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Name of Activity:

Fitness Bowling

Purpose of Activity:

Incorporate fitness into a bowling lesson.


How to perform basic fitness exercises.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Bowling equipment (carpet lanes, bowling pins, rubber and/or foam bowling balls), bowling score sheets, pencils, dry/erase board, CD player, lively music, pedometers.

Description of Idea

Divide the students into groups of 4 or 5 per bowling lane. Have one student be the scorekeeper, one the bowler, one a ball returner, and one or two pin setters. After a student completes his/her turn bowling, have the students rotate one spot.

For the fitness part of the bowling lesson, have a list of exercises on a dry/erase board that correspond with potential bowling scores (list numbers 0-9, spare and strike). For example, if a student rolls a total of 5 on his/her bowling turn, the exercise for a 5 could be 10 jumping jacks. If a student rolls a 9, it could be 5 push-ups.

Extensions: Be creative with your exercises and you may even want to list an exercise per frame. For example, frame one could be jumping jacks. Whatever a student bowls, they do that many jumping jacks. A 5 would represent five jumping jacks, a 9 would be 9, a spare could be 10 and a strike 20. Then the second frame's exercise could be curl-ups. Have a list for all 10 frames and the repetitions depend on the students score.


You could also use your original list, but for a spare or strike, allow the student who rolled to name the exercise for their group to perform.

To add a little more cardio to the lesson, we have our students wear pedometers and set a challenge of 2,500 steps (one mile). This encourages the students to march or jog in place while a student is bowling.

Assessment Ideas:

Check students bowling score sheet for proper scores. We send home a practice bowling score sheet prior to our bowling lessons. Third graders are only asked to mark a bowling sheet, while fourth and fifth graders are asked to calculate the actual score.

You could also assess the fitness exercises by asking students to match the list of exercises with the health related physical fitness components.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Have alternate exercises or activities for students to do based on disabilities. For example, a student in a wheel chair could do tennis ball squeezes instead of push ups.

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Submitted by Dan Quesenberry who teaches at Edmondson Elementary in Brentwood, TN. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/8/2005.

Viewed 103111 times since 12/6/2004.

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Previous Comments:


I like how you've incorporated exercise within the game itself. That is something that I think the schools should definitely do more of. If you wanted to learn how to score bowling for the sake of the game, you could try this link:

Coach S

I really like this lesson plan, and plan on using it with my unit....Thanks!!

Jo Bailey

Great idea - I did this with my adapted class and they loved it. I would also use it with a high school class as well to get some cardio/ extra activity in during the bowling unit. Thanks!!

Fitness Bowling