Regular exercise has long been known to have numerous health benefits for people of all ages. For first graders, exercise is particularly important as they are still developing physically and mentally. To help instill this healthy habit, Positive Action has developed an evidence-based health education lesson that focuses on physical activity.
The lesson opens with a class discussion about how exercise keeps one strong and healthy. Here, the teacher takes the lead, listing the benefits of staying active: building muscles, maintaining weight, feeling good and positive about one’s body, improving cognitive function, and safeguarding against diseases.
As the lesson progresses, grade 1 students brainstorm different types of exercises that are appropriate for their age, such as playing, walking, and dancing. They practice some of these exercises next to their desks.
"Incorporating daily exercise into a first-grade classroom can have a significant impact on young learners. It not only helps improve their physical health but also their mental well-being."
To make the lesson more fun and engaging, the class sings a song to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus" while performing the actions described in the lyrics. They run in place, twist and turn, touch their toes, reach up high, and bend and stretch.
After this, the teacher prompts the students to think about positive thoughts, actions, and feelings related to exercising. Together, the students conclulde that exercising makes them feel good about themselves.
Incorporating daily exercise into a first-grade classroom can have a significant impact on young learners. It not only helps improve their physical health but also their mental well-being. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase self-confidence. When children feel good about themselves, they are more likely to participate in class and have a positive outlook on life.