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High Performance: SportsHigh-Performance-Sports

  • Subject:
  • |
  • Grade(s): 6-8
  • |
  • Duration: Three to five class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


By the end of these lessons, students will be able to:
1. Participate in a group/team activity working to achieve an overall goal.
2. Practice skills needed for demonstrating visual examples to others.
3. Identify specific physical and emotional characteristics and experiences within an activity.
4. Administer general writing skills.


Paper, pens, pencils
Notebook (optional)
High Performance Facts handout
High Performance Vocabulary handout


1. "What's Your Game?"
For the introductory overview of this lesson click on play to view High Performance: PLAY(download the free realplayer)

Divide students into groups of 4 to 5.

2. With students in groups, introduce different everyday objects to the class. Do not let them know what these objects will be used for.

Examples: balls hula hoops
  rope net
  small trash cans straws
  water bottles cotton balls
  spoons tape
  large plastic bowls two chairs
  spray bottle long wooden stick/ruler
  traffic cones gardening gloves
  milk cartons cardboard box
  small balls paper or napkins
3. Groups will get a chance to choose from the objects introduced. Have groups choose one item at a time (group 1 will choose one item, then group 2, 3, 4 etc., and then back to group 1). All groups should end up with at least 4 objects.
4. Each group is going to develop their own game. Once the groups have their objects, they should have at least one day to create their game. Rules should be as follows:
  1. Students need to use all the objects they have chosen in their game.
  2. Students need to name their game.
  3. Students need to develop rules for their game.
  4. Students will play the game for the class and explain how it is played.
5. Mind, Body and Spirit
Students will then need to discuss and write about how their game affects a person mentally, physically and socially (mind, body and spirit). This can be done in their groups with one report submitted per group. Students should break up responsibilities of the report into sections with each member of the group writing one section (this will all depend on the number of students per group). Report responsibilities can be broken up as follows:
  • Introduction (giving how the game was created, objects used to play, name, rules, how the game is played, etc.)
  • Mental affects from the game
  • Physical affects from the game
  • Social affects of the game
  • Conclusion (summarizing group findings, outcomes, feelings, etc.)
The groups should then compile their information into one report and turn it in for a grade.

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Within groups of 4 to 5, have students make up their own game by using one key object that is to be used for all groups (examples might include a rubber ball, rope or traffic cones). On their own, students can then choose additional objects (approximately 2-3) that they can use to enhance their game. These objects need to be safe for all to use and all need to be used within the game they have developed. Students need to demonstrate how the game is played and then talk about how their game affects them mentally, physically and socially.
After students have followed procedures for the "What's Your Game?" lesson, have them regroup and discuss which sport their game is most similar to (examples: soccer, baseball, polo). Have them write out the similarities and differences between their game and the chosen sport. Also, have them take a look at how the similarities and differences might affect how the sports influences what a person gets out of the sport � mentally, physically and socially.

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Discussion Questions

1. How does the pressure of a sport affect you mentally?
2. How does the discipline of a sport affect the way you approach other things in life?
3. What is it about any sport that keeps you interested?
4. Why is it important to prepare yourself mentally for an event?
5. Do you ever feel so drained of energy that it takes away the fun of the sport?
6. Do you ever feel the need to keep going in a sport even though you are hurt or not 100%?
7. What are the pressures like to loose or gain weight while playing a sport?
8. How can physically enhancing drugs help or hurt you?
9. What does it mean to be a team player?
10. What are the feelings experienced when the whole team contributes to the win?
11. What do you learn from loosing?
12. How do you learn to depend on your teammates?

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Students may be evaluated by using the following three-point rubric:
  • Three points: student has followed all given instructions with full participation in group and class discussions. They have created their game, presented it to the class and completed the group report.
  • Two points: student has had some participation in-group activities, creating and presenting their sport along with the group report.
  • One point: student has completed portions of the assignment with limited class/group involvement.

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Read All About It!
Have students read about different sports using the sports section of your local newspaper or even your school newspaper. Students can voice their opinion and report (written or oral) on which sports they feel make the greatest impact on a person mentally, physically and socially.

