This week we offer ideas to help you show your children the benefits of a clean environment along with the importance of exercise. Below are suggested lesson steps to achieve this objective.
You may want to begin with a play stethoscope. Ask children to explain what a doctor does with a stethoscope. Discuss the importance of a healthy heart and lungs. Lead children to the understanding that clean air and exercise can help our bodies stay healthy.
Show pictures of mountains, forests, lakes, etc. Ask children, “How do these pictures make you feel?” Encourage children to talk about clean air and water along with the idea that these places can help us feel happy and peaceful.
Next show children pictures of smokestacks and other areas that emit dirt into the air. You may even want to share a picture of people smoking. Tell children that when people breathe dirty air, they can get sick. Discuss the importance of clean air.
You can ask children to draw pictures of places with clean air. Have children share these pictures. You may even want to take dictation from them so these pictures have captions.
The next day you can continue your lesson by talking about the importance of getting outdoors to play. Show pictures of parks, playgrounds, hiking trails, etc. Hold a ‘grand conversation’ about the importance of exercise in keeping hearts healthy. Have children put their hands over the hearts to feel their heartbeats. Tell them that their heart is a muscle that needs exercise just like their body. By running, jumping, and walking, the heart muscle will stay strong.
You can finish your class discussion by playing a game based on “Mother May I?” Use the words, “Healthy people…” Say sentences like:
Healthy people run.
Healthy people watch television.
Healthy people jump.
Healthy people walk.
Healthy people play video games.
For each sentence that is true about healthy people, children can act out the activity (run in place, jump, walk around the room). This is a fun and meaningful way for children to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of exercise.
NAEYC - 2.K.01.
Head Start - I. A. & B.