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Organize a Lesson Plan

This is an excerpt from Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children-20th Edition by Aaron Beighle & Robert P. Pangrazi.

A standardized lesson plan allows teachers and substitute teachers to exchange plans within a school district. Include the following basic information in your lesson plan:

  1. Outcomes. List the outcomes developed in step 1.
  2. Equipment required. Based on the activities selected and how they will be taught, identify the amounts of materials and supplies required and the way in which the equipment will be distributed.
  3. Instructional activities. List the actual movements and skills to be taught. These were determined in step 3. Place the activities in the proper developmental sequence. You do not need to describe activities in detail, but give enough description so that they can be easily recalled.
  4. Teaching hints. Record organizational tips and important learning cues, including equipment setup, student grouping, and teaching cues. If needed, list text and video references.

A common format is the four-part lesson plan. Figure 6.1 shows a lesson plan taken from the Dynamic PE ASAP website ( Each lesson in this curriculum includes an introductory or warm-up activity, fitness activities, a lesson focus, and a closing activity. Using four parts prepares students for the activity, ensures moderate to vigorous physical activity, teaches skills, and implements skills in a game setting. This structure also allows much flexibility for teachers wishing to use a variety of teaching models. The following sections will describe each part of the lesson in detail.

Figure 6.1 Lesson plan from the Dynamic PE ASAP website. Reprinted by permission from R.P. Pangrazi, Dynamic PE ASAP (Owatonna, MN: Gopher Sport).
FIGURE 6.1 Lesson plan from the Dynamic PE ASAP website.
Reprinted by permission from R.P. Pangrazi, Dynamic PE ASAP (Owatonna, MN: Gopher Sport).

Introductory (Warm-Up) Activity

The introductory (warm-up) activity lasts 2 to 3 minutes (for a 30-minute lesson) and sets the tone for the rest of the lesson. If you can shape a class into a well-behaved group during the introductory activity, such cooperative behavior is easier to maintain for the rest of the lesson.

Starting a lesson is a difficult phase of teaching that can be made easier by practicing management skills, such as stopping on signal, running under control, and so on. An effective rule of thumb is to move and freeze your class three times. If all students are with you after three freezes, begin teaching an introductory activity (chapter 12). But if students are not well managed at that point, skip the introductory activity and practice management skills. Remember that management skills need to take priority over physical development skills. You cannot teach children who are not paying attention to you. Learning to respect others takes top billing in all educational settings. Check out QR code 6.2 to see students engage in an introductory activity. What makes this an effective warm-up for a lesson?

QR code 6.2 Introductory activity

Introductory activities serve the following purposes in the lesson format:

  • Students engage in immediate activity upon entering the activity area. Children want to move right away rather than have to sit down, be quiet, and listen to instructions. Offer vigorous activity first, then give instructions or discuss learning objectives while they recover from vigorous activity.
  • Introductory activities serve as a physiological warm-up, preparing students for physical activity.
  • This part of the lesson can be used for anticipatory set or to review previously learned skills. Anticipatory set previews the skill and cognitive objectives of the lesson.

Physical Fitness and Activity

The second part of the lesson is designed to teach about health-related fitness and promote lifetime physical activity. Include a variety of exercises so that students experience the wide range of options available for maintaining an active lifestyle. This part of the lesson also teaches students the type and amount of activity necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Discussing the importance of a healthy lifestyle is insufficient; it must be experienced. Teach students how to determine their personal workloads, with an implied expectation that they will do their best. Forcing all students to do the same amount of activity fails to consider the genetic and personality differences inherent in a class of students. (More about physical fitness is discussed in detail in chapter 13.) To see an example of how to include a fitness activity in an entire lesson plan, scan QR code 6.3. What makes this activity enjoyable for students?

QR code 6.3 Students engaged in a fitness activity

Lesson Focus

Many adults use their physical skills as tools for participating in a physically active lifestyle. The lesson focus is designed to teach physical skills. It contains learning experiences to help students meet program content standards. The repetition and refinement of physical skills in a sequential and success-oriented setting characterize the lesson focus. This part of the lesson (15 to 25 minutes) emphasizes the process of performing skills correctly and teaches students the skills required to function comfortably in a physically active lifestyle. (Chapters 12 through 30 are filled with many instructional units presented in the lesson focus.) Scan QR code 6.4 to see a lesson focus activity.

QR code 6.4 Lesson focus

Closing Activity

The closing activity ends the lesson with an evaluation of the day’s accomplishments—stressing and reinforcing the skills learned, revisiting performance techniques, and checking cognitive concepts. The closing activity might be a game using skills developed in the lesson focus or simply a low-organized game or activity children enjoy (see chapter 21 for a variety of games). If a lesson is demanding or spirited, focus closing activities on relaxing and winding down so that students can return to the classroom in a calmer state of mind. Taking a few minutes to relax can calm teachers and students and create goodwill between classroom teachers and physical education specialists. For an example of how to include a closing activity in an entire lesson plan, scan QR code 6.5.

QR code 6.5 Closing activity

The closing activity can be minimized or deleted entirely. If a game or activity is the lesson focus, you might need more time for instruction. Whether a game is played or not, avoid disciplining a class by suggesting, “We will not have a game if you don’t quiet down.” Closing activities are a useful part of the lesson and should not be used to bribe students to behave. Doing so might cause students to leave physical education classes with negative feelings.

More Excerpts From Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children 20th Edition