Let's Get Moving Unit
Comparing Physical Activity Choices
- Grade level: Upper Elementary, Middle School
- Subject Area: Health and Sports, Math
Students bring in their physical
activity logs and work in pairs to calculate their average number of
minutes per day of physical activity (p.a.) during the week of data collection.
Following this activity, the whole class gathers to calculate their total
number of minutes of p.a. and their average number of minutes of p.a. per
student per day and per week. Each student can compare their average and
total minutes of p.a. with other students in the class. Then, students can
estimate the relative energy (or caloric) expenditure of each of their p.a.
choices, and this can lead to a discussion about the different activities
they participate in. Information about the relative energy expenditure of
various physical activities is available at the websites listed below.
- Compare the type, duration, and intensity of their own physical activities
with those of classmates.
- Consider what might constitute a healthy "dose" of physical
- Compare and contrast the relative energy (caloric) expenditure associated
with different forms of physical activity.
- Consider which activities you are most likely to participate in on
a regular basis.
In developing our lessons and activities, we made
some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available
in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that
teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer
(PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard,
and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking
or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably
Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify
any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or
activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet
access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: Modem-speed: high
- Classroom materials: Calculators.
After locating the necessary information on-line
or in print media, students work in pairs or small groups to calculate their
total number of minutes of physical activity (p.a.) per week, as well as
their average number of minutes of p.a. per day. The whole class can total
the number of minutes of physical activity for the week and calculate a
class average for minutes of activity per day. Next, the students should
compare the relative intensity of their own physical activities with those
of others. Information about the relative energy expenditure associated
with various physical activities is available at the websites listed below.
- Students are organized into pairs or small groups to sum their total
number of minutes of physical activity for the week, using the Physical Activity
Log. Then, by dividing the total by seven (7), they can calculate the
average minutes of p.a. per day. Have the students also consider the relative
intensity levels of their selected activities.
- Have the students help each other as they calculate totals and averages
to check the results. Students can discuss their exercise habits and share
their total and average amounts of physical activity per day in these small
- As a whole class, ask each student to report on his/her total amount
of physical activity (p.a.) for the week and average p.a. per day and tally
these up on the chalkboard. Calculate the total p.a. for the entire class
for the week and the average p.a. per day for the entire class. Discuss
with students how some students average more p.a. per day than the class
average, while others average less. Ask students which activities will
burn more energy (calories) than others.
- Students should be encouraged to discuss their exercise habits and
talk about ways of maintaining or increasing their physical activity individually
and as a group. Ask them to consider and talk about how they might change
their lifestyle habits to increase their overall and average amounts of
physical activity. Ask them which activities they believe presently account
for "most" of their daily physical activity. Ask them how they
might get their family members to increase their physical activity levels
- The Personal Trainer
A handy calorie counter to assess energy (caloric) expenditure of different
- 99 Tips for Family Fitness Fun
This website is also part of the "Shape-up America" website.
The Fitness Library is full of helpful articles and advice on weight management,
nutrition, and physical activity. You can also catch up on the latest news
in health and fitness, read book reviews and browse through past monthly
features. Read the article, "Ways to BoostYour Physical Activity Level",
to Let's Get Moving Unit Lesson Plans
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