Aces and Exercise

Middle School and High School Teacher

Using a deck of playing cards, the students will pick the number of reps for various exercises.


Grade Level: 4 - 6th

Subject: P.E.

Length of Time: 1 Class Period

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Objectives & Outcomes

The students will be able to strengthen various muscles of their body using a variety of exercises.

Materials Needed

deck of playing cards and chart (see below)

Prepare ahead of time:  Need a deck of playing cards.  Chart listing at least 10 to 15 exercises large enough for all students to see.


Opening to Lesson

  • Ask students:  How many of you play card games?  Do you enjoy cards games?
  • Allow for responses and discussion.

Body of Lesson


  • Tell students they will be combining the playing cards with fitness today.
  • Allow a student to choose a playing card.  Show it to the class.
  • If it’s a 7, tell students to do 7 jumping jacks or another exercise listed on the exercise chart.

Guided Practice

  • Another student will pick a card.  Choose a new exercise.  Students will do the exercise the number of times shown on the playing card.
  • Aces are worth 15, face cards are worth ten.  Use the jokers for a random number.
  • Each exercise on the chart should be used at least once.
  • Choose different students to pick the cards.  Determine the exercise prior to a new card being chosen.
  • For some exercise, you do a number of minutes instead of reps.  For example, a 2, could be running in place for 2 minutes.  A 7 could be 7 laps around the gym.
  • Continue the exercising until the end of the class.

Independent Practice

  • Tell students to use their own deck of cards at home and exercise each day.


  • Ask students to try and design new exercises, or other activities, for PE class they can do using the playing cards.
  • Allow for responses and discussion.
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Assessment & Evaluation

May use as preparation for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.         

Modification & Differentiation

Remove the lowered numbered or higher-numbered playing cards.  Combine decks of playing cards.  Use the suits to double or triple the number.  Do one exercise a week using the cards.  Set up Exercise Stations with a deck of playing cards at each station.  Students move in 2 or 3s to each station for a set time period.

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