Lesson Plans

Welcome to the “Lesson Plans” section of the website. Here you will find all the teaching resources, educational videos and interactive lesson plans you will need to bring Moo Crew to life in your classroom.

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Lesson 2: Physical Activity

Welcome to Lesson Plan 2: Physical Health, designed to help pupils identify the role of specific nutrients in relation to activity, growth and development – in particular bone growth. It will also help increase awareness of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Download the lesson plan below, and don’t forget to check out our fun card game that accompanies this lesson in the ‘Resources’ tab.

LESSON PLAN: Infants
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To increase awareness of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to highlight the role of nutrition and physical activity for healthy bones.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Bone: A living tissue which makes up our skeleton.
Weight-bearing Exercises: Any exercise which puts the full weight of our body on our feet and legs e.g. running, skipping and most team sports.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Calcium: A mineral contributing to the normal growth, development and maintenance of our bones. Milk, yogurt and cheese are sources of calcium.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Recommendation

The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland recommend that children and young people (aged 2 – 18 years) should be active for at least 60 minutes every day (at a moderate to vigorous level) and should include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises three times per week.

Step 1: Introduction

  • Ask pupils to recall Lesson Plan 1 on Healthy Eating and the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid which presents guidelines for a healthy, balanced diet. Ask your pupils what else we should do to stay healthy. Note responses on a whiteboard or flipchart. Focus on responses relating to physical activity and exercise.

    Explain to your class how being active is not only fun but it is healthy too – an active lifestyle is important for healthy bones and muscles, and for maintaining a healthy body weight.

    Ask your pupils if they feel better after exercise, e.g. after running around outside.

    Ask your pupils what their favourite physical activity is. Note these on the whiteboard or flipchart.

Step 2: Bone Health and Diet / Lifestyle

Explain to your class that a number of factors influence bone health. We can help build strong and healthy bones by eating the right foods (a balanced diet with bone-friendly nutrients) and by being active. Explain that while they are growing up, it is an important time when their bones are growing and getting stronger.

Note for Teachers:

  • Calcium contributes to the growth, development and maintenance of our bone health. Milk, yogurt and cheese are among the best sources in our diet. However, it has been shown that many Irish children are not getting sufficient calcium in their diets. The ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group can be easily enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Three servings daily are recommended for children aged 5 – 8 years. Those aged 9 – 18 years are recommended to have five servings each day. Remind the class (from lesson 1 on Healthy Eating) that examples of a serving include a 200ml glass of milk, a 125g pot of yogurt, or a 25g piece of hard cheese, e.g. Cheddar cheese. Phosphorous and protein also play roles in bone health. Milk, yogurt and cheese also sources of these nutrients. Vitamin D is also needed for bone health. Dietary sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs and vitamin-D fortified dairy products.
  • Explain ‘weight-bearing’ exercises and how they are particularly important in helping to keep our bones healthy. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercises which put all your weight on your feet and legs. Examples of such activities include running, dancing, skipping and football.

Activity

Get Active, Get Mooving!

Instructions:

Add to the list of ways the class enjoy being active. Prompts include:

  1. Agreeing a time limit for watching TV and ‘screen time’ (TV, computer, phone, tablet etc.) and sticking with it.

  2. Playing outside with friends.

  3. Walking or cycling to school, or part of the way, where possible.

  4. Ensuring your school is signed up for the Active School Flag – www.activeschoolflag.ie.

  5. Taking part in after-school activities. Remind them that most of their time in school is spent sitting at a desk.

Don’t be a Lazy Bones!

Demonstrate some quick and easy weight-bearing exercises e.g. jumping jacks, running on the spot, hopping on one leg, high knees etc. Explain that you are going to play a game using these types of activities. Ask the pupils to find some space. Play a short game of ‘Milly Says’ based on ‘Simon Says’ using the exercises demonstrated.

Extension Activities

  1. In the hall or playground, set up a circuit of simple and fun weight-bearing exercises (running on the spot, jumping jacks, skipping etc.) and get the class to do each for 30 seconds. Explain how this can be done quickly and easily anywhere by almost everyone.
  2. Ask the children to draw a picture of them doing their favourite weight-bearing exercise.
  3. Hold a class sports day using ideas from the class as part of the activities.

