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Teacher: Marina Bonello who teaches at San Andrea Early School in Malta, Europe. Marina Bonello can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Valley Walk-A-Thon

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To promote keeping active in a fun way while encouraging nature appreciation.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: Flash cards with the common name of the flora - both in English and Maltese (we are bilingual); treasury tags to loop flashcards around the stems of the flora; hoops (used to protect the flora growing on the main path itself)

Valley Walk-A-Thon

During Health Week one of the activities organized involved a walk in the valley behind the school. Two routes were developed - one for Preschool / K and the other for Grades 1 and 2. To avoid excessive trampling on the flora, each route was used simultaneously. First the Preschoolers and First Graders went early in the morning session and then the Kinder and Second Graders had their turn during the late morning session. I used hula hoops to mark the flora on the ground on the path. That way the students knew to walk around the flora.

The objective of the event was to have the children complete the entire course using the "keeping active and keeping fit" program objectives. In addition, they were encouraged to respect the environment and observe the various wild flora that sprout during spring time. The latter objective was achieved by attaching flashcards to the various flora (previously identified by a Botany friend of mine; we researched the common names in both languages and I then developed the flashcards) all along the route. Each of the class teachers and parent helpers led the children through the course and encouraged the children to "hunt" for the flashcards so they could read about the flowers.

Mid-way through the course, a rest station was developed so that the children could rest a while, eat their lunch, and talk about what had been accomplished so far. At the end of the course, the Grade 2 children were encouraged to write about the "VALLEY WALK-A-THON" in their PE journal. The K's were encouraged to draw about the activity. The class teachers used the experience for integration objectives.

During the PE lesson following the event with the Grade 2 children, a class discussion was used to identify the feelings association with
keeping active and fit. The event was also targeted to have a carry over effect into the children's life out of school. The message being that keeping active and fit can be done even by engaging in simple activities, such as a family country walk.

Pictures of the Walk-A-Thon!

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Posted on PEC: 10/10/2001 and has received 62 votes.

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