We’re pleased to announce the publication of Get Fit & Flourish: Enhanced Physical Activity Manual. This manual, developed by Golden Apple awardee Sandy Noel in collaboration with the Illinois Public Health Institute, provides a variety of lesson plans and activities to help students develop the skills needed for life –long physical activity. Each lesson, developed for K-8 students, focuses on the importance of team-building and cooperative learning, and enhances the amount of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Handouts include tips for families, and resources for getting students moving more in physical education class, after-school programs, and at home.
Get Fit & Flourish activities were pilot-tested in 8 public schools and a YMCA after-school program, with positive feedback and results. “It was like having my lessons done for me!” said Mary Aillon, P.E. teacher at Pasteur Elementary School in Chicago. An after-school instructor at the High Ridge YMCA said, “I noticed a change in attitude, like understanding [what makes] a whole grain. The visuals all helped a lot.” Several elementary students commented about how much fun they had with the activities and that they liked working together. Pre- and post- tests with the students showed their knowledge about nutrition improved after completion of the activities, and teachers noted increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout the lessons.
“The activities are to be used to enhance existing curriculum and get kids moving more,” said developer Sandy Noel. “The lesson plans are based on research and reflect the intricate web of interconnections between our brain and body, our basic and emotional needs, learning, memory, and performance. Through movement and games, students gain an understanding of the importance of making healthy choices.”
This online resource is available free of charge and can be shared with all teachers, after-school program instructors, and others who wish to enhance the quality of physical activity and physical education for their students.