December 6, 2016

VAHPERD Review Series Part 4: The Brain Game Challange

I am so excited to share my final session review from the 2016 VAHPERD Conference! This presentation was created by Andrea Samsky and I have to say that there is not a more creative person teaching HPE in this universe! For example, when she teaches soccer in class, every piece of equipment takes on a role in the circulatory system (i.e. the balls are oxygen) and she utilizes these pieces to teach two or more concepts at once. My mind was truly blown! I could have stayed and talked to her for HOURS to listen to all of the ways she incorporates health concepts into the PE realm for her elementary students. If you are ever in search of creative ideas for your HPE classroom, reach out to Andrea, she is phenomenal!

Well now that you've heard about how wonderful Andrea is, let me give you all the skinny on what she taught us at VAHPERD to prove it! This lesson was created for elementary students, but after going through it with her, these can easily be adapted to fit the middle school classroom. This activity is called the Brain Game Challenge and works with a station system and worksheet to get kids building, moving, and learning throughout the classroom. I did mark this as a freebie, but there are components you will need before taking this into class and I'll warn you, it requires some work, but the payoff is worth it!


  1. Pool noodles cut into 1/2 inch sections (approximately 23 per group)
  2. Rope (approximately 24-36 inches long) per group
  3. Printed worksheets (one per group)
  4. Pens/Pencils (one per group)
  5. Station Cards
  6. Cones (one per station)
  7. Hula Hoops (one per group)

  1. Stations should be spread apart around the outside of your safe space with all necessary equipment.
  2. Each group should find a hula hoop with their equipment placed inside of it.
  1. If possible, try to keep group sizes between 3-5 so students are actively involved.
  2. Number your station cards so they match the question on the worksheet. You don't want students spending five minutes at a station sitting and staring at the worksheet trying to figure out where the answer is - keep it simple for them.
  3. Avoid making every individual child fill out their own sheet - it keeps them still for longer bouts of time.
  4. Move around throughout the activity and check on student learning and retention.
  5. Review at the end of class while keeping kids active.

     If you would like to see the PDF files of her station cards or worksheet, please shoot me an e-mail at If you know of an easy way to upload those files directly to blogger  as a PDF, please let me know! I'm still learning and can admit, I'm not sure of the best way to get you that information. You can see in the sample below that the set she gave us is for lower elementary! Over Christmas break, I will be working on a middle school version for those of us who may be interested!

     Don't forget to submit your ideas for my TpT store by December 20! E-mail with your submissions and check out the entries and rewards post here! Until next time :)

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