Animal Laps

Middle School and High School Teacher

Combining information about the speed of animals, the students will run laps in the gym or outdoors.

Grade Level: K - 3rd

Subject: P.E.

Length of Time: 1 Class Period

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)

Objectives & Outcomes

The students will be able run, jog, walk, gallop, skip, and use other methods to run laps and to achieve personal fitness goals.

Materials Needed

Prepare ahead of time:  Display a list of the speeds of different animals, large enough for students to see.  ( and If outdoors, an easel or other display method may be needed.  Bullhorn for outdoor instructions.


Opening to Lesson

  • Ask students if they know how fast a human can run.
  • Allow for responses and discussion.
  • Ask students if they know the fastest land animal on Earth. (Cheetah)
  • Allow for responses and discussion.

Body of Lesson


  • Tell students they could not run as fast as a cheetah, but they can run as fast as some other animals.  (Students will not be able to run as fast as some of the animals, but the different speeds can be categorized into sprint, run, jug, trot, etc.)
  • Display the Animal Speed Chart to the students.  Go through each of the animals’ speeds.
  • Ask students to jog one lap.  When they return, ask students:  Which animal from the chart do you think you ran as fast as?
  • Allow for responses.

Guided Practice

  • Tell students they will run laps today and will run close to (or in the category of) the speeds of the animals on the display.
  • Tell students it is not a race, and they also should try to run, jog, hop, gallop, or trot like the animals.  (They may also imitate swimming as they take the lap.)
  • For each lap, the students will “run” like a new animal.  Use slower animals to give students a “rest”.
  • Continue the activity the entire class session.

Independent Practice

  • Distribute the list of animals and their speeds on a worksheet.  Tell students to run like each of the animals while at home too.


  • Ask: If possible, which animal would you like to run alongside in real life and why?
  • Allow for responses and discussion.
Sponsored Content

Assessment & Evaluation

Time students on their fastest laps.  Set a goal for students and count total laps.            

Modification & Differentiation

Assign one animal for students to research its fastest speed; fill in the speeds on a prepared blank chart prior to the start of the activity.  Do some of the laps moving backwards or sideways.  Students may run the speeds in place, as a classroom activity.              

Related Lesson Plans

Food Chain Tag

Students will learn a brief background about energy transfer between the sun, producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers. ½ of the students are primary consumers (plants) and ¼ of the students are primary consumers (rabbits) and ¼ of the students are secondary consumers (hawks).

Butterfly Stretches

This lesson is designed to help students learn the importance and reasons for exercise through multiple activities and discussions.

Simon Says

Students will practice listening skills and basic physical concepts as required in physical education class.

Music Movement

The students will move to the music based on its beat, words, tune, and other variables.