Learning the Ropes: Jump Rope Fitness Lesson for Elementary Students
The popular Disney program, Jump In!, introduced jumping rope as a sport fitting into pop culture. This fitness lesson plan, "Learning the Ropes" for physical education class for elementary schools, gives students a taste of the basics while introducing progressively harder skills and techniques.
Lesson One Overall Objectives
- a fun warm-up routine
- new exercises and skills using a jump rope
- how to keep track of progress
Students will demonstrate;
- new warm-up routine
- new jump rope skills (both basic and advanced)
- improvement in their written goals
You can easily tie this lesson into discussions on cardiovascular fitness and lifelong health as well.
Begin this lesson with a little prep work. Each student will need a folder with "Every Jump Counts!" handout to record their progress. This simple chart has a place to record their jumps and skills. It will help the students keep track of their progress and set simple goals for themselves.
Each student will also need access to a jump rope. Although this lesson can also be easily adapted to less ropes if necessary. You can use either one rope to a pair, or one for groups of three or four, there are not enough ropes for each, individual child.
Print out additional copies of Every Jump Counts! to place at each station.
Warm Up - Retriever
This beginning activity includes both their warm up and handing out the jump ropes.
- Place all the jump ropes along one side of the room.
- Have the students line up on the other side of the room.
- Explain that on your signal, they will quickly and quietly crab walk to the ropes.
- Each student will choose a jump rope, drape it over their shoulders
- Do long lunges back to the wall. Demonstrate how to safely do a long lunge.
Jump Rope Skill Training
In order to see where your class's skill level lies, go through this simple orientation. It may be common knowledge for the majority of the students, but offering the basics to everyone is helpful, even for those who have some idea on how to proceed. The students who need extra help can stay behind with a classroom aid if necessary before proceeding.
- Students will learn how to size a jump rope for their own body size.
- Students will jump a self-turned rope.
Explain the following to the class:
- Measure the proper sized jump rope by standing in the center of the rope and pulling the ends up so that it reaches from armpit to armpit.
- Hold the ends of the rope loosely in fingers, with thumbs on top of the rope.
- Keep elbows close to the body.
- Swing rope over head, when it meets your feet, jump over it.
- Have the students practice this basic jump rope skill. Encourage them to try again and again.
- Count how many times they can successfully clear the rope. After 5 minutes, have them fill out this amount on their paper.
A List of Jump Rope Skills
There are several jump rope skills or techniques that the students can attempt. Setting these up as stations around the room allows all the students to learn the various tricks that are employed by jump rope teams. Have a helper available to explain and demonstrate the moves if possible.
- Double Bounce: Jump twice for each rotation of the rope
- Single Bounce: Jump once for each rotation of the rope
- Double Foot: Both feet take off and land together
- Single Foot: Jump with only left foot or only right foot
- Side Swing. Holding handles together, swing the rope from one side of your body to the other. When you are ready, open your hands, swing the rope down and jump.
- Skier: With feet together, jump from side to side, like you are skiing.
- Bell: With feet together, jump back and forth, like a ringing bell.
- Side Straddle: This is the bottom of a jumping jack. Open and close legs with alternating jumps.
- Front Straddle: Land with one foot in front and the other in back. When you jump, switch positions of the legs. Land with opposite leg in front and other in the back.
- X-Straddle. Legs land apart. Jump and cross legs, land with legs crossed. Jump again and land with legs apart.
- Heel Touch. Jump and touch one heel to the ground in front. Jump again and touch the opposite heel to the ground in front.
- Jogging Step. Turn the rope and step over with one foot, turn the rope again and step over with the other foot. It looks like jogging in place.
- Front Cross. Cross arms in front of your body and jump through the loop you made in the rope.
- Wounded Duck. Land with your toes pointed in, jump again and land with toes pointed out.
- Double Under. Jump high and turn the rope as fast as you can. Try to get the rope under your feet twice before you land.
- Triple Under. Jump high and turn the rope as fast as you can. Try to get the rope under your feet three times before you land.
How Did You Do? Chart Progress
A cool down and discussion is a good way to end this high intensity class.
- Have the class grasp their ropes with their hands about shoulder width apart.
- Stretch up to the sky
- Side bend to the right
- Side bend to the left
- Twist at waist
Turn the ropes back in and talk about their goals. Are they close to mastering a new skill? Are they able to practice outside of school?
Have them finish up their charts and turn them in.
Encourage the students to get their own jump ropes and continue progressing through their skill charts at home. Learning jump rope skills is not easy, but the fitness benefits are immense.