Name/Title: The Big 12

Purpose of Event: The purpose of this activity is for students to learn twelve exercises which can be done with dumbbells, as well as the muscle that is being worked.

Suggested Grade Level: 7-8

Materials Needed: One set of dumbbells for each student in the class--3lbs, 5lbs, or 8lbs. works best for middle school students, Big 12 Handout, Fitness Make Up Sheet

Description of Idea

We begin our lesson with a "Muscle Rap" DVD, a DVD created by our PE Department, our Music Department, and three former students. In the rap, the students sing about the muscles in your body and what each one of them are used for.

We give each student a worksheet entitled, "The Big 12." It includes the exercise, directions and key words on how to do the exercise and the muscle it works. For example, for Standing Rows, the directions are "Start a lawn mower" and the muscle named is Latissimus Dorsi (Middle Back).

We go through each exercise with the students and conduct a mini-weight training class, in which they do ten repetitions of each exercise (we have time constraints). One teacher demonstrates the exercise, and the other teacher walks around and corrects their form.

The students then partner up and without looking at their Big 12 paper, ask each other questions such as, 'Show me how to do a rear raise'--and the other student has to show how it is done. We quiz them the following class period (see assessment ideas).


Use 1 lb. hand weights or no hand weights at all--do some basic exercises such as bicep curls, shoulder presses, front raise, and lateral raise which don't require as detailed of form as something like a tricep extension or a tricep kickback.

Assessment Ideas:

We give the students a quiz the following class period. One teacher stands up at the front of the room and does each exercise for 10 seconds--the students have to write down which exercise it is (out of choices from a word box). Students who get A's on their quizzes get to put their name in a raffle to win a set of hand weights. We require an A or a B on the quiz before they are allowed to work out in our fitness room.

Submitted by Brigid Radigan who teaches at Olmsted Falls Middle School in Olmsted Township, OH. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/1/2010.
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