Movement Across the Curriculum

60 minutes a day




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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.


Cardio/Strength Relay

Cardio/Strength Relay

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Set the game up on a basketball court with all the playing cards in a pile, upside down in the center court.  The partners line up across one of the two sidelines, leaving enough space to have two piles of cards (Cardio and Strength) and the ability to do the exercises. Begin the game with both partners jogging, one in place and one to the center to get a card and then jog back.   The partners decide if the exercise is mainly strength or mainly cardiovascular, and put the card in the appropriate hoop.  Both partners do the exercise; 100 steps for cardiovascular and 20 Reps for strength. The partner who picked the card stays and jogs in place until the second partner runs and retrieves another card.  Continue this pattern until the team has all 14 cards.

If a player retrieves a double (same card that has already been sorted), the players do the exercise and then when the player runs to middle to retrieve the next card, the duplicate card must be put back into the middle.

Assessment.  You can assess the students form as they do the exercise.  You can also assess whether they know the difference between cardiovascular exercise and strength.

I always stretch at the end of every lesson.  No matter what, we take 2 minutes to stretch the major muscles used in class.  If necessary, you can review while the students stretch.

Click the link below for the Cardiovascular and Strength Game Cards.  They are formatted six to a page. Print as many copies as you need to create one set per partner group.

Complete Set Fitness Game Cards

Differentiation Ideas:

You can play this game using anything you have to categorize.  I played “reptile or amphibian” with my 4th grade!  Played this game and the students had to decide if it was reptile or amphibian.  If it was reptile, they chose a cardio exercise to do for 100 number of steps.  Strength was Amphibian, 10 of their choice for strength. Allowing the students to choose the cardiovascular or strength exercise allows you to assess their ability to identify whether an activity is mainly strength or cardiovascular.  Again you can assess form as well as their ability to classify, in this case, reptiles and amphibians!

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Body Part Identification – Travel/Stop Musical Spots

PPT Musical Spots

This movement activity that will provide 10 minutes of movement time!  The PowerPoint presentation provides visual and audio cues for your children to listen to and watch for as they travel through the classroom when the music plays, and put the identified body part on the vinyl spot when the music stops!  Listening skills and body part identification are among the many skills and concepts being practiced.  Use the time that the children are putting the body part on the vinyl spot to formatively assess the children’s ability to identify and locate the correct body part.

Teaching Tips

  • Make sure the children stop traveling when the music stops.  Even if they don’t go to a spot, they should all stop traveling.
  • Help children identify the correct body part, make sure they put the correct body on the vinyl spot.  You may have to call out the body part to help some children know which part to use.
  • Remind the children to look at the screen when the music stops.  That is how they will know which body part to use.

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