Healthy Lesson Plan: Walking the Walk: Learning with Pedometers

August 26, 2015

To help you start off the school year in a healthy way, we’re sharing two lesson plans that you can incorporate into your curriculum to teach your students healthy habits. These lesson plans come from Healthy Schools Campaign’s Fit to Learn professional development program. This lesson plan is best for grades 4-5, is ongoing and incorporates elements of physical activity, math and social studies.

Pedometers are great tools for measuring physical activity levels and motivating students. Some PE departments may have funds for these or companies may be willing to make a donation for a healthy school initiative, or teachers can have students count steps.

This lesson starts with a simple demonstration of how pedometers work. You can wear the pedometer yourself and demonstrate various physical activities. Show them how many steps are recorded by walking around the room, doing jumping jacks and walking to the cafeteria.

The second part of this lesson plan involves making a list of places the students would like to visit, either in the United States or around the world. Those places are listed in the Destination Guide, which also includes facts about each destination, how many miles away the destination is from the school and the number of steps needed to reach the destination.

Each day, you will also choose one student (or several, depending on the number of pedometers available for your classroom) to wear the pedometer. At the end of the day, the student wearing the pedometer can record in a Travel Journal the number of steps tracked and determine how many miles the student walked. As the students are recording more steps and are about to reach a new destination, start exploring the facts.

There are several great ways to celebrate your accomplishments. Upon arrival to a destination, students can also journal or draw a picture about the journey they took to reach their mileage. What activity did they do to obtain mileage? What do they think about the place to which they traveled? What is something new they learned about their travel destination?

Students will finish this lesson with an understanding of the importance of physical activity and different foods, cultures and physical activities from other countries. This is a great way to incorporate movement into a variety of school subjects!