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Track & Field Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

This lesson will teach your students about track and field. They will also participate in two fun and exciting hands-on activities about track and field to reinforce concepts.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • Participate in some real track and field events
  • Describe many of the events that comprise track and field
  • Explain the correct methodology for performing these events

Length

1 - 1.5 Hours

Materials

  • Access to an outdoor track and field
  • Baseball
  • Eight batons for relay races (erasers or similar items will also be acceptable)
  • Internet access
  • Notebook to record results
  • Tape measure for the standing broad jump
  • Whistle
  • Writing implement

Key Vocabulary

  • Ancient Greece
  • Decathlon
  • Heptathlon
  • Jumping
  • Olympic Games
  • Pentathlon
  • Running
  • Throwing

Curriculum Standards

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

Instructions and Activities

Instructions

  • Inform your students they are going to be learning about the exciting sport known as track and field.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with track and field, has ever been to a meet, or has actually participated in any events.
  • Review the key vocabulary terms.
  • Provide the class with a bit of history about track and field. Including what it is and how it started. Highlight:
    • The sport of track and field has its roots in the Ancient Olympic Games in 776 BC in Greece.
    • The Modern Olympics also began in Greece, in the year 1896.

Group Research

  • Inform your students they are going to be learning about the three-main track and field combined events.
  • Divide up your students into three groups. Tell them:
    • Group One, you will be Team Decathlon
    • Group Two, you will be Team Heptathlon
    • Group Three, you will be Team Pentathlon
  • Now have the groups research their events and discover as many interesting facts as possible. These should include:
    • descriptions of each of the events in the competitions
    • famous athletes from the events
    • how long the competitions last
    • how the events are scored
  • Next have each group select a spokesperson to give a review of the events.
  • Finally, ask the class if they have any further questions or comments about these three events.

Debate

  • Explain to your students they will be having a debate to decide which events are better, track events or field events.
  • Divide up your students into two large groups. Tell them:
    • Group One, you will be Team Track.
    • Group Two, you will be Team Field.
  • Now have them meet in their groups and brainstorm reasons either track or field has the better events. Have them write down some ideas.
  • Next, allow the students to openly debate their positions. At this time, anybody can raise their hands and offer reasons as to why track events are better or field events are better.
  • Finally, tell your students that this debate has no clear winner, as everyone has their own personal favorite events.

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