- Grade level: Upper Elementary, Middle School
- Subject Area: Health and Sports, Math
This unit encourages students to consider many different forms of physical activity which might appeal to them, to keep track of how much exercise they get, and to compare their own activity choices with those of other students around the country.
- Keep a daily log of their own physical activities for a one or two-week period.
- Consider which activities they are most likely to participate in on a regular basis.
- Consider ways to involve their family members in their physical activities.
- Use the Internet to to compare and discuss physical activity choices with other children around the world.
Materials and Resources
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 with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as a World Wide Web browser. 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: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or higher.
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Keeping a Physical Activity Log. In this activity, students take home a log to keep a record of their daily and weekly physical activity patterns. This allows them to assess their curent physical activity habits.
- Lesson Two: Classroom Comparison of Activities. Students bring in their physical activity logs and work in pairs to calculate their average amount of physical activity per day during the week in which the data is collected. Following this, the whole class gathers to calculate both their total and average amounts of physical activity per student per week and per day.
- Lesson Three: Family Fitness Students will consider which physical activities are best suited to the needs of their family members. Next they will consider a few activities in which they can participate together with family members, and describe a strategy to help their family become more physically active.
Relation to Standards
We have drawn on standards suggested by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) These standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus this kind of research work in their classrooms.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection, or where they have access to computers outside of school. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students take turns working in groups using the computer with Internet access.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them on a disk. Now you can transfer the files you saved on a disk to the other non-Internet computers. Installing copies of your Web browser on all non-Internet computers will allow you to view the pages you saved to a disk. This will not allow students to explore hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with the Web browser.