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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Pump It Up With Paper Plates!
After the instant activity, I introduce the lesson with "aerobics" and explain increase in HR. / My students are taught how to find their pulse the first week of school. / Students should know how to jump with control and travel through open space carefully. / Students should also know overhand and underhand throwing cues.
Purpose of Activity:
To provide students with creative "home"work ideas.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
music!; wide masking tape already stuck to walls (enough for one per student); one paper plate per student (plus extras if needed); and one yarnball per student;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Gym Set up: Spread out paper plates around the floor (lip up). Roll pieces of tape and stick on the walls, about waist high, throughout the gym. (Enough for each student, plus a few extras.)

Intro: Students come in and stand beside a plate. Quickly explain to your students that they will be using paper plates today. Let them know that they can be creative at home with these activities. Remind them to take care of the plate and remember personal space.

1. Coffee Grinder Tag- Pick 2-3 taggers. If tagged, take your plate to the corner and do 1-2 coffee grinders. A Coffee Grinder is done by supporting your body with one arm. Hand on paper plate. Walk your legs around as the plate lets you spin. Change taggers periodically.
2. Paper Plate Boogie- Students follow the “aerobics instructor” through an aerobic routine using the paper plates. Pick some upbeat music and have fun. Lead the students with directional cues. Get your heart pumping! Check your heart rate after to see the effects!
3. Travel Time- Students travel through the gym to music and freeze with the heel on the center of the plate when the music stops. Try the elbow, knee, etc., and ask for a body part idea from a student. Try jumping over plates (I like to call them "mud puddles") as you move!
4. Target Practice: Ask students to stick their paper plate, lip up, on a piece of tape. Next, they get one yarnball and freeze. Discuss “targets” and discuss “throwing.” When the music starts, students travel around the gym. When the music stops, they must go to the wall and put their yarnball in the middle of a plate. This will be their target. Take 3-5 steps away and overhand/underhand throw to the target.
5. Statues- Students stand back to back with a partner. When they hear music, they move away from their partner. When the music stops, they find the same partner and form a statue using the paper plates as props. Try letting them change partners (2nd grade) each time.


I give my students homework. I encourage them to lead an aerobics routine with paper plates to family members. They love it!

Let the children decorate their plate with a favorite scene from a physical education class to hang on the gym wall!


Try... Targets with a Twist: Have colors or letters on the paper plates. Ask students to travel to the plates and hit the ones that spell their name, favorite sport, color, their age, etc.

Assessment Ideas:

1. Can the students monitor their pulse and tell you why it is faster while exercising?
2. Can they move through space with control following directional cues?
3. Are they stepping with opposition when throwing?

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

If the student is unable to hold onto the plate, the plate is light enough to stick to a sleeve or hand while doing the aerobic exercise.
Sara Mallory in Richmond, VA. Posted on PEC: 3/30/2003.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
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