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Name of Activity:

Food For Heart Challenge

Purpose of Activity:

To have children understand and identify which foods are considered healthy for the body/heart, and which ones are not. This activity also helps students work on gross motor movements.


Teaching of concepts for exercise and the heart. Basic gross motor skills should be taught for the reinforcement of those skills

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Small containers/garbage pails (3 per group), posters (3 for each container), sign to designate which color each group is, small cones (1 for each group and to mark a center circle), under/over sticks (as many as the center circle needs), laminated cards with pictures of food as well as food name (as many as you can think of).

Description of Idea

All children should be split up into groups of 3-4 and sitting behind a small cone around the edge of the gymnasium. On that cone should be the color of the team. In the center of the gym, create a circle marked with cones and hurdles. Inside the circle place all of the food cards with pictures face down on the floor. Each card should be made with a team color on it so that there are equal cards for each team. For example, if a card has a picture of a candy bar on it, there should be a blue one, red one, etc.).

At each color home base, place the three containers with their respective signs on them. The signs should say "Healthy Food", "Food to eat only sometimes", and "Not sure". You can also put a smilely face, a frowning face, and a face with a straight line for those who have trouble reading.

On the signal, the first partner will run toward the center circle, and crawl underneath the hurdle to enter the circle. There, he or she will pick up a card of their team's color. They will determine whether it is a healthy or a "only sometimes" food. Once they figure this out, they need to jump over the hurdle (to get out of the circle), and run to one of the three labeled containers. There the child drops the card into the container that he or she feels is the correct one. Then the student will run back to their group, give the next student a "high five", and the second partner continues to do the same. Make sure that there are LOTS of different cards inside the circle.

Once all of the team's cards are gone, the team should recheck each container to see if they have the correct color cards, and to make any last minute changes. Then the teacher can discuss which foods should be in each container.

Assessment Ideas:

You may use a couple of different checklists for the following items: On-task, Off-task, Social Responsibility, as well as observing the motor skill.

Teachers can also make a food review sheet. On this sheet should be pictures of different healthy/only sometimes foods. The child can circle the picture that they think are good for the body.

Teaching Suggestions:

The teacher can make a wide array of variations of this activity. We change the locomotor movement that the students use in the game frequently (e.g., galloping, skipping).

Secondly, this activity can be modified for grades 3-5 by using the food/activity pyramid, and having students match the terms with the pictures in the circle.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Vary the size of all cards and posters. Have the distance of the activity shortened. Remove the hurdles so that children can freely enter and exit the circle.

Submitted by Donn Tobin who teaches at Lakeview Elementary School in Mahopac, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 4/16/2004.
Viewed 35719 times since 9/24/2003.

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Food For Heart Challenge

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