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Name of Activity:

Running for Beads

Academic content:

Mathematics - patterns

Purpose of Activity:

To teach pacing and endurance.


Students have learned correct running form.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Assorted colored beads, elastic cord, containers to hold beads.

Physical activity:


Description of Idea

Instruct the students on running skills, including pacing when running longer distances. "Running for Beads" can be a holiday activity by using colors of beads that go along with a particular holiday, i.e., black and orange for Halloween, green and red for Christmas, pastels for Easter, etc. Each student receives a cord with a bead tied to one end. The elastic cord allows the necklace or bracelet to be tied when it is completed, and can be slipped on and off by stretching it.

The students are instructed to run/walk laps on the track, in the gym, or any determined running area. Each time a lap is completed, students thread beads on the cord. The number of beads for each lap can be determined by the size of the lap. To integrate the math skill of patterning, have students start a pattern, ie., red-red-green, red-red-green, and keep repeating it.

This is a great motivator for long distance running. To collect more beads, the activity could be done over several days of a holiday season.

Assessment Ideas:

Before the end of the class, record the number of beads students have on their cords. This tells the distance the students ran. With older students, have them calculate the distance they ran by dividing the number of beads on their cords by the number of beads earned for each lap.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

For a student with motor disabilities, shorten the distance required to be completed to earn a bead.

Submitted by Bo Mielczak who teaches at Stallings Elementary in Stallings, NC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 6/4/2012.
Viewed 32368 times since 4/8/2012.

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Running for Beads

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