Active Bodies, Active Brains offers a wealth of physical activities to help kids develop physical, social, and cognitive skills. Based on cutting-edge research in brain compatibility, these games and activities help children
increase their ability to focus;
integrate their movement with thinking, thus enhancing development of neural pathways;
open up more areas of the brain to participate in learning;
reduce stress and enhance positive feelings to increase their learning; and
include physical activity in their daily lives.
Active Bodies, Active Brains provides you with 66 activities and games—and it shows you how to easily modify and extend those to create numerous additional games. Indeed, by applying the techniques in this book, you can create an endless supply of brain-compatible physical activities while helping your participants build cognition, health-related fitness, and physical skills.
Based on current brain-based practices, including Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, Active Bodies, Active Brains includes 66 cross-curricular critical-thinking activities that are aligned with national physical education standards. Because the activities call for common equipment and supplies that you most likely already have, your costs and prep time will be low. That prep time is further reduced by an activity finder that helps you find the appropriate activity at a glance.
In each activity, kids are put in situations where they have to think critically—they learn how to think while they have fun moving. This movement–learning relationship is bolstered by research showing that movement enhances comprehension.
Choose from numerous ways to both prompt learning and add variety. In addition to adapting games, you’ll find ideas on the following:
Sequencing the activity differently
Considering the task from differing points of view
Identifying the reasoning used
Asking kids to think about their thinking processes
Figuring out what information is relevant to the task at hand
Many teachers find they have less activity time because of the No Child Left Behind legislation, and the reduced activity time doesn’t help kids learn. With its high-quality activities that are easy to facilitate, Active Bodies, Active Brains is the perfect antidote for reduced activity time. Infused with brain-compatible strategies and critical-thinking challenges, this book will help students transfer the physical and thinking skills practiced and learned to other physical activities. And they’ll become more physically skilled—and mentally adept—in the process.
How to Use This Book
Chapter 1. Introduction to Brain-Compatible Instruction
Chapter 2. Teaching Thinking Through Physical Activity
Chapter 3. Introductory Activities
Chapter 4. Basic Activities
Chapter 5. Intermediate Activities
Chapter 6. Complex Activities
About the Author
Reference for pre-K-8 physical educators, classroom teachers, and administrators; PETE instructors; and after-school and recreation leaders.
Mary E. Clancy, PhD, has been teaching for more than 30 years and has seen the thinking processes in her students decline during that period. An associate professor and coordinator of the physical education teacher education program in the department of exercise and sport studies at the University of Tampa, Clancy has studied the thinking and brain-friendly development processes, developed a model to assist in the development of thinking, and made numerous presentations on related topics. A lover of movement and activity, she sees movement as the perfect vehicle to help children learn to think, be successful in their daily lives, make healthy decisions, and become independent.