Dale City Elementary School uses gym time to teach academics
Posted on 04/20/2020
Collage of six photos of DCES students playing basketball and learning

This story features a learning activity that took place prior to school closures due to COVID-19.

The physical education staff members at Dale City Elementary School are teaching students about literature and science while they work out. “Who knew students would get so excited about spelling and writing different vocabulary words,” exclaimed Holly Donchev, P.E. teacher at Dale City Elementary. 

The teachers created three activities for their students: “Bone Shots,” “Scrabble Basketball,” and “Skeletal System Adventure Race.”

In “Bone Shots,” students are given a blank worksheet that depicts an unlabeled skeleton. The basketball court is then marked with colored dots that represent different bones in the human body. When students make a shot while standing on a dot, they are allowed to label that bone on their worksheet. Students finish when they have labeled the entire skeleton.

“Scrabble Basketball,” gives students the opportunity to work on their vocabulary words. The basketball court is again marked with colored dots, but this time each dot represents a different letter. When students make a shot while standing on a dot, they can use that letter to spell one of their vocabulary words. Once they have completed spelling a word, they can move on to the next word.

In the “Skeletal System Adventure Race,” the gym is set up with stations. Each station has a picture of a different bone. Students are given the name of a bone and they must dribble a basketball to the station with the picture of that bone. Once they get to the correct station, they must perform an exercise such as basketball plank passing or one-handed basketball push-ups. Once the exercise is completed, the students are given the next bone name and can move on to the next station.

“It’s always a joy to watch the students celebrate once they have arrived at their final destination,” said Donchev.