Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Match Game - P.E. Fitness Activity

Thanksgiving Match Game
This game is a great fitness activity that also teaches students about food groups/nutrition.  It is very easy to understand and it’s a lot of fun, so I played this game with ALL of my classes - ages Fab Five through 5th grade! 

Video of 5th graders playing this game:

3rd graders playing Thanksgiving Match Game:

Equipment Needed:
3-5 buckets or small storage containers (to hold flashcards)
4-8 game boards (1 game board per 2-5 players....depending on how small of groups you want.) My game boards are plastic or paper plates with one of each card taped or glued to it. 
50+ Thanksgiving flashcards (I made my own and laminated them-pictures of things we eat on Thanksgiving)  Download Flashcards-click here

Description of game:
This is similar to a relay race.  Each group is lined up on one end of the gym.  One person from each group runs to get a flashcard from the buckets, which are placed at the opposite end of the gym.  They may draw out ONE card, run back to their group and match the card to the picture on their game board.  As soon as they get back, the next person begins running.  Continue to take turns running to get cards until time is up. 

There are SERVERAL ways to play this game. 

Option 1:  I prefer to play this game for about 5 minutes.  After the time is up, students sit in their lines and I draw a card out from the container.  If I draw out the picture of  turkey, all groups count to see how many of that card they have.  Whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  I draw out 3 different cards to give 3 points.  The next card might be mashed potatoes, so whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  You may also change it to say whoever has the LEAST of a card (maybe the least pumpkin pie cards since that isn’t as healthy of a food).

If they draw the turkey card, but already have one on their gameboard, just put it on top to make a pile.  The team that earns a point can choose an exercise for the rest of the class to perform (10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 20 jumping jacks, etc).  I had the winning team roll foam dice to determine the number of exercises to do (7 jumping jacks, 3 push-ups, etc).

Option 2:  This could be played as a bingo game.  Give a point to whoever has a bingo after the time limit is up.

Option 3:
  Give a point to whoever has all of the vegetable side dishes (mashed potatoes, sweet pototoes, green beans, corn, etc).  OR the most total vegetable cards.

Option 4:  Give a point to whoever has the most protein on their plate/gameboard (count the turkey cards).

Option 5:  Count total cards, give a point to whoever has the most cards (this means the group was running faster than other groups).

NOTES:  Before, during, and/or after the game, discuss nutrition with the class.  Discuss which items are proteins, carbs, or fruits/vegetables.  Discuss their Thanksgiving family traditions...what do they eat on Thanksgiving?  What is their favorite/least favorite?  If there are foods they don’t like, will they try them again this year to see if they like them now?  (encourage students to taste a variety of foods!).

Another video of 3rd graders playing this game:


  1. Great idea! How many food cards in each bucket?

    1. I actually don't count out the food cards. I put in a whole handful, maybe 20-30 and let them keep running until I stop the music. Since the cards are not counted out equally, I tell the kids to get a card from any bucket if the bucket they are using runs out of cards.

  2. This is a great idea! I am going to be using it tomorrow :) Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Great to hear! I hope it went well! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. Hi! Do you still have the link for the 50+ Thanksgiving flashcards? It says not found when I try to click on it. Thanks!