Sports Lesson Plan

Courtesy of Tami L. Maldonado-Mancebo

Early Childhood Curriculum Consultant, Omaha Public Schools

This themed unit allows students to develop a variety of academic skills as they explore a variety of sports and physical fitness activities.

Learning Objectives: Learning objectives include, fine and gross motor development, coordination, language skills, spatial concepts, problem solving, sequencing, identification, labeling, imitation, and role- playing.

Arts & Crafts Center
Soccer Paint
Have the students cut out white circles and then paint black shapes to make a soccer ball.

Ball Prints
Wading pool or other large container, paint, paper, sports balls (Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, etc.)

Put a small amount of paint into a wading pool. Have your children roll the ball into the paint and then roll it onto paper to make unique ball prints.

3D Football

Materials: paper, paint, shredded paper

Have students cut two identical footballs out of paper. Then have them staple these together and stuff with shredded paper. They can then paint the football to make it more realistic.

Sport's Collage
Cut sports pictures from magazines and paste onto paper.

Clay Trophies
Students can create sports trophies using clay.

Dramatic Play Center
Turn your dramatic play center into a gym or workout room. Add life size paper lockers to your walls to add to the atmosphere.

Add exercise and sport uniform clothes to your dramatic play center.

Milk Bowling
Label milk cartons with a number and corresponding dots from 1 to 10. Have students set up the cartons in sequence to form a triangle.

Your children can "spill the milk" by knocking down the cartons with a roll of the ball. Help your students add up the numbers (and/or dots) on the cartons they knock over.

As you play, encourage kids to role-play what to do when the milk spills: “I spilled the milk!” “I’m sorry.” “That's OK. Let's clean it up together.”

Sensory Center
Fill the sensory table with small balls, such as golf balls, foam balls, wiffle balls, or tennis balls. Add a balance scale so that the children can weigh the balls to see if they take on water.

Science Center
Balls of Sports
Get as many different types of sports balls as possible (basketball, baseball, hockey puck, etc.) and pass them around your class and talk about each one. During play time you can also let your students play with them.

Inside of a Baseball
Cut off the cover of a baseball and let the students explore the inside of a baseball. You can also do this with soccer and footballs

Sports Bar/Drink Taste Test
Let your students taste test the different sports drinks and sports bars available and graph the class favorites.

Sport Match
Cut out several pictures of sports balls as well as athletes. Have students match the balls with the athlete that plays with the corresponding ball.

Math Center
Graph Favorite Teams
Ask your class which sport or sports team is their favorite. Make a bar graph and see what the favorite team or sport of the room is.

Ball Sort
Sort various balls by size, texture, and color.

Cooking Center
Ball Snack
Decorate the top of cupcakes as different sports balls.

Energy Bar Snack
Let your students sample energy bars for snack.

Sports Drink Snack
Have sports drinks for snack time. Explain why athletes drink sports drinks and how they benefit your body.

Pass & Punt Cookies
Using sugar-cookie dough, cut out round or football-shaped cookies and have students decorate them to look like the ball of their favorite sport.

Block Center
Encourage students to create sports arenas for their favorite sports (basketball courts, hockey rinks, football stadiums, etc.). Provide paper for students to use to label their arenas.

Large Group Activities
Introduce different balls used in a variety of sports. First show them the ball and asked questions about color, shape and what game it may be used for. Let them pass the balls around the circle and then play a game. Then toss the ball around 3 times, first have each student say their name, next say what sport they like the best.

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Give each student a four foot length of paper streamer. Play music while students explore and try out rhythmic gymnastics.

Balance Beam
Tape a balance beam on the floor using tape. Or if you’re outdoors, use sidewalk chalk to draw a balance beam on concrete or lay out a plank of wood over a grass or dirt surface.

Long Jump
Mark a line on the ground with either sidewalk chalk or a rope. Allow students to try jumping as far as they can and marking their jumps to see if they can improve their jump distance.

