Health Ed

HEALTH ED: Physical activity makes ‘Arrow’ a hero

In Year 7 Health Education this Term we are looking at Fitness. First lesson we attempted to answer the question “how active am I” (read more here), and this lesson we attempt to answer “what are the benefits of being active” (or, why does physical activity make the Arrow a hero). I wanted something visual the students could connect to so I decided to use the Arrow (fictional character) as my inspiration (I would of used Batman but couldn’t find a video clip of him ‘being active’ that wasn’t violent). Heres a quick summary of what we did:

  1. Just Dance “The Final Countdown” – Instant engaging activity to kick off the lesson on a positive (and active) note. This dance has two characters so students had to pair up – added another fun element to the lesson. The theme of the dance is something like a wrestling match which I chose as it linked to Arrow being somewhat of a ‘fighter’ (crime fighter that is).
  2. Video of Arrow ‘Training’ – I explained that Arrow is like Batman in that he has is “hero” status due to his physical fitness and strength. Unlike Superman who has his “hero” status due to his superpowers. Arrow is able to catch bad guys because he trains to catch bad guys – Superman catches bad guys because he was born on the planet Krypton (I’ll stop there before this becomes a debate about who’s better, Superman or Arrow). I asked students to consider three things whilst watching the clip
    • What types of exercises Arrow does in the clip.
    • How would the students feel if they had to complete the same exercises.
    • The difference between Arrow at the start of the clip and at the end.
  3. Worksheet: Students were then given a worksheet to complete in small groups. I placed the following key words on the board to help them answer the questions: Increase, decrease, faster, harder, deeper, heavier, stronger, more efficient (ie. uses less energy). I didn’t want students to get too ‘scientific’, the focus was on recognising simple differences between sitting still and exercising, and, someone who doesn’t exercise and someone who exercises 4 times a week. (ie. looks like, sounds like, feels like). We referred back to the Arrow video, and our ‘Just Dance’ activity throughout the lesson (ie. what did it feel like to workout to the just dance video? What would it feel like to workout like Arrow was working out?). Students had seen Arrow so were able to consider what ‘fitness’ looks like (ie. physically looks strong and moves fast). And, students had participated in the dance, hence were able to recall what exercising feels like. The real focus of the lesson was for students to recognise that their heart and lungs ‘get fitter’ with exercise (ie. able to pump more blood or extract more oxygen). So fitness is more than looking fit and strong, its also about being able to function more efficiently. The Arrow video also became something we recalled in future lessons on the components of fitness (ie. What components of fitness did you see Arrow train and when/why would he use them as a crime fighting hero? How does this compare to the roles and actions of a normal civilian? etc etc)
    • What happens to the Arrow’s heart as he exercises?
    • Why does the speed of the Arrow’s heart change as he exercises?
    • At rest (ie. sitting down), how might your heart rate be different to the Arrow’s heart rate? Try to explain your answer.
    • When the Arrow begins to exercise, his body has to respond to the change in activity level in order to maintain a constant internal environment (homeostasis). Changes take place within his muscles, respiratory system and circulatory system.
      1. Define: Respiratory system, circulatory system, muscular system
      2. What are the main changes that would take place within the: Respiratory System >> Circulator System >> Muscular System
    • Regular exercise results in adaptations (changes) to the circulatory, respiratory and muscular systems in order to help them perform better under additional stress. If we were to exercise regularly like the Arrow, what would be some changes that would take place within our: Respiratory System >> Circulator System >> Muscular System

Resources:

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