Movement Across the Curriculum

60 minutes a day


Movement Activity

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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Travel/Stop with emphasis on Directions (Forward, Backward and Sideways)

This movement activity provides almost 4 minutes of organized movement.  Use this video to practice the three Directions; traveling forward, backward and sideways.  The music plays with the surface of the body that represents the direction to travel, up on the screen.  When the music stops, the stop sign pops up, and the children should stop and look for the next direction to use when the music begins again!  The new direction will show up 5 seconds before the music starts again.  Make sure the children wait to travel until the music begins again.  Use the 5 seconds to talk about how the students might travel in the new direction.

You can travel through the children as they move, making sure they are traveling in the correct direction.  You can also use that time to point out the different body parts that are leading as the children travel!

This is also a wonderful formative assessment tool for assessing the Head Start Outcome;

Gross Motor Skills – The control of large muscles for movement, navigation, and balance.

  • Understands movement concepts, such as control of the body, how the body moves (such as an awareness of space and directionality), and that the body can move independently or in coordination with other objects.

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.



Pete the Cat goes for a Walk

After reading the story “Pete the Cat; I Love My White Shoes” and teaching the concept of “Walking” I used this video to practice walking, color identification, empathy and listening.  It’s the author and a musician, reading and enacting the story. You can also see it on YouTube @

Anytime the story is being read, or the song is being sung, everybody walks around the room.  When Pete steps in the various puddles and piles of stuff, we all stop and say “Oh No” and then when Pete starts singing and walking again, so do we!

Teaching Tips

  • Move with the children, complimenting those who move safely, avoiding other students.
  • Encourage the children to move to open spaces as they walk around the room space.
  • If you have taught directions (forward, backward and sideways) then encourage them to walk in the different directions as they travel through the room space.

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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