Active Living 7-8


Active Living Lesson

Timeframe: 40 minutes




Body image dissatisfaction among girls and boys increases throughout puberty. Development in early adolescent girls is linked to feelings of shame in those who believe their bodies do not match cultural ‘ideals’. Sexual harassment leads to increased body self-consciousness. Objectification of girls’ bodies becomes common, leading to increased self-esteem issues. Shape and size issues increase for boys as well and both sexes feel pressured to meet an ‘ideal.’ Body dissatisfaction may cause people limit their involvement in physical activity.

Big Ideas

  • Body based teasing and stigma from peers can prevent students from joining in physical activity.
  • People can be active in many different ways.
  • Teachers should be aware that students who are concerned about their body image may limit their own participation in physical activities.
  • Teachers of all sizes and shapes can model active living for diverse body types.


Copies of the LYRICS that you like from the selection below, or any other supportive SONGS.


Discuss the fact that concerns with body image may cause people to significantly limit their own participation in physical activities. Play the following clip (Click to View) (Dove: “Why do girls stop doing what they love”). Discuss the fact that it is not solely girls who are missing out on the joy of movement because of insecurities or discomfort.



  1. Have students, working in groups; create a montage of physical activities in which they enjoy participating.
  2. Have the groups choose a song they find inspiring and motivational or one they like from the list below to play in the background while they perform their activities.
  3. Encourage students to think of unconventional activities (e.g. not playing basketball, walking the dog; or not playing soccer, shoveling snow).
  4. Have as much fun with this as possible to encourage happiness just for the love of movement.


Caution: There are many ads that begin these videos that do not support the research; also some films have comment sections that should be kept off-screen from students. There are many videos that support females and not as many that support males; this should be mentioned and acknowledged.


Play the following film clip (Click to View) (Friends: Run like Phoebe). Discuss the joy of movement despite appearances; have the students write a brief response to: “If you could do any activity like no one was watching/ judging, what would you choose?” or “What activity brings you the most joy of movement?”


Suggested Songs:

“What Makes Your Beautiful” by One Direction (Just Dance Version) (Click to View)

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction (Click to View)

“Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars (Click to View)

“Perfect” by Pink (censored version) (NOTE: video contains images of self harm) (Click to View)

“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus (Click to View)

“Dynamite” by Taio Cruz (Just Dance Version) (Click to View)

“Firework” by Katy Perry (Click to View)

“Wide Awake” by Katy Perry (Click to View)

“Part of Me” by Katy Perry (Click to View)

Website: Olympic Athletes (Click to View)

Video: Kid President (Click to View)

Help and your fellow teachers!
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