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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Physical Fitness 

For many years I used paper plates in the gym for Kindergartners through 2nd graders.  I would use colored markers to write a color name on each plate --blue marker said BLUE, red marker said RED, etc.  Each child would get a plate, that would be his/her "home" plate.  

Activities would include such things as balancing on your paper plate on various body parts, taking a prescribed number of steps or jumps away from your plate & back again (helped with math concepts - use addition, subtraction, etc.), balancing on your plate with 1, 2, or 3 body parts on the plate, leaving your own plate on the floor & traveling around the gym jumping over red plates, stepping on blue plates, hopping over yellow plates (these directions were given one at a time & I kept adding colors & things to do at each plate so the children would have to remember a sequence of things to do), putting the plate on different body parts to see if children could keep the plate from falling off (head, back, elbow, etc.).  

A fun activity was to hold the paper plate like a waiter holds a tray full of dishes & see if you can walk or run around the gym without letting the plate fall.  When this was mastered, we would try to run around keeping the plate on your chest, with no hands holding it.

The ideas are endless & great fun!  During the 45 minute physical education class, the paper plate activity would only be part of the lesson. We would work on 1 or 2 skills a day. That way, I would use the plates for at least 5 or 6 different class sessions. 

Contributed by Anne K. Brown
Retired Physical Education Teacher
Watson Comly Elementary School
Philadelphia, PA


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