we had out (my fastest finishers had about 5 minutes of time left).
My students really dived into these activities and we had a fun and productive class. Hopefully it will help them remember the meaning of the word “aerobic”.