Move It or Lose It!

9, 10, 11, 12

Students look at the role exercise plays in overall health.  They make a plan to engage younger children in more active play and exercise.

PrintOne 50-Minute Class Period and Additional Time for a Gym Field Trip
The learner will:
  • statethat regular exercise is an important element in overall health.
  • differentiate between anaerobic and aerobic exercise.
  • create a plan to increase personal amount of exercise.
  • observe types of exercise through a field trip to a gym.
  • develop a plan to teach younger students aboutexercise or to engagethem in active play.
  • Writing paper, pencils, clipboard
  • permission forms for a field trip to a local gym
Teacher Preparation 

Day Two of this lesson includes a visit to an exercise facility. Make arrangements in advance for the field trip. Arrange for someone to meet the class there and provide a tour and information about types of exercise to target different needs. Also arrange for drivers/chaperones and permission forms.

  • exercise: activity that uses your muscles in ways that help you keep fit
  • aerobic exercise: exercise that gets your heart going, lasts more than 90 seconds, and provides oxygen to the muscles
  • anaerobic exercise: exercise that is intense enough to build muscle strength; promotes speed and power

Have students write a reflection about the effects of eating healthier, sleeping better, and exercising more.  


  1. Day One:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss how the students feel about their health after having time to practice eating well and sleeping more. Have they been able to make any changes? Do they notice any positive changes in their energy or good feeling? Tell the students that another important factor in good health is exercise. Ask the students what they enjoy doing for exercise.

  2. Define aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Discuss examples of exercise for each. (Aerobic includes running, dancing, swimming, and biking. Anaerobic includes weight lifting, jumping, push-ups, and sit-ups.) Talk about why each of these is important for keeping our bodies in their best shape.
  3. Lead the class in some exercises. Have them run or walk brisklyaround the school building or in the gym. Do some warm-ups together, such as crunches, push-ups, arm circles, jumping jacks, and stretches. Have them measure their pulse before and after the exercises. Talk about how they feel.
  4. Ask the students to self-assess whether they get enough of each type of exercise to remain in good health. Ask them to name some obstacles to exercising regularly. Talk about how they can work around the obstacles. Talk about how they might help others get more active.
  5. Encourage students to add an exercise routine to their week. Tell students to write in their calendars/planners at least three times for the next three weeks some new exercise. For example, on Tuesday at 4:00, walk briskly for 40 minutes. (Make sure to check back with students several times over the next three weeks to see how it is going and how they feel.)
  6. Talk about whether children at a local elementary school might benefit from some older students playing some active games with them. Discuss a plan for approaching the school with a recess time game plan or an after-school sports team run by this class. Tell them that engaging kids in exercise and fun helps make the community healthier.
  7. Prepare the students for the field trip to an exercise facility in the following session by discussing what they will see and learn.
  8. Day Two:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Visit a local fitness facility/gym/health club. Prepare the students for the visit by reviewing rules and expectations for good behavior. Tell the students their role is to listen and ask appropriate questions about types of exercise and the benefits of different exercises and equipment.

  9. Have students bring note paper and a clipboard and pencil so they can take notes about the types of exercise they learn about.
  10. While at the gym, the students make observations about what they find interesting and what they can use later in their own exercise routines. Theytake notes on what people are doing, how they are dressed, and the types of jobs there are at such a facility.
  11. When they return, students each make a chart of exercises they plan to do. The chart can be organized by day or week, and should include boxes for taking notes on how long they did the exercise, repetitions,and how they felt.
  12. Support the students as they carry out a service plan to help younger children get more active. This may involve playing active games with them, performing a demonstration, or promoting exercise with a humorous skit or a poster campaign. They should make a plan, carry it out, and reflect on how the younger students reacted to their action.
With the students, evaluate the progress on the service-learning project. Have them consider the steps they took before, during, and after working with the younger students. Use these sample questions or come up with your own evaluation. What went well? What would you change about the project? What did you learn about health and fitness? What did you learn about motivating others to be active or to make healthy food choices? How did the children respond?
Cross Curriculum 
Students form a plan and carry it out to encourage younger students to be more active. This may include a demonstration or performance, making posters, or playing active games with the youth.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.