Bring It Home

How are your pupils getting involved? Encourage your pupils to take home the message of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to: 1. Organise a family walk. 2. Walk their own dog or a neighbours’ dog (with an adult). 3. Play a team sport with their family. 4. Keep a physical activity diary, recording the activities they and their family do each week.

LESSON PLAN: Junior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To increase awareness of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to highlight the role of nutrition and physical activity for healthy bones.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Bone: A living tissue which makes up our skeleton.
Weight-bearing Exercises: Any exercise which puts the full weight of our body on our feet and legs e.g. running, skipping and most team sports.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Calcium: A mineral contributing to the normal growth, development and maintenance of our bones. Milk, yogurt and cheese are sources of calcium.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Recomendation

The National Guidelines on Physical Activity recommend that children and young people (aged 2 – 18 years) should be active for at least 60 minutes every day (at a moderate to vigorous level) and should include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises three times per week.

Step 1: Introduction

  • Ask pupils to recall Lesson Plan 1 on Healthy Eating and the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid which presents guidelines for a healthy, balanced diet. Ask your pupils what else we should do to stay healthy. Note responses on a whiteboard or flipchart. Focus on responses relating to physical activity and exercise.
  • Explain to your class how being active is not only fun but it is healthy too – and that an active lifestyle is important for healthy bones and muscles, and for maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Ask your pupils how they feel after exercise – focus on the positive responses alluding to them feeling better.
  • Ask your pupils what their favourite physical activity is. Note these on the whiteboard or flipchart.

Step 2: Bone Health and Diet / Lifestyle

  • Explain to your class that a number of factors influence bone health. We can help build strong and healthy bones by eating a balanced diet with bone-friendly nutrients and by taking part in physical activity. Explain that childhood and the teenage years are extremely important for bone growth and development.
  • Calcium contributes to the growth, development and maintenance of our bones and sources from our diet include milk, yogurt and cheese. However, it has been shown that many Irish children are not getting sufficient calcium in their diets. The ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group can be easily enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Three servings daily are recommended for children aged 5-8 years. Those aged 9-18 years are recommended to have five servings each day. Remind the class (from Lesson 1) that examples of a serving include a 200ml glass of milk, a 125g pot of yogurt, or a 25g piece of hard cheese, e.g. Cheddar cheese. Vitamin D is also needed for bone health. Dietary sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs and fortified dairy products.
  • Explain ‘weight-bearing’ exercises and that they are particularly important for our bone health. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercises which put the full weight of your body on your feet and legs. Examples of such activities include running, dancing, skipping and most team sports.

Activity

Get Active, Get Mooving!

Instructions:

Add to the list of ways the class enjoy being active. Prompts include:

  1. Agreeing a time limit for watching TV and ‘screen time’ (TV, computer, phone, tablet etc.) and sticking with it.

  2. Playing outside with friends.

  3. Walking or cycling to school, or part of the way, where possible.

  4. Ensuring your school is signed up for the Active School Flag – www.activeschoolflag.ie.

  5. Taking part in after-school activities. Remind them that most of their time in school is spent sitting at a desk.

Don’t be a Lazy Bones!

Demonstrate some quick and easy weight-bearing exercises e.g. jumping jacks, running on the spot, hopping on one leg, high knees etc. Explain that you are going to play a game using these. Ask the pupils to find some space. Play a short game of ‘Milly Says’ based on ‘Simon Says’ using the exercises demonstrated.

Extension Activities

  1. In the hall or playground, set up a circuit of simple and fun weight-bearing exercises (shuttle runs, jumping jacks, skipping etc.) and get the class to do each for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Explain how this can be done quickly and easily anywhere by almost everyone.
  2. In small groups, ask the children to design a physical activity game based around weight-bearing exercises which is good for their bone health (running, skipping, jumping, ball-games). Ask pupils to teach the new game they have invented to the rest of the class.
  3. Hold a class sports day using the pupils’ own games as part of the activities.

Bring It Home

How are your pupils getting involved?

Encourage your pupils to take home the message of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to:

  1. Organise a family walk.
  2. Walk their own dog or a neighbours’ dog (with an adult).
  3. Play a team sport with their family.
  4. Keep a physical activity diary, recording the activities that they and their family do each week.
LESSON PLAN: Senior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To increase awareness of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to highlight the role of nutrition and physical activity for healthy bones.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Bone: A living tissue which makes up our skeleton.
Weight-bearing Exercises: Any exercise which puts the full weight of your body on your feet and legs e.g. running, skipping and most team sports.
Dairy: Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese and yogurt.
Calcium: A mineral contributing to the normal growth, development and maintenance of our bones. Milk, yogurt and cheese are sources of calcium.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Guidelines

The National Guidelines on Physical Activity recommend that children and young people (aged 2 -18 years) should be active for at least 60 minutes every day (at a moderate to vigorous level) and should include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises three times per week.

Step 1: Introduction

  • Ask pupils to recall Lesson 1 on Healthy Eating and the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid which presents guidelines for a healthy, balanced diet. Ask your pupils what else we should do to stay healthy. Note responses on a whiteboard or flipchart. Focus on responses relating to physical activity and exercise.
  • Explain to your class how being active is not only fun but it is healthy too – and that an active lifestyle is important for healthy bones and muscles, and for maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Ask your pupils if they feel better after exercise.
  • Ask your pupils what their favourite physical activity is.

Step 2: Bone Health and Diet / Lifestyle

  • Explain to your class that a number of factors influence bone health. We can help build strong and healthy bones by eating a balanced diet with bone-friendly nutrients and by taking part in physical activity. Explain that childhood and the teenage years are extremely important for bone growth and development.
  • Calcium contributes to the growth, development and maintenance of our bones and sources from our diet include milk, yogurt and cheese. However, it has been shown that many Irish children are not getting sufficient calcium in their diets. The ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group can be easily enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Three servings daily are recommended for children aged 5-8 years. Those aged 9-18 years are recommended to have five servings each day. Remind the class (from Lesson 1) that examples of a serving include a 200ml glass of milk, a 125g pot of yogurt, or a 25g piece of hard cheese, e.g. Cheddar cheese. Vitamin D is also needed for bone health. Dietary sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs and fortified dairy products.
  • Explain ‘weight-bearing’ exercises and that they are particularly important for our bone health. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercises which put the full weight of your body on your feet and legs. Examples of such activities include running, dancing, skipping and most team sports.
  • Encourage pupils to make the connection between food and energy needs – ask them what they need to eat to help them to be active during the day. Ask pupils how they feel after eating and if they have more energy. Ask pupils what they think athletes do in order to have energy to train so hard (refer to Lesson 1).

Activity

Get Active, Get Mooving!

Instructions:

Add to the list of ways the class enjoy being active. Prompts include:

  1. Agreeing a time limit for watching TV and ‘screen time’ (TV, computer, phone, tablet etc.) and sticking with it.

  2. Playing outside with friends.

  3. Walking or cycling to school, or part of the way, where possible.

  4. Ensuring your school is signed up for the Active School Flag – www.activeschoolflag.ie.

  5. Taking part in after-school activities. Remind them that most of their time in school is spent sitting at a desk.

Don’t be a Lazy Bones!

In small groups, ask the children to design a physical activity game based around weight-bearing exercises which are good for their bone health (running, skipping, jumping, ball-games). Pupils will be asked to perform a series of fun weight-bearing exercises.

For example – design their own hopscotch, invent a new skipping game etc.

Extension Activities

  1. Ask pupils to teach the new game that they have invented to the rest of the class.
  2. Hold a class sports day using the pupils’ own games as part of the activities.

Bring It Home

How are your pupils getting involved?

Encourage your pupils to take home the message of the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

As a homework exercise, you can ask your pupils to:

  1. Organise a family walk.
  2. Walk their own dog or a neighbours’ dog (with an adult).
  3. Play a team sport with their family.
  4. Keep a physical activity diary, recording the activities that they and their family do each week.
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