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Name of Activity:

Make Me a Match!

Academic content:

Language Arts-reading/spelling

Purpose of Activity:

To activate prior knowledge to enhance/improve students memory, reading and spelling skills all while incorporating physical activity.


Students should be familiar with the words you are providing them. Get the classroom teachers involved and ask them what vocabulary words they are working on in the classroom.

Students should be able to perform basic activities and be familiar with a variety of locomotor skills.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

40-50 beanbags (amount depends on your class size)
40-50 Index Cards
Cones for boundaries
1 Poster board
Music (optional, but more fun!)

Physical activity:

Locomotor Skills

Description of Idea

Prior to the activity

The index cards need to be labeled on one side with different vocabulary words (preferably, words they are familiar with and are working on in the classroom). Use the beanbags to place on top of the cards during the activity. Using 4 cones, mark off an area for the activity and using 4 more (maybe different colored) cone, mark off a smaller area in the front of the gym/activity area near the poster board. The smaller area is the "activity field". Beanbags and index cards are to be scattered (word side facing down) around the area. Fill the poster board with a variety of activities that the students are familiar with and put it where it is visible at the front of the gym/activity area.


Students will be in groups of two or three. When the music starts, students will do a locomotor skill (designated by the teacher) to any bean bag/card. More than one group/pair cannot go to the same beanbag at a time. Students will flip over their card to see the word on the back. Student's must put the card back down the way they found it each time they go to one. The group's goal is to find it's match. Continuing to do the locomotor skill, the students will go to another card. If the group flips over the next card and the word isn't the same (no match), the group must go to the "activity field" and do the activity designated by the teacher for that round (repetitions can be decided by the teacher)-EX: If that round's exercise is spinning on your seat, the group must go to the activity field and do 10 seat spins. Once they have done this, they may either go back to one of their previous cards in an effort to find it's match, or choose a completely new card to go to. If a group flips over the next card and the word is the same (they find a match), they get to choose their activity from the poster board at the front of the class-EX: If the group goes to the front of the gym, looks at the poster board and chooses rope jump, they must go to the "activity field" and do 10 rope jumps. Once they have done that, they may essentially "start over" and do the locomotor skill to a new card. Play for a certain amount of time, about 2-3 minutes per round.

During Activity

To keep students who are getting matches from going to the same matching card (same words) over and over again (because they know where it is), every time that group gets a match, have them come up to you before they choose their activity telling you the word that they successfully matched.

If they accidentally go to the same card again and know where the match is, that is okay, they can still choose their activity, but you can make a rule that you can only find the same match twice--therefore, if they go to the same card, they would simply put it down and go to another one in an attempt to find a new word.

Encourage students to see how many matches they can get each round.

Change locomotor skill and activities in between each round.

NOTE: The color of the beanbag has nothing to do with the matches, meaning there can be a blue and a green beanbag with the same word on it.


For older students, or if you've done this with a group of students before, make it so that instead of a set number of repetitions, incorporate spelling and make the repetitions based on the spelling of the word. If you get a match, you go to the poster board, choose your activity, then go to the activity field and do the activity while spelling your word (EX: if a group got a match and the word was "computer" and they chose burpees, they would go to the activity field and spell out the word 'computer' while doing burpees. So they would do a total of 8 burpees). If the group doesn't get a match, they would do the same thing, but with the teacher designated activity and use the second word they got (EX: if the first bean bag was 'computer' and the second one was 'television' they would spell out television).

You could also find a way to incorporate math for repetitions.

Assessment Ideas:


Monitor how many times students were successful the first time they spelled their word while doing the exercise (see if there are words that are giving them trouble and they had to start over a few times)

See how well student's are doing with the matching itself, are they remembering where certain words are? (assess memory)

Have a checklist with all of the words and check off which ones you notice students are having a problem spelling and/or reading


Are the groups working together well?

If they are using the spelling as repetitions, is one student going faster and racing the others? Or are they spelling and doing the exercise as a team?

If they are getting matches, are they taking turns letting members choose the exercise or is one person choosing the exercise every time?


Are students able to do the exercises correctly? With proper form?

Have a rubric or checklist of the exercises and keep track of exercises that seem to be giving them trouble.

Teaching Suggestions:

As a closure, have a discussion with the students. What strategies did your group use to be successful/find a lot of matches?

With my students, we discuss the 5 Health Related Components of Fitness. Ask students if they worked on any of these today? Which exercises and how?

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Learning Disabilities

Have every learning style available.

Most are covered already, however, try and incorporate as much as possible. Visual-reading the words on the beanbags, maybe have pictures on the poster board as well.

Auditory-If they are having trouble reading, their partner can say it out loud for them to hear.

Physical-doing the exercises while spelling.

Physical Disabilities

Choosing the exercises will help out any student with any physical disabilities.

For the teacher designated exercise, you can make sure it is an exercise easily performed by every one in the class regardless of ability.

A student in a wheelchair would be able to be successful in this activity, just make sure there are modified and adapted exercises on the poster board for them to choose. Again, make sure the teacher designated exercises are adaptable in a way that they are successful.

Submitted by Kara Deutch who teaches at St. George's Episcopal School in New Orleans, LA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/16/2016.
Viewed 46401 times since 1/31/2016.

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Make Me a Match!

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