The Teacher's Role in Socializing Students to Be Physically Active

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  • 0:03 Health & Academic Success
  • 0:34 Be a Role Model
  • 1:34 Involve Students
  • 2:45 Be an Advocate
  • 3:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christine Serva

Christine has an M.A. in American Studies, the study of American history/society/culture. She is an instructional designer, educator, and writer.

In this lesson, you'll find out what role a teacher can play in encouraging students to move more. The lesson presents reasons why this topic is important and gives teachers new ideas for physical activity in the classroom.

Health & Academic Success

Did you wake up feeling powerful today? Well, get ready to feel like you have the potential to make an impact on one of the biggest issues of our time.

Supporting students to be more physically active can have a ripple effect into their future. You've probably heard that physical activity has the potential to help people of all ages to live better, healthier lives. Did you also know that physical activity has the potential to improve students' academic achievement? This lesson describes ways a classroom teacher can help socialize students to move more.

Be a Role Model

Consider ways you can be a role model. This doesn't mean you need to already be in great shape or have a rigorous exercise routine. Modelling this behavior could be as simple as finding ways to incorporate regular movement into everyday routines.

Perhaps you plan to take breaks in classroom time to encourage students to move a bit or to stretch or walk around yourself. If you have interests that relate to physical activity, share this with your students either in conversation or by bringing these interests into your lesson plans.

For example, let's say you're a math teacher, and you're trying to figure out how you could possibly play a role in encouraging physical activity. While developing a math problem, you could decide to replace the language of one of the problems with a story about students riding their bikes.

Let's say you like to take after-dinner walks sometimes. You could use yourself as the participant in a math problem discussing how many miles are walked in a week. Any opportunity to bring up the topic in the classroom is a good way to subtly introduce a range of activities to your students.

Involve Students

It's important to recognize that students have different ways of enjoying physical movement. Not every student will be passionate about team sports, just as not every student will like to dance or jog. Students also start with different levels of fitness. While it may be ideal for a student to enjoy some more rigorous activities, for some students, simply walking more often or not sitting still as long may be a great start.

One strategy to try is a physical activity break, a short period of time in the classroom used primarily for (safe and appropriate) physical moment. Obviously, you're not going to be playing a full game of soccer in a classroom, so think of activity breaks that are modified for a small space and a short period of time.

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