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Body SystemsBody-Systems

  • Subject:
  • |
  • Grade(s): K-5
  • |
  • Duration: One to two class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • act as a team of personal trainers to design, present, and justify an exercise and nutrition plan for an imaginary client; and
  • discover how knowledge of the body's systems can help people reach personal health and fitness goals.


  • computer with Internet access
  • library references on diet, nutrition, and exercise


  1. After watching the video, have students summarize the function or job of each body system: nervous, digestive, respiratory, and musculoskeletal.
  2. Ask students how knowing about even one system could help an athlete in training or a person who wants to tone muscles or stay healthy? For example, the video shows how a competitive swimmer increases his oxygen intake because he knows how the respiratory system works.
  3. Tell students that they will use their knowledge of body systems and do additional research to act on a team of personal trainers for a client below:


    • A 17-year-old high school soccer player wants to maintain a high energy level during soccer games.
    • A 35-year-old woman wants to tone the muscles in her stomach.
    • A 65-year-old man wants to keep his heart healthy.


  4. Ask students if they know what a personal trainer does. This background information may be helpful: A personal trainer helps design an exercise and nutrition program that helps a person meet goals. Such trainers use their knowledge about how the body works to design individual plans and help their clients put them to use. People may hire a personal trainer for help in losing weight, becoming fit, getting stronger, staying healthy, increasing endurance, or improving athletic performance.
  5. As a member of a personal training team, students must develop and present an exercise and nutrition plan that helps their client reach goals. A real -training plan would involve an ongoing exercise program and long-term diet, but the students' plans should include three or four exercises and a suggested diet for one day. In addition to exercises and menu, training teams will must show how their exercises and menu relates to least three facts about how the body systems work. Once a team has developed its plan, it will present it to the class.
  6. Break students into teams. Have each team select a client from the list above. Then teams should consider the following questions:



  7. Once students have finished their research, they should develop the plan for their client. It should include the client's goals, a recommended diet, three or four exercises, and three facts about the body's systems.
  8. Have students present their plans to the class. You may want to have other students, teachers, or parents act as clients and ask questions and provide input.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students worked cooperatively in groups; used the Internet as a research tool well; completed the plan using valid information; and supported it with three accurate facts about body systems.
  • Two points: Students worked somewhat cooperatively in groups; used the Internet somewhat as a research tool; completed the plan with mostly valid information; and supported it with facts that were mostly accurate about body systems.
  • One point: Students participated little, if at all, in class discussions; had difficulty completing their research; did not complete their scrapbooks.

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Definition: Relating to the heart and blood vessels
Context: Most people who have heart disease try to do exercises that improve their cardiovascular conditioning.

Definition: A type of fat found in animal products; too much can be bad for the heart.
Context: To reduce the risk of heart disease, he limited the amount of cholesterol in his diet.

Definition: The usual food and drink of a person or animal
Context: Eating a healthful diet helps us feel good and stay healthy.

Definition: The ability to sustain stressful effort or activity
Context: Soccer players must have endurance to run up and down the field for the entire game.

Definition: Activity that is formed to develop or maintain fitness
Context: I feel really good on the days I exercise.

Definition: A source of nourishment, especially a nourishing ingredient in a food.
Context: Carbohydrates are a nutrient that supplies the body with energy.

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This lesson plan addresses the following standards from the National Science Education Standards:
Grades K-4
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal health

Grades 5-8
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal health
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Risks and benefits

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Robin Porter, freelance education writer

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