Movement Across the Curriculum

60 minutes a day


Grade 5

Mission Dribble

California Benchmark Fourth Grade Social Studies:

  • 4.2 Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.

Mission Dribble:

Set up a row of cones, evenly spread apart for the students to weave in and out of as they dribble. – Station cards on each cone will have the Mission’s Name and Picture on one side of the card and the and the Card # with a selection of facts on the back.

Directions: Dribble the puck weaving through the row of cones, as you move through the cones you will pass some of the missions established in California.  When you approach the cards from the picture side of the mission, try to think of as many facts as you can about that mission, when you pass the mission, look to see how you did.  As you pass the cards from the fact side, see if you can figure out the mission before you pass it.  Keep practicing until you can name the mission and some facts before you see the answer on the card.


  • Differentiate the activity by letting the students choose the six cards that will be on the cones as they dribble and practice remembering the missions.
  • United States Dribble – Have signs with the states and the industry they are known for, or facts that need to be learned about the states.
  • Dribbling with Basketball or a soccer ball.

Jump & Spell

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Physical activity is good for brain, feeding it Glucose & Oxygen all of which make easier for Children of all ages learn & memorize. This is a warm up I used for my second grade a couple years ago.  Mr. Casey, the second grade teacher, was telling me that the class was having a difficult time with spelling in general.  I started warming the class up with jumping rope while they individually spelled the spelling words as a warm up; and Mr. Casey began working on spelling in the classroom immediately follwoing physical education.  I checked in with Mr. Casey each morning I taught the second grade, got the spelling words and then posted them on a PowerPoint slide or if we were outside, on a big white board.  The second grade actually performed the best, on average, of any class Mr. Casey had in his years of teaching!

More Rhythm and Spelling activities from:

  • Hula Hoop and spell words out loud.
  • Hopscotch Spelling – Write letters outside in chalk or play indoors with large letter cards on floor. Hop from letter to letter to spell words.
  • Bounce a Ball – bounce a ball as you spell words – 1 bounce per letter.
  • Balloon Bop – keep a balloon up in the air while spelling your word. This one gets lots of giggles.
  • Froggy Spelling – leap like a frog and spell words – 1 letter for each leap.
  • Jumpin’ Jack – do jumping jacks as you spell words – 1 jump per letter
  • Hop & Spell – hop on one foot as you spell words, this is a great exercise in balance especially with longer words.


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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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Targets around the USA

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Nebraska Social Studies Standards – 2nd thru 4th Grade:

4.1.12 By the end of fourth grade, students will identify the geographic and human characteristics of the regions of the United States and Nebraska. Example indicator:                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Identify capital cities and major cities.

These can be answers from homework assignments from the classroom teacher, review questions to prepare for a test.  This type of information can be found out through collaborations with the classroom teachers.

Station information can be differentiated based on what the class is focused on at the time in social studies and in physical education.

States and Capitals Golf

In this version of the game we play like Frisbee golf, except we don’t use a Frisbee!  Instead, We’re going to play underhand throw golf with bean bags!  We can use this activity to practice accurate throwing or  practice underhand pitching.  The students will also be practicing basic math addition and subtraction too!

The students can set up their own course.  Begin the lesson with the cones and vinyl spots around the perimeter of the class.  Pre-set the cones with the state station cards and course number.  Each student will get a bean bag and go to a cone and spot that matches their bean bag.  Ask your students to take their cone to an own space anywhere inside the playing field, and place their vinyl spot approximately three giant steps away from the cone.

The game begins with each student at the poly spot by their cone, the first Toss underhand will be to the next cone (in number order). Each student will finish their round at the spot, cone they brought out to the course. The game continues while the students keep tossing, from wherever the bean bag lands, Keeping track of how many throws it takes to get the bean bag to touch the cone.  If you knock the cone over you must score a penalty stroke (add one point to your score for that hole) When you get the bean bag to touch the cone, look at the state behind the number.  Write the capital of that state next to the hole number along with your score for that hole.  At the end of the round, add your total score, check your answers and take the total number of capitals you got correct, and subtract that from your score.  The lower your score the better!

The first couple times we play, especially with new states, I let the students self monitor.  Its an honor system. As they finish the hole, after the write the Capital down, they can look at the answer to check to see if they were correct.

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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.

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