Get Them Rocking Nutrition Concepts through Climbing
Integrating rock climbing with other academic subjects is a great way to bring some novelty and physical activity to the learning process. Cross-curricular activities on a Traverse Wall® can reinforce classroom learning in literacy, math and more. Learning can be made more enjoyable when children are learning while climbing! Here’s a nutrition lesson to try that is conducted on the climbing wall.
MyPlate Scavenger Hunt
Nutrition concepts are reinforced as climbers complete a scavenger hunt for foods from the five MyPlate food groups.
Grade Level: 2nd-4th
- Examples of foods to place on the climbing wall (choose one option):
- Names of foods written on index cards (to tuck behind hand holds)
- Food magnets (to place directly on Dry-erase Wall or or Magna® Wall or on Discovery™ Plates)
- Dry-erase markers or chalk (to write names of food on Discovery Wall or Discovery Plates)
- Note: Be sure to include foods from the MyPlate groups, as well as foods not in those groups (candy, cookies, soda, etc.)
- MyPlate Climb Tally Sheet, one per partnership
- Pencils, one per partnership
Advance Set Up:
Place food examples across the climbing wall, high and low. Make copies of the MyPlate Climb Tally Sheet, one per partnership.
Divide participants into partners. One partner will climb first, while the other completes the tally sheet. Begin with as many climbers as possible starting at the same time, one per panel, and moving in the same direction. As participants climb, new climbers may begin once the first panel is empty. As climbers climb, they should touch various food examples and let their partner know the food groups. The partners follow along at the edge of the mats and place tally marks on the MyPlate Climb Tally Sheet. Partners can also offer assistance in locating foods and/or placing them in the correct category. Once the climber has climbed the wall twice, partners should switch roles. They should try to find several examples of food from each food group. When both climbers finish, they should fill in the favorite foods column with their favorites from each group. The foods they list do not need to be ones they found when they were climbing.
Teaching Tip: Be sure climbers know how to tally before conducting this activity.
As a whole group, discuss the examples that were found from each of the food groups. Also discuss examples not part of MyPlate. Discuss favorite foods from each group and which food group should be eaten the most.
National Standards: 1,2,3,4 & 5
- Nonlocomotor (S1.E7, S1.E8, S1.E10)
- Movement concepts (S2.E1, S2.E2)
- Engages in physical activity (S3.E2, S3.M3, S3.M4, S3.M5)
- Personal responsibility (S4.E1, S4.E2, S4.M1, S4.M2)
- Working with others (S4.E4, S4.M4, S4.M5)
- Rules & etiquette (S4.E5, S4.M5, S4.M6)
- Safety (S4.E6, S4.M7)
- Challenge (S5.E2, S5.M3)
If you are looking for more ideas to integrate climbing and nutrition concepts, look at Choose Well, Be Well™. This curriculum package is designed for 1st through 8th grade and includes an activity guide, a dry-erase/magnet accepting MyPlate Activity Board and set of food magnets.