Lesson 4

Benefits of Outdoor Activities

Part of Unit 2 - Health Benefits of Physical Activity
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Learning Intention

The students will explore how participation in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing and creates connections to the natural and built environment. The students will achieve this by exploring ways people can connect with members of their community through participating in physical activities in natural settings and built structures. They will also explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders understandings of special places and the connection of these places to physical activities.

Activity A

Discuss the idea that being active and keeping fit is not always about playing organised team sports, but is also about participating in recreational activities that are good for our physical, social and mental / emotional health. Relate this back to the previous lesson and discuss how it makes fitting in the suggested amount of time for physical activity into daily life more achievable. Discuss the types of outdoor recreational activities students like to do in their spare time and the equipment required to play, e.g. walking the dog, play wrestling with brothers and sisters, gardening, hitting a tennis ball against a wall. 

Activity B

Discuss the ways Indigenous Australians lived and the types of recreational equipment available to them. Explain that Indigenous Australians were very resourceful and used what they could from the land to develop games and sports that allowed them to practise hunting skills and provide opportunities for social interaction. Using handout Indigenous Activity Card (U2L4R1) introduce the games of mer kai and marn-grook to demonstrate these ideas.

Activity C

Discuss how playing games and participating in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing. As a follow-on activity to playing mer kai, introduce activity Back to the Future! (U2L4R2). Students design a game that can be played without any sporting equipment available to them at home, or bought at a shop.

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Teacher Notes

The focus of this discussion should be that moving is the key to keeping active and healthy. Organised sport is only one part of being active.

Schools may choose to invite an Indigenous Elder to visit the class and discuss these ideas and be involved in games. Ideas could alternatively be introduced via a picture book, novel or drama activities that provide context for discussion. The book “Black Gold” by Colin and Paul Tatz is a comprehensive publication of past, present and future Aboriginal sporting achievement.

The website www.aiatsis.gov.au provides some information about Indigenous sports.