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Teacher: Deborah Horwitz who teaches at The Pittsburgh Creative And Performing Arts HS in Pittsburgh, PA. Deborah Horwitz can be contacted at horwitz@freewwweb.com.

Name of Best Practice: CAPA HS / Crescent Elementary Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Collaborative

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To generate constructive cognitive and physical activities between high school and elementary students. To teach students about mentoring and its need throughout our communities.

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Materials Needed: I used large smiley faces that I had found in a discount store. They were made of poster paper so I could preserve them easily. You can also make your own and photo-copy them, then cut out the faces. I used neon colors, colored pens or pencils, ribbon for bows, stickers, Use school mail to send Smileys to the elementary students or make arrangements to drop them off the teachers. Email could work for this as well if both students had access.

CAPA HS / Crescent Elementary Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Collaborative

Often times elementary and secondary PE programs and students are in the same area geographically but they are not close in terms of knowing what is going on each others programs. This idea helps close that gap through sharing of ideas and students working with each other.

I went to visit the elementary students to get ideas about what kind of activities were conducive for them as well as my secondary students. I also met with the PE instructor and the teachers of the students I would be working with.

I hand delivered the smiley faces with introductions written on them from my students to the elementary students and returned for the counter introduction from the elementary students to mine. They spoke about hobbies, sports, family, what they looked like, where they lived, and being excited about meeting one another.

After the second set of smiley pen-paling, the elementary students walked over to our building to meet my students and take part in our physical education program that day.
We did the following:


  • 5-10 minutes sitting with their pen-pals and talking

  • 10-15 minutes warm up activity (aerobic dance which were taught by my students and myself)

  • 10-15 minutes dividing into groups for volleyball, jump roping, lummi sticks, basketball, badminton, Ping-Pong, hula hoops, jacks, and walking activities.

  • 5 minutes back to large group for snack and a feedback from students about the activities (what was good, what was not so good, how we could make it better, what they would tell their families about the day, etc.)

  • Exchanged tokens of friendship (ribbon tied to a favorite hand toy or pen, pencil etc.


We continue to communicate about all types of things such as:

  • Violence in the community

  • TV programs to watch and not to watch

  • Health issues

  • Education

  • Goals

  • Friendships, etc.


I am now starting a program based on the special program shown on "Any Day Now", which was great about "Racism" with another nearby high school.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 111 votes.

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