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Teaching the Health Components of Fitness in Upper Primary

June 3rd, 2023


Active Living - Phase 4

Conceptual Understandings

  • There is a connection between exercise, nutrition and physical well-being. 

  • Setting personal goals and developing plans to achieve these goals can enhance performance.

  • Identifying and participating in activities we enjoy can motivate us to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Learning Outcomes

  • Reflect and act upon their preferences for physical activities in leisure time

  • Understand the interdependence of factors that can affect health and well-being

  • Identify realistic goals and strategies to improve personal fitness

  • Exhibit effective decision-making processes in the application of skills during physical activity

Within my long-term plan


PYP 5 - Board Game Fitness Unit

PYP 6 - Cardiovascular Endurance (Intro to all 5 Components of Fitness with focus on running games and challenges)

PYP 7 - Skill Components of Fitness

PYP 8 - Health Components of Fitness 

MYP 1 - Components of Fitness/Nutrition (deeper dive into nutrients and how to structure goal-setting)


Unit Outline

The five Health Components of Fitness are taught, alongside goal-setting. Students will look at the connection between Body Composition and Nutrition, while also exploring Cardiovascular Endurance, Flexibility, Muscular Endurance and Muscular Strength. Students will set a goal to improve a fitness component they are interested in, and have opportunities to work towards their specific goal. At the end of the unit, students will have a greater understanding of the health components of fitness, food that supports training, and how to effectively set goals.


  1. Allowing for student choice to pursue fitness types they are personally interested in

  2. Structured goal-setting, working towards this goal over the course of the unit

  3. Including nutrition outcomes alongside keeping students active


I also use BC learning outcomes to guide my units, however, I focus on the IB in this post.


Tuning In - Lesson 1

The lessons are based on a 50 minutes, one time a week framework. For more detail on link to the games or a description, exit tickets, a rubric, and the fitness routine planner, please see my TPT resource.


As an introduction to this unit, students will take on a variety of fitness challenges that are specifically within a specific component of fitness. Students will complete the following:

  • 5 minutes of running

  • Yoga Salutation

  • Plank Beanbag Slide

  • Clap Pushup Challenge


With the goal to prompt further investigation, the health components of fitness are introduced as a debrief, with students Think, Pair, Sharing, which of the four learning experiences matches each fitness component. Students will be asked to reflect on their experiences today, what did they feel was a strength, what they could improve upon, and what they enjoyed.

Finding Out - Lessons 2 and 3


To start each lesson we will explore the fifth component of fitness, the component of body composition. Through short videos, interactive health/fitness video starters, and class discussions, the aim is for students to understand how nutrition and fitness work together. 


Lesson 2: 

  • Body Composition Component Starter

  • Components of Muscular Endurance and Muscular Strength

  • Station work, emphasizing safety using equipment, identifying differences and similarities between the components

Lesson 3:

  • Review Body Composition

  • Explore Cardiovascular Endurance and Flexibility through games and challenges.


Each lesson will have a quick exit ticket slip to check for student's understanding of the components of fitness, and making connections to their own well-being.

lesson 3exit.PNG

Going Further - Lesson 4 and 5


Over these two lessons, students will set a component of fitness goal, and work towards reaching the goal while learning about targeted exercises that interest them.

Lesson 4:

  • Setting an individual component of fitness goal, one of interest to each student.

  • Complete goal-setting sheet and explore exercises that would help them improve on this component.

  • Share examples on the board and debrief before identifying how they can measure success. Ex. how many pushups in a row 


Lesson 5:

  • Daily Warmup Game

  • Students review goal and partner up with others of same goal

  • Each group works out together, focus on finding the right amount of challenge for the body.


Lesson 5 Exit Ticket: What can you do at home to continue to work towards your goal?

lesson4 goalsetting.PNG

Taking Action - Lessons 6 and 7


To demonstrate their understanding of goal-setting and the components of fitness, students create a fitness routine focused on their goal. As this is a new experience to the student (most likely), they use a fitness planner worksheet, allowing students to focus on the quality and appropriateness of exercise for their plan. They will formulate a plan that is challenging, around 10 minutes in length, and targets the area of body they desire through a variety of exercises.


Lesson 6:

  • Students formulate and plan a workout routine.

  • Upon completion students will partner up and work through individual plans.

  • Partners can offer feedback, help time/count, and motivate.


Lesson 7:

  • Work through fitness routine planned last lesson.

  • Students partner up with one going first, other supporting. Then switch roles.

  • Answer final exit ticket of the unit and debrief their experiences.


Implementing the Approaches to Learning


These two ATL skills were chosen as a focus to compliment our learner profiles, student participation in our stations and games, and as a focus to really emphasize the importance of goal-setting and planning to optimize fitness experiences.


Self-Management: Goal Setting

Research: Formulating and Planning


Goal-setting, an evident and important set will be explicitly explored throughout this unit of inquiry. Students will set a goal in a specific component of fitness, identify ways to work towards this goal and create a fitness plan to reach that set goal.


As part of the final assessment for this unit, students will plan out a fitness routine, that has them formulating exercises to put together, to reach their fitness goals. As the unit progresses this planning will become less teacher-led, and only scaffolded as necessary.

Learner Profiles


Knowledgeable: Students will participate in class discussions, play games, and share ideas that demonstrate their knowledge of fitness and health concepts. They will recognize to pursue health and fitness goals, basing it on facts and knowledge is important.


Balanced: As our central idea focuses on, students will explore how being healthy is a mix of looking after your well-being, through rest, nutrition and fitness. Students should not just focus on the games, fitness objectives, but also participate as a group member and share ideas during periods of rest.

Teacher Reflection


After teaching my Skill Components unit with this group the previous year, they quickly picked up how these components work, and could make connections to their personal lives easier than I anticipated.


I would always love more fitness equipment, but students enjoyed learning about how to use basic equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls as they are not quite at a gym-going age.


The summative assessment, where students created a fitness plan definitely will require stops for students to justify their exercise selection, and check if they are adding appropriate rep/time ranges. I always have someone who puts “100 pushups” without thinking about the implications.

Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel, I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.

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