Physical Education Teacher Resources
Find Physical Education educational ideas and activities
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Toward the end of the school year when the weather warms up, take your high schoolers swimming! They perform various cardiovascular activities in the pool, beginning with a warm-up activity and followed by stretching, precardio, cardiovascular, toning, and cool-down activities. Different swim strokes or gentle movements are suggested for the warm-up. Immerse your class in the swimming pool!
Tinikling - Philippine Bamboo Dance
What is Tinikling? How is this word pronounced? Is it really a dance? Where did it originate? Is there a story about the origin of this dance? Begin this dance lesson by answering these questions. Then use the video to teach the three dance patterns: basic step, dancing step, and jumping step. Have the dancers perform the steps in combinations. Remember to reiterate the need for safety in using the bamboo poles for this dance!
Celebrate Oktoberfest with the Polka
Here's a pretty comprehensive lesson plan on the polka. There is information on the origins of the polka and the history of Oktoberfest. There is even a list of how to count to ten in Polish, Czech, and German. Include or skip whatever you choose in presenting this lesson plan on the polka. The steps to performing the polka are written out and better yet, there is a video that shows a group of college students performing the dance.
Bleacher Dance - Adding to School Spirit
Looking for some moves to do in the bleachers while at a school sports event? This lesson teaches two sets of 32-counts. The moves can basically be done while standing up in the bleachers!. The amount of movement will be determined by how much space there is in the bleachers. Teach the steps and practice them. This set of movements can be done to a variety of music. Also there is a video that teaches the movements and then the class performs it to music. Teach it yourself, or use the video to teach the class.
Teach some dance moves to "Firework" by Katy Perry. It's such an upbeat song, you will have those dancers moving and wanting to move more! There are four 16-count parts to learn. It's not too complicated. Teach them the steps, then put it to the music. Better yet, watch the video and have the teacher in the video do all the teaching for you.
Get those youngsters moving! The activities put together to music are every day warm-up exercises. Jogging in place, jumping jacks, arm circles, and toe touches are a few of the movements presented to get children moving. Teach them the movements and then put on the song "Today's Gonna Be a Great Day," the Phineas and Ferb theme song! Your youngsters are sure to get moving!
Dancing With Glee
Slide right, slide left, knee, step, run, run, rolling, pivot, turn, shake those shoulders! These moves make up the 32-count dance to the tune of "Proud Mary" as performed by the cast from the TV show "Glee". Use the video to learn the steps before you teach it or use the video to do the teaching for you. It starts out slow with the music and then picks up the pace. Get those dancers moving!
Michael Jackson's "Beat It" Dance
Learn this 32-count line dance. There are four eight-counts that repeat throughout the song. The steps include walking forward, walking backward, pivots, grapevine, and some jumps. All in all this is a simple and quick dance to learn. Practice the steps and then put Michael Jackson's "Beat It" on and tear up that dance floor! There is a video included; watch it to learn the steps yourself, or use the video to teach the class.
Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance)
Oh, what a fun dance to learn! In this version of the Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance) which comes from Missouri State University, there are a lot of steps to learn along with finger snapping and hand clapping. While this is not the official version of the traditional dance, it is a fun and active dance to learn. So check out the video and use it to teach this dance to your PE classes.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Dance
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by teaching your class how to do an Irish jig. This type of dance is very fast. Break it all down and teach each section of the dance thoroughly. There are plenty of hops, kicks, toe touches, and stomps in this jig, so it will take some time to learn. History about St. Patrick's Day and Irish dances is included to enhance the lesson plan. Don't be afraid to tackle teaching this cultural dance because there is a video that leads the way!
Mayim, Mayim - Israeli Folk Dance
Mayim, Mayim is an Israeli folk dance done to celebrate the discovery of water. The dance is done in a circle with everyone moving the same way at the same time. If your dancers are shy and do not want to hold hands then perhaps use scarves for them to hold. Otherwise, grab hands and get moving in this fast-paced and joyful dance!
5,6,7,8 Line Dance
5,6,7,8 Line Dance is a very simple, but very fast-paced line dance. It is comprised of the grapvine steps, moving forward and backwards, moving diagonally, jumping, and clapping. There is a repeating section of the dance which calls for dancers to be creative and do their own thing. Make sure to teach the basic steps and practice it before putting on the music. Watch the video and use it to teach the 5,6,7,8 Line Dance.
Great Balls of Fire - I Got Locomotor Skills
Teach and review elementary locomotor skills. Use "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis to get youngsters up and grooving to the beat! The dance steps are described in rich detail and you will have the class jumping, skipping, leaping, and hopping around in no time at all.
Movin', Groovin', and Gettin' Strong
Children can do almost anything to music, so get them up and moving, working out and strengthening some major muscle groups. Using exercise bands provides some resistance, which makes the muscles work a little harder. With this lesson plan, young learners will just be moving around and grooving to the music; they will be getting stronger without even giving it a thought!
Jump Band Hokey Pokey
Add a new dimension to doing the Hokey Pokey by giving each group of four dancers a set of jump bands. There are dance moves for the two dancers holding the jump bands as well as for the dancers doing the Hokey Pokey. The goal is to elevate the heart rate of the dancers while they are having fun focused on doing the Hokey Pokey.
Who doesn't like playing with a parachute? Get out the CD player, find "Behind the Clouds" by Brad Paisley, and get those youngsters moving. The movements in this dance are very basic: slide steps, walking, shaking, swaying, and skipping. Doing these simple moves with music and a parachute are definitely an equation for fun! Create your own moves for your classes or even have your learners come up with some moves.
Lummi Stick Macarena
Hey, Macarena!! The Macarena is very simple to dance: left, right, left, right, wiggle the hips. Spice it up a bit by giving the class things to hold in their hands such as lummi sticks or scarves. Give them anything that will not be too much of a distraction. Perhaps half the class holds one item, and the other half holds something different. Use your creativity.
Two line dances that are similar yet different. These two dances are performed to disco music, fast and upbeat. Do grapevines, heel-toe moves, and even tuck your arms up and flap them like chicken wings. These two dances are sure to get their heart rates up in a fun activity.
"Here We Go" Parachute Routine
Rather than just shouting out commands on what to do with a parachute, turn some music on and make it a dance routine. This seems like a pretty cool way to engage young learners. Make a dome, hop, make waves, walk, twist, and shake that parachute. Turn the music up and create your own routine.
It's unbelievable that there really is a dance that goes with a song called "The Hamsterdance!" This is not a lesson plan per se, but rather steps to the dance. They include head bobs, slide steps, thigh slaps, and clapping. Short dances like this one are terrific for practice in learning patterns as well as getting children to be active!