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Fitness Lab
Subject: Exercise and Movement
Grade: K-2, 3-5

Brief Description

This lab is used to show children the benefits of exercise through active participation.


The learner will complete several stations set up throughout the room. In completing the stations, the learner will identify the activities that brought her/his heart rate up from a resting level.

The learner will experience the benefits of stretching before completing exercise. In doing so, the student will understand the benefits of flexibility and of stretching on a daily basis.


  • Measurement
  • Exercise
  • Heart Rate
  • Stretching
  • Measuring

Materials Needed

  • Stations:
    • A station for jumping jacks (or just jumping if the child is too young for jacks)
    • A station for sit-ups
    • A station for running in place
    • A station for stretching into a pretzel position (mats if possible, carpet for sure)
    • A station for measuring body fat (if your students can do the calculations, some may not, this is not an essential part of the lab)
  • Paper sheets to record the learner's heart rate
  • Ruler
  • Pencils
  • A timer that rings loud enough that all students will be able to hear it when it rings

Lesson Plan

This lesson perfectly ends a unit on nutrition and fitness.

Set up the stations around the room and place the students in small groups to complete the stations. I have found that it is best to mix the younger students and separate, by age, the older ones. Begin the lesson by reading the instructions for each station out loud to the entire group. Then, as a group, stretch, beginning with the large muscle groups of the body (the legs) and end with the small groups (the head, neck and arms). Depending on your group you may want to start out each station at 30 seconds. My group of second graders was so excited after two weeks of learning about the benefits of exercise that we started at 1 minute. Set the timer and monitor the groups. When the timer goes off, tell them to walk in place as they count their heart rate (Tell them to start, watch the clock for 10 seconds, then tell them to write down their heart rate by the station number that they are currently at). Rotate all of the students through the stations. If you are on block time you may be able to do this twice and increase the time amount for each station. End with the same stretching routine that you began the class with. Keep the body fat measurements personal but ask the students which stations accelerated their heart rates the most and why that was so. Take some time to discuss the difficulty of each station and also if they think they would be able to do it every day. Some of these exercises may develop into your morning circle activities! The students love them and they are great for them.


If you journal, ask your students to write about the exercise activity in their journal. Look for correlations between the students' activity level and their satisfaction with the experience. This should help them develop the desire to make lifestyle changes and demonstrate to them the need for exercise in everyone's life.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by Andrea Royer, [email protected]
Indiana, Indiana, PA, USA


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