Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Take the Challenge

Kathy Kelly


Students create a program that will improve their overall fitness levels. They keep daily records in personal journals of all exercise and physical activities, as well as their personal thoughts and reflections on their progress toward their goals.


The student writes text, notes, outlines, comments, and observations that demonstrate comprehension of content and experiences from a variety of media.

The student organizes information using alphabetical, chronological, and numerical systems.

The student describes the principles of training and conditioning for specific physical activities.

The student knows how to use a journal to document the benefits of participation in physical activity as part of an individual wellness plan.

The student knows how to sustain an aerobic activity, maintaining target heart rate, to achieve cardiovascular benefits.

The student plans and participates in an individualized fitness program.

The student analyzes the results of fitness assessments to guide changes in a personal fitness program.


-Chart paper


1. Set up chart stand and markers for discussion.

2. Gather health, fitness, and nutrition magazines, as well as books for reference.


-Students select activities and exercises in which they will participate and perform to improve their overall fitness levels.
-Students participate in the program for two weeks and document facts and personal reflections in their journals on a daily basis.
-Students understand and apply the FIT formula and the Karvonen formula:
The Karvonen Formula:
Target Rate during exercise = 220 - age - resting heart rate (RHR) x workout rate (50-80% of maximum heart rate) + RHR
The FIT Formula:
F = frequency (three times a week)
I = intensity (50-80% of maximum heart rate)
T = time (at least 20-40 minutes)

Authentic Context:
You are out of shape. Your friends have told you that you haven’t been yourself lately and that in order to feel better you need to get involved in some physical activities. Your friends challenge you to try some activities for two weeks to see if there will be any improvement in your overall wellness. You decide to accept the challenge. To document your progress during the two weeks, you will record information regarding the physical activity you undertake, as well as your personal reflections in your daily journal.

1. Discuss various activities that improve overall fitness. Brainstorm activities in which students can participate at school, at home, or in the community. Record responses on chart paper.

2. Discuss the principle of specificity. The principle of specificity is a principle of training one area at a time. For example, if one wants to increase muscle strength in the leg area, then that individual must do exercises that strengthen the legs. Arm exercises would not enhance that area.

3. Each student selects the activities in which he will participate for two weeks. In their journals, each student will keep daily records with date, time of exercise, activity, and target heart rate. In addition, each student should write a daily reflection on how he feels that day, what progress has been made, suggestions for improving fitness, and benefits of participation in the activity.

4. Have students pay attention to the frequency, length of time, intensity, and target heart rate each time they exercise.

5. Begin the two weeks by having students reflect upon the following question: “What am I trying to accomplish in the next two weeks?”

6. After one week, conduct a debriefing session to see how students are doing. Collect journals and provide feedback, both on the progress students are making and on the quality of the journal entries.

7. At the end of two weeks, have students reflect upon improvements they have made and how they feel about the activities in which they participated.


Suggested Criteria for Journal Entries:

• date of activity
• time (duration) of activity
• intensity of activity
• target heart rate
• personal reflections regarding:
- feelings about participating in the physical activity
- improvement being made
- suggestions for further improvement
- benefits from participating in the activity

Both student and teacher assesses the quality of the journal entries based on the criteria above.
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