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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Fitness Obstacle Course
Purpose of Activity:
To involve students in an activity which keeps them moving for an extended length of time, thus working on cardiovascular endurance.
Suggested Grade Level:
3-5
Materials Needed:
2 large cones; 1 small cone; 7 jump ropes; 2 scooters; 4-5 "jumping boxes"; 4 mats; 1 pull-up bar; 1 table; 8 hula hoops
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Before the lesson, set up the following obstacles around the perimeter of the gymnasium or teaching area according to the following description. Obstacles and/or order can be varied depending upon the equipment one has available.

1. Scooter-board Slide: Make two hurdles approximately 5 feet apart using two very large cones (30" or higher) and two jump ropes put through the holes in the cones. Set up one small cone or other marker for the "start" place. Student lays, sits, etc. on the scooter (must have one body part on scooter at all times) and pulls/pushes self under the hurdles. When done, he/she moves to the side and pushes the scooter back to the "start" spot, for the next student in line to receive and use.

2. Jump-rope Jammin': Student uses short jump rope to jump ten times, any way desired.

3. Plyometrics Power: Place four to five "jumping boxes" in a row, with approximately three feet of space in between each box. Students must jump, using two feet, onto each box, off the box onto the floor, then onto next box, etc. until they reach the end. For directions on how to make a "jumping box", see "Hints" below.

4. Movin' on the Mat: Place a large gymnastics mat lengthwise along the perimeter of the course. Students may move any way they desire across the mat.

5. Vaulting Obstacle: Set up a large, rectangular (2"x6"), solid table, taking care to "lock" the legs into position (legs must adequately support the table). Turn it crosswise to the direction of the course. Place a large gymnastics mat over the table, placing the fold of the mat at the edges of the table. Place another mat on the "down" side of the table, for students to land on. Students must move onto and over the obstacle any way they wish. Caution students to have only one student on the obstacle at a time and to use no "risky" moves in getting off the obstacle (e.g., "flips" in the air).

6. Stepping Up: Students step up and down ten times on steps or a "jumping box", leading with one leg and moving only one foot at a time (e.g., "right up, left up, right down, left down").

7. Hoop Hoppin': Make one row of four hoops, making sure each hoop touches one(s) next to it. Add another row of four hoops beside these, so that the two rows touch in the middle. (You end up with two rows of four each, beside and touching each other, a lathe "tire agility run" found in football). Students must move through the hoops, using only one foot to land in each hoop.

8. Captain Crunch: Students lay on mat to perform ten abdominal crunches or curl-ups, having a partner hold their feet down. Students switch positions when done.

9. Pull-up Place: Students do as many pull-ups (or hold body up as high) as possible on a pull-up bar.

10. Cartwheel Craze : Lay a folded gymnastics mat crosswise to the direction of movement. Students must place hands on the mat and kick feet to the other side of the mat, in cartwheel or round-off fashion.

11. Stretch Station : Students perform any stretch of their choice, holding it for ten seconds.

At the beginning of the lesson, explain each station in order of movement, making sure to note any safety concerns. Remind students that only one student should be moving through any one "station" at a time. If necessary (or appropriate), have a student demonstrate the station. Make sure students do not have any questions as to direction of travel.

Place two to three students together at one "station" in the course, so that students are scattered around the course. When the music begins, students begin to move through the course.

If need be, stop the music to reiterate any safety or other concerns you see. Have any student who does not correctly or fully complete a station go back to complete it correctly. Approximately 12 15 minutes into the course, have students take a rest (if needed).

At the end of the lesson, remind students that this type of continuous activity, for approximately this amount of time (20-25 minutes), is what can help them develop and keep a healthy heart and muscles.

Variations:

Make "jumping boxes" by having the school cafeteria save the large cans vegetables come in, as well as the box the cans come in. When empty, place all cans, bottom-side up, back in the box. Tape the box shut and mark the word "UP" on the top of the box.

If possible, work a water break into the course. Students will be going all-out in this activity, and they will appreciate the break!

Be sure to keep an eye out for any safety concerns.

Assessment Ideas:

During the lesson, make sure students are performing each station correctly.

For a more formal assessment, ask students to write down (either at the end of the lesson, if time, or for homework) other activities they do -- or could do -- which would give them a similar "workout" to that which they had in this lesson. Make sure they give activities which offer a cardiovascular workout.
Author:
Christine Hopple who teaches at Crystal Spring and Virginia Heights Elementary Sch in Roanoke , VA . Posted on PEC: 3/23/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (www.pecentral.org).
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