Each February my elementary school celebrates healthy hearts by participating in the heart course, and holding our Jump Rope for Heart Event. February is the month when I really focus on circulatory system evidence outcomes. Throughout the year we do various obstacle courses, but the Heart Course is an obstacle course modeled after the circulatory system.
As a school district we all pitched in and purchased equipment. The equipment travels from school to school. We will also have a family healthy heart night. Students invite their families. The students teach their families all about what they have learned as they all go through the giant circulatory system obstacle course.
My favorite part of this week is when I introduce “life choice” cards. Throughout the course students draw cards. These cards offer a variety of life choices and the consequences of those choices. For example, when students are traveling through the lungs they might draw a card that reads ” you live smoke free, your lungs are healthy do 10 jumps and continue” or their card might read ” you smoke 8 cigarettes per day, your lungs are full of tar and the oxygen exchange has become difficult, do 50 jumps!” Students soon learn the easiest cards correlate with the healthiest choices. Another card stack is by the gym doors. Students draw question cards in which they can tell me the answer if they know it, or they can go into the hallway and look through Magic School Bus Circulatory System posters to find the answer. The reason I like this best about the heart course is students not only get a their heart rates soaring and learn about the circulatory system, but they learn how the small choices they make throughout the day can affect their bodily systems.