Parachute Pinball
1. Place a ball in the middle of the parachute and tell students to shake the parachute to make small ripples.
2. After a minute, call stop.
3. Tell students that you will call out the name of a student in the circle. The group must decide what to do to get the ball to roll to the student whose name was called. Ask students what ideas they have to get the ball to roll to the student without touching the ball with their hands. Allow the group to try different ideas to see which one works.
4. After students have moved the ball to the correct student, tell them to make small ripples again so that the ball moves around the parachute.
5. After a minute, call stop and call out the name of a different student.
6. Alternate between making small ripples with the ball on the parachute and calling out names until all students have had their name called.

Basketball Toss
Have students toss a small basketball into a small trash can or basket.

Hammer Throw
Take a tube sock and put a small plush ball inside. Have students toss it above their head and let it go. See who can toss the ball the farthest.

Throw straws and see who can throw them the farthest.

Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course encouraging students to crawl under, through, and over obstacles.

Set up a tennis match using flyswatters and balloons.

Have students stand on both sides of a net and hit a beach ball back and forth over the net.

Shot Put
Have students throw tennis balls or softballs like a shot put.

Relay Races
Have students run a set distance (ex. 25 yards) and hand off an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube to the next student. Allow the last student in the relay to race to the finish line that is marked with a stretched out piece of crepe paper.

Set up small obstacles for students to run and jump over.

The Drinking Straw Race
Each student holds a bent drinking straw between his or her nose and upper lip. See who can run to the finish line without losing the straw.

The Balloon Between the Knees Race
Inflate the balloon, but not too much so that it fits comfortably between the knees of the student and have them run or hop to the finish line.

Hug-the-Balloon-Friend Relay
Place a balloon between two student's tummies. Have the students hug each other tight and move sideways to the finish line without dropping the balloon.

Birdie Feather Race
Have students take off one shoe and sock on one foot. Tuck a feather between two toes. The students will walk to finish line without losing the feather; if they do they go back to the start and try again.

Backward Race
Walk fast, backwards trying not to bump into each other to the finish line.

The Egg-A-Thon Race
Use plastic Easter eggs and plastic spoons and instruct them to walk fast holding the egg in the spoon to the finish line.

Ring Toss
Hopscotch board
Rubber rings
Bottles filled with sand

The students should stand five feet away from the bottles, and try to throw the ring over the neck of the bottles. Each student can try and increase the distance between themselves and the bottles, in order to improve their ring tossing skills.

Take Me Out To the Ballgame
“Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks®,
I don't care if I never get back.
For it's root root root for the home team,
If they don't win it’s a shame.
For it's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out,
At the old ball game.”

Bend and Stretch
“Bend and stretch,
Reach for the sky,
Bend and stretch,
Stretching so high!”

Wish I Could Be In the Olympics (Sung to the tune of the Oscar Mayer® Theme)
“Oh, I wish that I could be in the Olympics,
I wish that I could run and have some fun.
For if I could run in the Olympics,
I'm sure that I'd be number one!

Oh, I wish that I could be in the Olympics,
I wish that I could swim and have some fun.
For if I could swim in the Olympics,
I'm sure that I'd be number one!

Oh, I wish that I could be in the Olympics,
I wish that I could throw and have some fun.
For if I could throw in the Olympics,
I'm sure that I'd be number one!

Oh, I wish that I could be in the Olympics,
I wish that I could jump and have some fun.
For if I could jump in the Olympics,
I'm sure that I'd be number one!”

See the Swimmers (Sung to the tune of We're Going to The Zoo)
“See the swimmers a swim, swim, swimming,
Racing down the pool their swim, swim, swimming,
Looking so cool as their swim, swim, swimming,
So we'll go swimming too.

See the runners a run, run, running,
Racing down the track their run, run, running,
Looking so fast as they’re run, run running,
So we'll go running too.”

Home School Connection
• Sports help children develop many physical skills.
• Sports create a great environment for children to learn how to interact and work with others.
• Through imitation and role-playing, children will be able to develop better physical skills and an understanding of games and their rules.
• Through the experience of classroom games and activities, students will be able to develop greater motor skills, will learn to play well with others, develop language skills, and become more aware of spatial relationships.

Now that your students have learned about sports and physical fitness activities, look for more fun lesson plan ideas.