Sports in History
Some sporting events as we see them today, looked very different years ago. Students can research which sports were popular years ago and which sports have stayed the same over the years. Students should also take a look at some of the sporting events that took place during the first Olympic Games. Have them write and report on their research.

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Suggested Readings

"Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition"
Monique Ryan, March 1999
This book offers cutting-edge concepts, emphasizing menu and meal planning, food strategies, and other nutrition topics. The book also explains the need of sports nutrition when training for particular sporting events—triathlon, marathon, etc—or for a moderately active person.

"The Steroids Game"
Charles E. Yesalis, Virginia S. Cowart, April 1998
With a detailed look at the results of steroid use, this book gives a complete view of the problem both in terms of performance and medical side effects. The authors analyze shortcomings in current testing procedures and describe prevention programs.

"The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide: How to Win the Battle Against Eating Disorders, Amenorrhea, and Osteoporosis"
Carol L. Otis, Md, Roger Goldingay, September 2000
The pressure to be thin, to have the perfect body, to push oneself beyond the limits is perhaps most strongly felt by female athletes. The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide is a much-needed book for the modern female athlete as a personal self-help guidebook and as an authoritative, practical reference for those who are in positions to help.

"Afraid to Eat: Children and Teens in Weight Crisis"
Francie M. Berg, December 1997
Afraid to Eat, by nutritionist Frances M. Berg, an internationally known authority on weight and eating, challenges America's obsession with weight and documents the terrible harm done by the quest for thinness.

"Against The Odds (Fast Breaks, No4)"
Joseph Layden, April 1998, age 9-12
This Unique, photo-illustrated book looks at eight NBA players who have overcome great obstacles in their climb to the top.

"Always Dream (Positively for Kids Series)"
Kristi Yamaguchi, Greg Brown, Doug Keith, February 1998, Ages 9-12
Two-time champion and Olympic gold medallist Kristi Yamaguchi has won the hearts of millions of fans. In "Always Dream", Kristi reveals how her determination, ambition and love of skating keeps her going, even in the midst of obstacles and tragedy.

"The Ancient Greek Olympics"
Richard Woff, September 2000
This book is unusual in that it describes the ancient Greek Olympics day by day over a period of five days, comparing the ancient and modern games as it goes along. Did you know, for instance, that ancient Olympians had personal trainers?

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Health Adventures—High Performance
When playing a sport, there is no way around the affects that sports have on your mind, body, and spirit. Here's your chance to play and explore sports in the game of life. Can you achieve a High Performance and complete the Olympic rings?

American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member's pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP has approximately 55,000 members in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical sub specialist and pediatric surgical specialists.

KidsHealth is one of the largest sites on the Web providing doctor-approved health information about children from before through adolescence. It has separate areas for kids, teens, and parent � each with its own design, age-appropriate content, and tone. KidsHealth was created by The Nemours Foundation Center for Children's Health Media.

National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc. (NYSSF), formerly the National Youth Sports Foundation For The Prevention of Athletic Injuries, was established in 1989 as a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the number and severity of injuries youth sustain in sports and fitness activities through the education of health professionals, program administrators, coaches, parents and athletes.

National Athletic Trainers Association
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a not-for-profit organization with more than 22,700 members nationwide. Founded in 1950, the NATA is based in Dallas, Texas, and provides a variety of services to its membership including continuing education, governmental affairs and public relations.

