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Marathon Challenge

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. To give students an appreciation for a marathon distance, have them plot on a map the route for a marathon race in your area. If there is no local marathon, have them find a route from the school to a location that is 26.2 miles away, or determine how many laps around the school would equal that distance.

  2. Organize students into four groups and assign each group one of the following topics to take notes on as they watch: tests done to measure body fitness, the training regimen, changes in the runners' bodies over the training period, and the physical and mental challenges the runners faced. While viewing, pause the program after the initial introductions, the five-mile run, the ten-mile run, and the twenty-mile run and ask students to predict who they think will succeed and why.


After Watching

  1. Have each group report what it learned while watching. As a class, discuss what it takes physically and mentally to run a marathon. What do students think the most difficult challenge was? What happened to the runners' bodies as they became more physically fit? Did students' expectations of who would succeed match the final results? What surprised students the most regarding how the runners fared?

  2. Ask students to list what inspired the runners to train for and complete the marathon and what obstacles they faced. Could students identify with any of the participants? What inspires students to exercise or prevents them from exercising? Brainstorm with students ways they might overcome some of their obstacles.

Teacher's Guide
Marathon Challenge
WATCH A PREVIEW BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY RELATED NOVA RESOURCES