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Name of Activity:

Have a Heart

Purpose of Activity:

This is a fun Valentine's Day activity to teach the purpose of the heart muscle and blood vessels, while students demonstrate competency in locomotor and manipulative skills.


The students should already know the basics of scooter safety and safe travel while running, and should know how to throw and catch beanbags.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

hula-hoops to represent the heart and body, beanbags to represent blood cells, polyspots to represent platelets, scooters to transport the blood through the arteries and veins

Description of Idea

Set up the playing area by putting a hula-hoop filled with the beanbags and polyspots in the middle of the gym. This represents the heart, which pumps blood throughout the body. Space six hula-hoops around the outside of the gym (to represents the body.) Divide students into six even groups and have them sit by one of the six hula-hoops. Put a scooter at each of the hula-hoops.

To begin the game, the teacher will make a fist and ask the students to make a fist. Tell the students that the fist represents the heart. Ask students what the job of the heart is. Lead students in a discussion of how the heart pumps blood and circulates it through the body through blood vessels. Describe platelets and blood cells. Ask the students to run around the gym for five minutes. When they are finished ask them what their heart is doing (beating hard to pump the blood throughout their body.) Tell them that they are going to play a game to represent this concept.

Students should sit with their groups by their hula-hoop. They will take turns getting on the scooter and traveling to the center hoop, where they will get one blood cell (beanbag) or platelet (polyspot) and return to their hoop, tossing it to someone from their group. The students who are at the hula-hoop will keep their hearts pumping by engaging in an aerobic activity. Examples of activities include running in place, jumping up and down, hopping on one foot, jumping jacks, etc. When all the blood cells and platelets are gone from the heart, the round is over. Teams can count how many beanbags and platelets they have in their hoop. Return the beanbags and polyspots to the center hoop and continue to play as many rounds as time allows.

Assessment Ideas:

At the end of class, have a review of the lesson and what was learned about the heart and blood vessels. As students dismiss, they can answer questions as their "ticket" out the door.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities can have a peer assist with moving the scooter across the floor. During the aerobic exercises, the student with disabilities can do an upper body workout.

Submitted by Ana Reutinger who teaches at Pickett Elementary School in Lexington, NC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/30/2011.
Viewed 46918 times since 1/6/2011.

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Have a Heart

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