Classroom Physical Activity Idea

Kinesthetic Spelling


Approach: Movement integrated into planned academic instruction

Subject Area: Language Arts/ Spelling

Age: Elementary

Recommended by: Jessica Yoder, Childhood Obesity Program Coordinator, Indiana State Department of Health, Previous 2nd Grade Teacher in Indianapolis’s MSD of Wayne Township

Context: When teaching spelling, there is often a ‘focus’ sound of the week.  If you take the word “cat,” the focus may be on its short /a/ sound.

Instructions: Teacher should be prompting, participating and helping students understand the procedure of Kinesthetic Spelling. Eventually, this activity can be student led with teacher participating and providing individual supports.

Ask students to:

  1. Stand up, push in their chairs, and stand behind their desk.
  2. Start in a squatted position and say the first sound out loud /c/.
  3. Say the sound of the short /a/ five times, rising gradually each time until they are standing by the time the say the last sound.
  4. Say the /t/ in a standing position.
  5. Jump in the air and say the whole word, “cat.”
  6. To reach students that are visual learners, between each word, teacher and student can write the word on dry erase boards.
2nd graders engaging in classroom physical activity at Stout Field Elementary School in Indianapolis, IN.

2nd grade students in Jessica Yoder’s class from Stout Field Elementary School in Indianapolis, IN.