Physical activity increases learning because it increases blood flow to the brain. Blood flow to the brain increases oxygen which heightens alertness. Examples of interactive activities that incorporate movement are games, role plays, and learning stations within the classroom.
When students are physical and learning simultaneously, they are using multiple functions. They are activating their sense of hearing, seeing, and touching. If the students are creating a role play or campaign, they are using all their senses and being innovative, which stimulates the brain.
Physical activity has a way of bringing laughter, if it’s fun. It can also bring a since of accomplishment, if it’s challenging. Physical activity before or after learning something new is beneficial. If exercise is done before learning, then your brain is more alert to receive the information. If exercise is done after learning, then it helps your brain process the information. If possible, try to incorporate some physical activity in your class. Below is a way to do it!
- Have your class stand in a line or a circle (instructor’s choice).
- Tell each student they will lead the class in a physical activity.
- Examples are
- Waving hands above head
- Low kicks
- Twisting body
- Touching toes
- Each student has 20 seconds to lead the class in their activity of choice.
- After 20 minutes is up, say “Switch”
- The next student will lead the class in their activity.
- At the end of this activity, your brains should be ready to learn!
- You can also do this activity at the end of your session to help students’ brains process what they just learned.
Note: Please adjust activity if you have physically disabled students in your class.