Circuit Training Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Carrin Hahn

Carrin taught 3rd grade for ten years, worked as a learning specialist with K-5 students, and has a Master's degree in Elementary Education.

Get ready for some fun! This lesson will help teachers facilitate some beneficial activities for students' health and physical education. In the lesson, the students will learn why they need to exercise, and they will have a circuit training plan to follow.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will be able to

  • Explain the reasons physical activity is beneficial for third grade students
  • Demonstrate the ability to try prescribed activities for the good of their health


  • 30-50 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • 'Please note that each state has different standards for Physical Education. Please consult your state's standards to ensure proper alignment.'

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Heart rate
  • Physical activity
  • Health benefits
  • Circuit training
  • Mountain climbers
  • Burpees
  • Planks


  • Stopwatch
  • 5 jump ropes
  • 15 mats or a soft space for students to work on the ground
  • Whistle or some way of telling students it is time to switch activities

Lesson Instructions

1. Gather the students for a discussion about physical activity. The goal of this discussion is to have the students understand that physical activity is not just fun, but it is also good for their bodies and their health.

  • Discussion Questions
    • What is physical activity?
    • What kinds of physical activities are there?
    • What kinds do you do?
    • What is the difference between a 'cardio' (cardiovascular) activity and a 'strength' activity?
    • What does 'health benefit' mean? Why is that important?
    • What does 'circuit training' mean?

2. Explain to the students that they are going to be doing a circuit training activity, which means they will rotate through stations of cardio and strength activities. Demonstrate each exercise.

  • Students will be in groups of up to five per station. Each group will start at a different station.
  • As you demonstrate the exercises the students will be doing, make sure to explain any important details about the posture or form. For example, during the plank, the middle of the students' bodies should be flat, not bent up in the air.
  • After you demonstrate the exercise, ask the students why the exercise is beneficial to their bodies (what does a sit-up do?).

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