Let's Get Moving Unit
Comparing Physical Activity Choices
Back to Let's Get Moving Unit Lesson Plans
- 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 activity.
- 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.
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 (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 groups.
- 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 as well.
- The Personal Trainer
A handy calorie counter to assess energy (caloric) expenditure of different activities.
- 99 Tips for Family Fitness Fun
This website is also part of the "Shape-up America" website.
- The Fitness Library
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", among others.