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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Body Shapes with Stretch Ropes
The previous lesson included making a jump rope into the different shapes on the floor and then using their bodies to make the same shape next to the rope.
Purpose of Activity:
Student will form the body shapes (wide, narrow, rounded, and twisted) while using a piece of equipment.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
1 Chinese jump rope per student; Large flash cards with shapes (either the name; or picture of them) drawn on them for visual cues;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

After the instant activity, bring students in to a group. Explain that today they are going to make a variety of body shapes, which they have previously learned, using the stretch ropes. Review and discuss the rules for using the stretch ropes: never put the rope across the throat, never pull the rope and then let go of it, and never twist it around a body part more than once (show this as you discuss it). Show how you can put them behind your neck and use your arms and feet to make the body shapes...although there are other ways to use the rope, too!

Once students are in a self space and ready, hold up a flashcard showing a specific shape and give the related challenges which follow. After you give each challenge, walk around and pinpoint students who are demonstrating good examples of each shape.


"Show me how you can make a rounded body shape [while using the rope] on a low level... medium level... high level."

"Show me how you can make a narrow body shape on a low level... medium level... high level.

"Show me how you can make a wide shape on a low level... medium level... high level."

"Show me how you can make a twisted body shape on a low level." (Remind the students that their bodies have to be twisted not just the rope.) Show a medium level twisted shape... high level.
You can also have students switch from making one shape to another as you give a signal. At each signal, they have to make a different body shape. Vary the time in between each signal...sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

If time, have students work with a partner to make the shapes. (You many want to save this for the older students.) Be sure to stress safety. When done, have students safely put away the stretch ropes.

Teaching Suggestions:

Students can make a body shape using limbs instead of the whole body.

For the poster cards, use 1/4 of a large poster for each card and use thick markers to draw the shapes.

Look for the stretch ropes in the party section of department stores such as K-Mart, or check out what the different equipment companies offer.

Assessment Ideas:

As you walk around and observe students, check to see if each child is/not correctly making the body shape called out.
Sharon Welch who teaches at Potowmack Elementary School in Sterling , VA . Posted on PEC: 5/30/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: