Movement Across the Curriculum

60 minutes a day




Movement Across the Curriculum Physical Education Blog_Page_05

This game is a great grouping strategy.  You can use it as a brain break, 5 minutes of movement doing the different commands.  End the game in the group configuration you want them in to begin the next activity.

It can also be used to reinforce vocabulary within a variety of concepts. Below are examples of “shipwreck” like activities. Classroom teachers can use this idea for grouping as well as a 5 minute movement break.

Explain the 5 different groupings and what they mean, to the children.  Introduce one at a time and then let them practice.  I usually start with Ocean/Shore.  That way they get moving right away and then I mix that in with the next configuration.  Surf’s up is usually second because it also get the class to freeze. 🙂

After they have learned and practiced all the commands, begin playing the game.  The objective it to try to be in a group with everyone at least once during the game.  Speed makes the game more fun, but in the beginning, I encourage them to all get in a group.

  • Ocean/Shore (single) – Run or travel however directed toward the shore side or the ocean side of the space. use something to help the children remember which side is which!
  • Surfs Up (single) – Freeze in your spot and ride the wave!
  • Person Overboard (partners) – One person is on hands and knees, the other partner stands next to them looking from side to side as if searching for the person overboard.
  • Light House (Trio) – Two people hold hands forming the light house, the third person stands in the middle of the hands (light house)) spinning around, blinking the light. (hands opening and closing)
  • Shark (Five) – Five people seated, feet touching around the circle, to make a protective raft safe from the shark.

You can make any kind of configuration you want to make different groupings.  we use “Raft” to get groups of four.  Four people laying on their stomach making a square raft.


Dice and Cones


Use this video to show give your visual learners an example.

  • Concept being Used:   Directional (Forward, Backward and Sideward) movements
  • Prerequisites: Prior learning of Directional movements, counting to at least 12.
  • Materials needed: 12 Control Cones; large foam dice.

Have students place a traffic cone upright on the floor in own spaces around the general space. Prompt them to keep cones away from wall and center (meeting circle) area. To begin the activity, review the different directions (Forward, Backward and Sideways) they can move; while walking, jog/running, hoping, skipping, sliding, traveling on bottom, etc.). Explain that you will be rolling the die you have in your hand. They will all call out the number together, and then they can go and travel using the direction that is determined, to move to that number (the number of the dice) of cones. They should touch the top of each cone they come to; when they are done, they then perform the movement back to the center circle. Change the direction you call out. You can also have students roll the die. Encourage the students to find many ways of traveling using the different directions.

Alternate Tasks:

  • Allow the students to choose the direction they will use to travel to the cones.
  • Have the students choose a different direction to use each time they go to another cone.
  • Have the students in small groups, (groups of six using flag colors) each with their own dice.  These groups can decide together which direction they will use while traveling each time to the cones.  In this case the students can use the control cones as a class, even though they will be doing the activity as a group of six.

Assessment Ideas:

  • As the children travel, watch to see they are using the correct direction.
  • When they task allows the children to choose the direction, ask them to tell you what direction they are traveling in, as they travel.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

  • Have students move in a way they find easiest to that number of cones.

Dice Fitness

Dice Fitness
Dice Fitness

3rd Grade California Math Standard: Understand properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division.

Times tables: Differentiate the math task based on what the class is studying.

You can use stopwatches or pedometers to determine the length of the activity.

  • Six or twelve fitness stations spread out evenly around the perimeter of the game space.  Cones with the station number visible, and the activity to be done clearly posted will be the workout stations.
  • Hoops for the teams home base will be spread out inside the boundaries.  These hoops will contain the dice if you are using small dice, and will also serve as home base between workouts.  Each time they roll the dice, the team will calculate the math problem at the hoop, (take turns), and then go to the station to do the activity.
  • Use pedometers and do the number of steps that the two die equal when they are multiplied, or stop watches to calculate the number of seconds to do a cardiovascular activity.
  • Do repetitions equal to the answer when you are using strength activities.
  • In this example we use 6 stations and are focusing on Multiplication tables; the six sided dice tells you the station, the 12 sided dice will be multiplied by 7 to practice the 7 times tables.

Clean Up – Mess Up

This is a fun game that practices moving to and from the boundaries, while practicing cleaning up; with little fun messing up in between!  During the game you can also introduce Sorting; putting the garbage away according to color or type.

Begin with the yarn balls or bean bags, or both, spread out around inside the boundaries.  the game begins with everyone picking up the “garbage”, one at a time, and putting it on a vinyl spot.  The intention is to practice moving to the boundaries, and not beyond them.  this also helps the children identify and become familiar with where the boundaries are.

Once the area is clean, ask the children to mess up the space by putting the garbage back into the space.  If you are using bean bags, it’s good to work on putting the bean bag or yarn ball inside the boundaries “safely”.  Making sure to put it where no person is.  If you say, “don’t throw it”, you are creating your own reality, which is what I did in the video and you can see that they definitely throw the stuff.  Talking privately with the children who are not being safe, ie: throwing the stuff, will work better to curb throwing.  If necessary, ask the child who insists on throwing to sit out by a cone and watch for one turn.  While they are sitting out, be sure to talk with them, asking if they are willing to play the game safely?  If they agree, get them back into the activity as quickly as possible.

The video is a short clip of me explaining the game and the children playing.

The video is intentionally blurred to mask the features of the children.



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