Reinforcing Activities

Like the practice component of the Instructional Segment, Reinforcing Activities are scripted. Make sure you understand the activity, and then present it to your students in your own words. Reinforcing Activities provide additional time on task as well as fun opportunities for students to practice the lesson objectives. These activities also provide a chance for you to check mastery of the TLP steps for each objective by assessing student application of the skills during the activity. The Reinforcing Activities are intended to supplement—not replace—the instruction and practice found in the Instructional Segments. Therefore, for maximum learning to take place, always precede these activities with sound instruction using the PEPR model described above. During the activities, it remains important to remind students of the lesson objective and to provide feedback using the cue words.

Since healthy eating is crucial for good health and to decrease risk for some chronic diseases, many of the Reinforcing Activities incorporate basic nutrition concepts. Those that do are designated by a nutrition icon (apple) in the left column (see Figure 7). You do not need any nutrition-related training to use these activities; the concepts are simple and consistent with the new USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. We recommend that you display the MyPlate poster (available from choosemyplate.gov) throughout the school year.

Four nutrition messages/concepts are incorporated into the Reinforcing Activities:

  • Eat a variety of foods from the food groups. The new dietary guidelines recommend choosing foods that are low in fat from the dairy and protein groups and suggest that half of the servings from the grain group be whole grain. Learning about and trying new foods is an important part of getting the variety needed to supply the various nutrients. Encourage children to try new foods, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat or low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt. Consider taking a few minutes each week to ask students which new foods they have tried and how they liked them.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Children’s health depends on getting adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables; however, many children do not eat even one fruit or vegetable per day. Canned, frozen, and fresh fruits and vegetables all have vitamins,  minerals, and fiber. Also encourage children to drink 100% fruit juice or water. There is no reason that children need to eat any one particular fruit or vegetable—all fruits and vegetables have nutrients, and it’s important both to eat ones they like and to try new ones. Tell students ways that you include fruits and vegetables in your busy day so they have ideas of how they can follow this important guideline. MyPlate materials say “Make half your plate fruit and veggies.”

  • Eat healthy snacks. A lot of calories, sugar, and fat are incorporated into the diet in the form of high-sugar drinks, chips, candy, and other snacks. Healthy snacks are a great way for kids to get nutrients they need, such as calcium. MyPlate messages include “Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.” Most children love flavored milk and drinkable yogurts; smoothies can be inexpensive if you make them at home and string cheese is an easy way to get calcium for families on the go. Getting enough fiber can also be very difficult, but is essential to a healthy diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods (like crackers, breads/toast, and bagels) for snacks or meals is a good way to add fiber to children’s diets. Encourage students to ask their parents to have nutritious, easily-accessible snacks available. If teachers at your school reward students with treats, encourage them to use either healthy foods or non-food rewards.

  • Wash hands properly. This topic is covered to a lesser extent but is crucial to preventing food-borne illness. Emphasize using soap and water and scrubbing hands (both sides), wrists, and between fingers for at least 20 seconds to kill germs.

All activities were developed and/or evaluated by experienced physical education teachers. Care was taken to ensure that they are appropriate and enjoyable for the recommended grade levels.

 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines


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