Hello and Happy Wednesday!
I hope you have had a fantastic week! Before I head to bed, I wanted to quickly share what I did in health this week to teach students about the basic elements of Physical Health. A quick self-evaluation of the first few health days told me I needed to get more creative with my approach to teaching middle school health and wellness. As a result, I created a student-led and centered physical health activity.
Here’s what I designed…a Physical Health Discovery Walk (a.k.a. Physical Health Learning Stations)…
As I stated creating this engaging lesson I knew I wanted the activity to:
- Get kids moving around the classroom
- Empower kids to think independently (and to test their Google skills)
- Create an opportunity for students to connect physical health to their own person life and experiences
- And of course, to teach students about the major components of physical health and wellness (sidebar: if you are wondering why I keep saying physical health instead of health, check this post out).
Now that I’ve successfully taught this lesson to 150+ kids, I can honestly say that this activity met my teaching criteria and will definitely be used in the years to come (and this model will be used to teach other important topics)! #HappyDance
Alright, now that the dancing’s over, let me tell you about the activity. This lesson begins with a short PowerPoint discussing the components of fitness, the F.I.T.T. Principle, fitness vs. active lifestyle, and the term “healthy habits.” After students are introduced to these topics, they begin a discovery walk around the classroom. For the discovery walk, the classroom was divided into nine teaching station with station overviewing an element of physical health.
Students progressed through the stations answering questions on their student worksheets and performing the tasks written on the station posters. A few tasks called for kids to do some independent discovery on Google. Some asked students to share their favorite exercises connected to each component of fitness and to do the exercises with their partners. While other tasks, required kids to write their thoughts on a big poster board.
This photos provides a glimpse into a few elements of this activity as one girl searches Google for information about the role water plays in the body, another girl is taking notes about the components of fitness, while a pair of boys are writing down healthy habits connected to each element of physical health!
Here’s another look at students in action. In this photo, students work together as they discuss one of the critical thinking questions. It was so awesome to see kids on task and engaged in the lesson while also having the freedom to work with their friends and to move around the classroom. Such a great way to increase student ownership of learning and physical activity!
Overall, I was super pleased with this activity. Let me wrap up by quickly sharing my favorite things about this activity:
- Students had to actually try! They could not just sit and “listen” to my voice, nodding their heads when I ask questions. Instead, they had to actually think for themselves. Yes, it required a little bit more grading for me but it is worth it to see kids think critically!
- Students weren’t just sitting still! One of the discussion questions was,”How can you be more active at school?” Unfortunately, students have little autonomy over this element of the school day. Rather it’s our job as teachers to provide opportunities for activity.
- Students made connection to their physical health and the school environment and their personal habits and experiences. I especially love that they were given an opportunity to offers their suggests for how the school can better promote healthy living. This will also serve as a great springboard for our wellness leadership class…more on this later.
Anyways, there is so much more that I loved about the activity but this post is already long enough:) So if you are intrigued and want to use it in your class, head over to our store to download the activity. Or if you have any questions, please comment below!
P.S. Our next health day will focus on nutrition. I’ll post those plans after I teach the lesson. But until then, check out this Nutrition Scavenger Hunt as it will be a large portion of our nutrition instruction.