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Staying Healthy by Participating in Dance and Sports: Ways of Exercise in Many Cultures

This unit undertakes to (1) promote physical activity by reminding students of the need for exercise to keep a healthy body and mind, (2) allow students to share a piece of their culture with classmates, (3) introduce science vocabulary to high school English language learners. We will focus on dance and sports from the various cultures of the students as well as one of America’s favorite sports (basketball) and one or two dance forms currently popular in the United States. The unit is created for the ESOL, English to Speakers of Other Languages, program at the high school level, specifically targeted to students of English proficiency levels one and two, entering and beginning.

Although created for an ESOL classroom, I hope this will provide viable lessons and ideas for other educators as well. By providing guided lessons that introduce students to a popular American sport and two popular American dance forms, I will be sharing American culture, increasing student vocabulary in the sciences, and encouraging student sharing of the sports and dance native to the their cultures through informational projects to be shared with classmates, parents and the student body through on-line links. Activities will provide some health and science concepts and vocabulary while providing the literacy skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing required for English language learners.

Meg H. Flisek
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