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Are You Fitter Than a Fifth Grader?

Project Description
A key part of 5th grade science is to study how the body works. Students
are interested in this content, but often it is taught without a purpose
beyond delivery of knowledge. For this project, students will learn about
the body and take it a step further: studying how different choices affect
kids health. They will be aiming to promote the health of other children in
VERY SPECIFIC ways (rather than simply get exercise define how much
is enough? What types of exercise should children be doing? How can they
promote healthy growth?).

Essential Question
What is healthy for kids and how can we motivate kids to make healthy

Project Work
Got in shape!
Took a fitness test before and after the project (11 weeks).
We learned about dynamic stretching and other types of
exercise necessary for keeping the body healthy.
Ran every morning (1/4 mile) and participated in other
physical fitness activities during the week.
Met with experts to learn how best to exercise our bodies.
Taught each other about the body (delivering interactive
presentations to learn about the body systems).
Investigated children's fitness and nutrition.
Designed a parcourse to encourage other students at HTe to exercise
properly. This was the most challenging part of the project. Making
decisions all by ourselves took a lot of time and a lot of discussion
and compromise.
Determined the exercises to include (involving debating in the
class for certain exercises and identifying which ones were
most beneficial for the body while ensuring that all muscles
would be worked throughout the course).
Named the exercises in fun ways to entice young children to
do them.
Designed signs by discussing everything from what
information to include on the signs to the color of the signs to
the layout.
Built the parcourse.
Measured, cut, and stained and varnished wood for parcourse
station signs.
Dug holes for balance beam.
Created structure for climbing traverse.
Painted climbing traverse in the style of Jackson Pollock.


Fitness professionals
Childrens health professionals
HTes Engineering Teacher, Bryan Barry
City of Chula Vista (financial supporter through a city grant)

graders will present a preview exhibition describing the process
of working on this project. This exhibit will give people a chance to
walk through the project: learning about the body, tasting healthy
food, trying exercises, learning about the parcourse, practicing some
of the skills required to build the parcourse structures, and being
invited back for the opening of the actual parcourse.
All students in the school will be scheduled to visit the parcourse on
its Opening Day with their class. 5
graders will introduce students
to the exercises and benefits of doing these at each station.

Student critique to improve work throughout the project
Teacher feedback in student journals
Student self-assessments midway through the project and at the end
of the project

Parcourse signs and structures (collaborative work of all students)
Letters explaining the project and inviting someone to come to the
Parcourse proposals (individual work) students create full
descriptions of an exercise (title, how its done, benefits, materials
needed, etc.) to propose for inclusion in the parcourse

Post-Project Commentary
!"# %&' ()**#" +,-. ! /

0vei the couise of 11 weeks, S
giaue stuuents stuuieu the human bouy, leaineu
about types of exeicise that suppoit healthy giowth in kius, anu woikeu uiligently to
impiove theii own fitness levels. Nost impoitantly, the class uevelopeu a solution
foi motivating theii schoolmates to exeicise moie fiequently. They uesigneu anu
built a paicouise foi the school - a peimanent fitness ciicuit consisting of 1S
exeicise stations incluuing a climbing tiaveise, tiie iun, balance beam anu log jump.

!"#$%"& (")*"$+,-.
In auuition to giving stuuents a chance to stuuy the bouy anu exploie chiluien's
health, this pioject pioviueu oppoitunities foi stuuents to uevelop theii uecision-
making capabilities as they maue the many choices iequiieu in uesigning anu
constiucting the paicouise. The class also leaineu to manage huiules that aiose at
vaiious times ielateu to the installation of theii woik anu auuitionally, challengeu
themselves to puisue anu suipass theii own fitness goals thioughout the pioject.

/+01".+ (")*"$+,-.
It was challenging ueciuing among a lot of iueas fiom the class. It was haiu to come
up with one thing foi how the signs shoulu be uesigneu to how the climbing tiaveise
shoulu be painteu. But aftei making all those choices we enueu up with a paicouise
we'ie ieally piouu of. - Raymonu Bezzo, S

In this pioject I leaineu that if you make a mistake then leain fiom it because when I
painteu the signs foi the paicouise I maue some mistakes anu figuieu out how to fix
them. It was challenging to make them look just iight! -Alex vazquez, S

The measuiements foi the fiames was challenging because you have to be exact. If
you'ie not, then pieces won't fit togethei! -}auuin Thomas, S

Kius neeu to get fit anu if they'ie not it might not seem bau now, but it can leau to
uiseases in the futuie. I leaineu to not only stay healthy, but help otheis stay
healthy. -}essica Chou, S

I think this pioject was impoitant because it will leave a lasting impact on this
school. - Aiuen Ramiiez, S

Climbing Traverse Parcourse Signs

Building the Climbing Traverse

Staining the Signs