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Animals In ActionAnimals-In-Action

  • Subject:
  • |
  • Grade(s): K-5
  • |
  • Duration: 1 class period

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • Describe ways in which animals move.
  • Participate in physical exercises.
  • Discover that exercise is an important way to stay healthy.


  • Animals in Action video
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • Construction paper
  • Black felt tip markers (optional)


  1. Talk about the ways animals move. Have students watch Animals in Action , following the instructions and participating in the physical exercises shown, including balancing on one leg or hopping. Stop the video for a few minutes at each exercise so that students have a chance to get a good idea of the different movements.
  2. After watching the program, discuss how the exercises made students feel. Did it feel good to move? Did it give them more energy? Talk about the ways the animals moved. Which movements were the most difficult for the students? Which animal behaviours most closely resembled what humans do?
  3. Ask students to describe their favorite physical activities and ask them to describe how they feel when they don't get to move around enough. Explain that exercise is an important way to keep our bodies healthy.
  4. Give students crayons and construction paper and have them draw a picture of themselves doing their favorite kinds of physical activity. Have older students write a sentence or two about this activity and how it makes them feel.
  5. Display the drawings in the classroom as a reminder that physical activity helps keep us healthy and happy.
  6. As a follow up, organize time for extra physical activity a few days a week and have students chart how they feel on these days versus how they feel on the days that did not have extra exercise.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points:  Students were highly engaged in class discussions; enthusiastically participated in exercises; were able to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of exercise; and created unique and colorful drawings that clearly identified a specific physical activity.
  • Two points:  Students participated in class discussions; participated in exercises; were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the importance of exercise; and created somewhat unique and colorful drawings that identified some form of physical activity.
  • One point:  Students participated minimally in class discussions; did not participate in exercises or were disruptive during the exercise times; were unable to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of exercise; and created incomplete or incorrect drawings that did not identify any type of physical activity.

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Definition: Being in physical motion
Context: For humans, staying active is a healthy choice.

Definition: Maintaining a state of equilibrium
Context: Balance is an important skill in the animal kingdom.

Definition: Possessing good health
Context: Walking helps us stay healthy.

Definition: Living tissue composed of fibers that are capable of contracting to effect bodily movement
Context: Before the animals settle in for the night, they stretch their muscles.

Definition: To lengthen, widen, or distend
Context: Stretch your arms and legs like a cheetah.

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Academic Standards

National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades K-12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards, visit this Web site:

This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • Life Science: Characteristics of organisms; Regulation and behavior
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal health

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visit:

This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • Physical Education: Uses a variety of basic and advanced movement forms; Understands how to monitor and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness

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