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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Exploring Pathways
Purpose of Activity:
To help children learn about straight, curved, and zigzag pathways.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
Ribbon sticks can be purchased through most physical activity equipment catalogs or can be constructed using the following directions; To make ribbon sticks you will need 18-inch-long; 1/4–inch-diameter wooden dowel sticks; a double sided fish swivel; some fishing line; and 10 feet of cloth ribbon 1-1/2 inches wide; Drill a small hole in one end of the stick and attach the fish swivel to the stick using approximately 4 inches of fishing line; Fold over one end of the ribbon about ¼-inch and sew it to keep it from unraveling; Fold over the other end of the ribbon and sew onto it a 1-inch square of cardboard; similar to a note pad backing; This keeps the ribbon from tangling; When you sew the cardboard onto the ribbon; include a piece of fishing line; which you attach to the swivel; The ribbon stick is now completed;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Make sure children understand they must not get into another child’s space. Use carpet squares for children to stand on so they are evenly spaced throughout the room. Ask children to hold their sticks tight as they move their ribbons throughout the space in front of them to practice the following:

Wipers – In this movement, patterned after the motion of windshield wipers, children move their hands and arms from right to left as the ribbon flows back and forth high in the air in a curved pathway.

Circles – “Hold the end of the stick and move your hand and arm in a large circle in front of your body. Can you make circles at your side? Can you make a circle over your head?”

Floor Sweeps – “Move your ribbon from side to side on the floor in front of you. Can you pretend that you are sweeping the floor?”

Fishing – Children use the ribbon stick as a fishing pole. They move the stick into the air and slightly behind the head, then bring the hand and arm forward as if throwing a fishing line into the lake. Next they bring the line back over their heads and begin again making giant curved pathways above their heads.

Squiggle Down – This movement is similar to fishing except when children bring the ribbon forward they should shake it in a zigzag path from above their heads down to the floor.

Snakes – Children love to watch the ribbon move like a snake on the floor. Ask that children put the ribbon on the floor in front of them and then walk backward as the move the ribbon back and forth in a zigzag pathway.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Any child who can hold the ribbon stick can participate in this activity.
Steve Sanders who teaches at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. Posted on PEC: 5/14/2005.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: