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Teacher: John Turner who teaches at Hickory Flat ES in Canton, GA. John Turner can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Run/Walk Across America

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To encourage students, teachers, and parents to participate in a walking or running program.

Suggested Grade Level: K-8

Materials Needed: A map of the United States, arts supplies to create maps of individual states, and beads.

Run/Walk Across America

Each class is assigned a state to run/walk across (e.g. California, Texas, New York). Teachers and parents can also be assigned a state to run/walk across. Each week students are allotted 20 minutes to walk or run. The distance that each student travels is recorded (e.g. one quarter mile, half mile, etc.). To reward individual effort, students are awarded one bead for every mile completed. To promote class spirit, it is recommended that each class design a map of their respective state. Each week the distance traveled by each class member is added together and plotted on the state map. Having this visual display should encourage and motivate the students to complete their voyage across their respective state.

Teachers may also consider integrating the run/walk across America with other classroom assignments. For example, once a class selects a state to walk across, teachers may choose to plan lessons that explore that state's history, geography, or culture. It may also be worthwhile to arrange for pen-pals from those states. These are just a few ways to further enhance the run/walk across America experience for students.

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Posted on PEC: 10/7/2001 and has received 63 votes.

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