Health World Online
HealthWorld Online is a 24-hour resource center—a virtual health village where you can access information, products, and services to help create a wellness-based lifestyle. On their internet health network, you will meet many of the leaders in natural health, wellness, self-care and alternative medicine

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Click on any of the vocabulary words below to hear them pronounced and used in a sentence.

speaker    Team
Definition: a group organized to work together
Context: A team is when a group of people join and perform together, as in a game. They are usually working together to achieve the same goal.

speaker    Mental
Definition: of or relating to the mind
Context: Your intellect � what exists in the mind. Mental has to do with what is executed or performed by the mind.

speaker    Physical
Definition: involving vigorous bodily activity
Context: Physical is involving the body as distinguished from the mind and spirit.

speaker    Social
Definition: the interaction of the individual and the group
Context: Social deals with the relations and institutions which are involved in a persons existence and their well-being as a member of an organized community or team.

speaker    Win
Definition: to achieve victory or accomplish an objective first
Context: To win is to succeed if no unexpected conditions arise. As in a race or other competition, to win is to finish in first place. You can also win through one's efforts or obtain advantage, such as points, etc.

speaker    Lose
Definition: to undergo defeat
Context: To lose is to suffer loss, disadvantage, or defeat; to be worse off, especially as the result of any kind of contest. A team loses when they encounter an exceptional condition or they fail to work in an expected manner.

speaker    Energy
Definition: vitality and intensity of expression, an exertion of vigor
Context: Energy is internal or inherent power. It involves the capacity of acting, operating or producing an effect, weather exerted or not. Sports are an example of a healthy capacity for vigorous activity.

speaker    Pressure
Definition: to force, as by overpowering influence or persuasion
Context: A constraining influence, force or impulse of any kind. This can be a moral force that weighs on ones mind and/or will. It can be a condition that affects someone physically, mentally, socially and/or economically

speaker    Discipline
Definition: to train by instruction and practice
Context: Discipline is a control obtained by enforcing compliance or order. It is training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvements.

speaker    Confidence
Definition: trust or faith in a person or thing
Context: Confidence is a feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance. Confidence is a firm belief in one's powers, abilities, or capacities

speaker    Leadership
Definition: the ability to provide guidance and direction
Context: Within sports, active leadership can inspire a team. Leadership can be a body of people who lead a group or the ability to lead. All provide direction to those they lead.

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This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed below. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education: 2nd Edition and have been provided courtesy of theMid-continent Research for Education and Learningin Aurora, Colorado.
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Language Arts
Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process
Uses style and structure appropriate for specific audiences (e.g., public, private) and purposes (e.g., to entertain, to influence, to inform)

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Language Arts
Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning
Plays a variety of roles in group discussions (e.g., active listener, discussion leader, facilitator)
Conveys a clear main point when speaking to others and stays on the topic being discussed
Presents simple prepared reports to the class

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Health
Knows how to maintain an promote personal health
Knows personal health strengths and risks (e.g., results of a personal health assignment)
Knows strategies and skills that are used to attain personal health goals (e.g., maintaining an exercise program, making healthy food choices)

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Behavioral Studies
Understand that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior
Understands that various factors (e.g., wants and needs, talents, interests, influence of family and peers and media) affects decisions that individuals make

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Behavioral Studies
Understands various meaning of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function
Understands that affiliation with a group can increase the power of members through pooled resources and concerted actionBenchmark:
Understands that a variety of factors (e.g., belief systems, learned behavior patterns) contribute to the ways in which groups respond differently to their physical and social environments and to the wants and needs of their members

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Behavioral Studies
Understand that interactions among learning, inheritance, and physical development affect human behavior
Understands that all behavior is affected by both inheritance and experienceBenchmark:
Understands that the level of skill a person can reach in any particular activity depends on a variety of factors ( e.g., innate abilities, amount of practice, the use of appropriate learning technologies)

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Life Skills (Working With Others)
Contributes to the overall effort of a group
Demonstrates respect for others in the groupBenchmark:
Identifies and uses the strengths of others
Takes initiative when needed
Helps the group establish goals
Evaluates the overall progress of a group toward a goal
Contributes to the development of a supportive climate in groups

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Life Skills (Working With Others)
Demonstrates leadership skills
Enlists others in working toward a shared vision

Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Life Skills (Working With Others)
Understands and applies basic principles of hypothesis testing and scientific inquiry
Understands that there may be more than one valid way to interpret a set of findings

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CWK Network
Connecting with Kids provides television programming and products focused on the health, education, and well-being of children and young adults. To contact CWK Network, write to Lee Scharback at

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