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Strong Bones

This is an excerpt from Moving with Words & Actions by Rhonda Clements & Sharon Schneider.

National Standards Addressed

  • Standard 1. The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
  • Standard 2. The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Instructional Materials/Props

Picture or plastic skeleton of the body (optional)

Central Focus

To isolate and name different body parts that can serve as specified targets in a vigorous movement activity.


  • Cognitive: The child will point to bones in different parts of the body and indicate how they move.
  • Affective: The child will show signs of developing a positive self-concept after moving.
  • Psychomotor: The child will demonstrate that he or she can collapse safely to the ground after moving vigorously.

Component of Health-Related Fitness

Cardiorespiratory endurance

Learning Task 1:
Preparing Our Bodies to Move

Class organization: Children are scattered in self-spaces.

Challenge the children to perform the following actions while saying this rhyme:

My muscles and bones are inside of me. (Point to chest.)

My goal is to make them as strong as can be. (Flex biceps.)

So I happily gallop, slide, skip, and jump. (Perform movements.)

When finished, I use my bones to pound and thump! (Pound arms on chest.)

Learning Task 2:
Partner Challenge

Class organization: Partners are scattered in self-spaces.

Present the following:

  • Let's divide our bodies into different areas or zones.
  • Show your partner how you can make three upper-body parts move one after the other as you both count the moves. Your partner imitates you, and then you exchange roles.
  • Move two body parts on the right side of your body. Make one of those body parts the highest part of your body.
  • One partner points to two lower-body parts. See if you can make those two lower-body parts move at the same time. Exchange roles.
  • Both wiggle one body part that is on the left side of the body.

Learning Task 3:
Bones, Bones, Everywhere

Class organization: Children are scattered in identified groups.

  • Ask the children to designate a specific body part or body area to serve as a target (e.g., elbow, shoulder, below the knees, hip, or between the shoulder blades).
  • Select two or more chasers, depending on the size of the group.
  • Challenge the remainder of the children to scatter and flee from the chasers.
  • When a child is tagged, he or she collapses into a "pile of bones." After everyone is tagged, select new chasers, or call out, "Strong bodies!" Children who are tagged continue in the game.

Assessment Questions

  1. Which body part was the most difficult to tag?
  2. Show me the movements you used to keep your body from being tagged (e.g., dodging and darting).
  3. Who can remember a time when your bones needed to rest? How did you feel? Do you remember what you had been doing?

Academic Language Demands

  • Language function: Uses language to explore the various body areas that are appropriate to serve as a space for tagging.
  • Vocabulary: Collapse, elbow, hip, shoulder blades, strong
  • Syntax or discourse: A verbal exchange concerning how to collapse and fall to the ground safely.

Learn more about Moving With Words & Actions.

More Excerpts From Moving with Words & Actions