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First Day of School Activity: Following-Directions Follies

Subjects

  • Physical Education
    --Games
    --Exercise/Movement

Grade

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

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Brief Description

This fun activity assesses students' ability to observe and follow directions.

Objectives

Students will

  • follow written instructions.
  • carefully observe the actions of each person.
  • perform the activity without error.

Keywords

activity, following directions, observe, observation, fun

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • slips of paper with written instructions for students to follow; the activity below includes enough instruction slips for 20 students and one leader

Lesson Plan

This activity tests students' abilities to observe and follow directions. It's a fun activity for any time of year, but at that start of the year, it can provide insight into students' ability to follow directions.

To start the activity, distribute to each student a small slip of paper with a simple instruction written on it. You should have a paper slip too; or appoint a student to lead the activity. Each slip of paper has a different instruction in the following format: "After somebody _____, then you will _____." For example: After somebody stands up and spins around two times, then you will call out "She sells seashells by the seashore" three times as fast as you can.

Enough instructions for 20 students and one leader appear below. If more than 20 students are in your class, create a new instruction for each additional student.

Each student must pay very close attention to the actions of every other student. When a student sees another student doing the activity that appears on his or her slip after the words After somebody ________, that student should be ready to do whatever action appears on his or her slip after the words then you will ________ .

Following are three sample instructions that will give you an idea of how the activity should flow:

After somebody stands up and spins around two times, then you will hum the tune to the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

After somebody hums the tune to the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," then you will stand up and do five jumping jacks

After somebody stands up and does five jumping jacks, then you will clap your hands four times.

Start the Activity
To start the activity, the teacher or appointed activity leader, ignoring the After somebody stands and... instruction on his or her slip, simply does the then you will... action. The other students observe the leader's action to see if it is the action that appears on their slips following the After somebody... The student holding the slip that states that action then performs his or her action.

The game continues until the cycle is complete and each student has performed the action on his or her slip.

The idea of the activity is to see how fast the actions can cycle through the entire class. Once you have done the activity once, you might repeat it to see if students can beat the time they recorded for the first time through.

After students have done the activity two or three times, you might collect the slips and have student pick new slips, so they have a new action to do and will have to focus on the new instructions.

The teacher/leader will want to keep a master sheet and observe the activity, because some students might not follow the precise instructions when they perform their actions; others might jump in and perform their actions out of turn.

The Instructions
Print the list below and cut it into strips. If more than 20 students are in your class, you will need to create additional instructions. Be sure the first new instruction you write follows the last instruction below.

You also might consider writing some instructions that relate to curriculum you have taught. For example, "you will call out the name of five former presidents of the United States."

 

After somebody STANDS UP AND SPINS AROUND TWO TIMES, then you will HUM THE TUNE TO THE SONG "ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT."

After somebody HUMS THE TUNE TO THE SONG "ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT," then you will STAND UP AND DO FIVE JUMPING JACKS.

After somebody STANDS UP AND DOES FIVE JUMPING JACKS, then you will CLAP YOUR HANDS FOUR TIMES.

After somebody CLAPS THEIR HANDS FOUR TIMES, then you will STAND UP, WALK ALL THE WAY AROUND THE CLASSROOM AND THEN GO BACK TO YOUR SEAT.

After somebody STANDS UP, WALKS ALL THE WAY AROUND THE CLASSROOM AND THEN GOES BACK TO HIS OR HER SEAT, then you will CALL OUT "SHE SELLS SEASHELLS BY THE SEASHORE" THREE TIMES AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

After somebody CALLS OUT "SHE SELLS SEASHELLS BY THE SEASHORE" THREE TIMES AS FAST AS HE OR SHE CAN, then you will STAND UP AND HOP THREE TIMES ON ONE FOOT.

After somebody STANDS UP AND HOPS THREE TIMES ON ONE FOOT, then you will RECITE THE WORDS TO THE PIG VERSE OF THE SONG "OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM."

After somebody RECITES THE WORDS TO THE PIG VERSE OF THE SONG "OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM," then you will STAND UP, GET A SHEET OF MATH PAPER, CRUMPLE THE PAPER, AND TOSS IT TO THE PERSON WHO DID THE ACTION JUST BEFORE YOURS.

After somebody STANDS, GETS A SHEET OF MATH PAPER, CRUMPLES THE PAPER AND TOSSES IT TO THE PERSON WHO DID THE ACTION JUST BEFORE HE OR SHE DID, then you will CALL OUT ALL 26 LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET, IN ORDER, AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

After somebody CALLS OUT ALL 26 LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET, IN ORDER, AS FAST AS HE OR SHE CAN, then you will STAND UP AND SPIN AROUND THREE TIMES.

After somebody STANDS UP AND SPINS AROUND THREE TIMES, then you will HUM ONE VERSE OF THE SONG "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU."

After somebody HUMS ONE VERSE OF THE SONG "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU," then you will STAND UP AND DO THREE JUMPING JACKS.

After somebody STANDS UP AND DOES THREE JUMPING JACKS, then you will RECITE THE WORDS TO "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB."

After somebody RECITES THE WORDS TO "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB," then you will CLAP YOUR HANDS TOGETHER SIX TIMES.

After somebody CLAPS HIS OR HER HANDS TOGETHER SIX TIMES, then you will STAND UP AND JUMP UP AND DOWN FOUR TIMES ON BOTH FEET.

After somebody STANDS UP AND JUMPS UP AND DOWN ON BOTH FEET FOUR TIMES, then you will CALL OUT "SHE SEES CHEESE" CAN THREE TIMES AS FAST AS YOU.

After somebody CALLS OUT "SHE SEES CHEESE" THREE TIMES AS FAST AS HE OR SHE CAN, then you will STAND UP, STRETCH, AND LET OUT A BIG YAWN.

After somebody STANDS UP, STRETCHES, AND LETS OUT A BIG YAWN, then you will COUNT BY 5s TO 100.

After somebody COUNTS BY 5s TO 100, then you will RECITE THE WORDS TO THE COW VERSE OF THE SONG "OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM."

After somebody RECITES THE WORDS TO THE COW VERSE OF THE SONG "OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM," then you will STAND UP AND HOP FIVE TIMES ON ONE FOOT.

After somebody STANDS UP AND HOPS FIVE TIMES ON ONE FOOT, then you will STAND UP AND SPIN AROUND TWO TIMES.

 

[Return to the top instruction.]

Assessment

This activity will help you assess students' abilities to follow directions.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding

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