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Run, jump, learn!

Want to improve learning motivation with activities and exercise?

Learning by doing is an effective way of generating in-depth understanding of a subject. Run, jump, learn! provides easy ways to incorporate physical activities into teaching.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100






November 2017
Learning can occur outside the classroom as well as through physical activity.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Learning results are most effective when children do and experience things together. Long school days spent sitting in class are numbing and they do not provide an optimal environment for learning. The aim of this innovation is to increase movement and activity during the school day and teaching.

Increased activity has been linked not only to improved learning outcomes, but also school satisfaction. In addition, active learning methods take different types of learners into account.

Learning by doing and having new experiences also makes it possible to utilize versatile learning environments when teaching is taken outside the classroom, for example, to the City Hall or a newsroom.

Through activity and movement, teaching can be carried out naturally across different subjects. The following steps provide concrete ideas on how teachers can add more activity into the school day with just a few minor changes.

The innovation was inspired by the ideas of German professor Renate Zimmer, who is an advocate of exercise as a tool for learning. Some of the ideas are also in line with Finnish Schools on the Move, a current nation-wide program.

For an overview of the innovation, watch Sari Kontra's keynote at TedXOtaniemi.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


The innovation combines acknowledging different types of learners, student participation and active learning methods in an easily implementable way.


Small changes in everyday school life can improve learning motivation, increase physical activity during the school day and improve learning outcomes for different types of learners.


Applying active(-based) learning methods and the students' interests is possible without any specific resources


Implementation steps

Keep it simple
An hour of exercise per day is divided into shorter exercises, for example six ten-minute sessions.

Exercise breaks while studying energize teachers as well as students. Sprint up the stairs or do some jumping jacks in the middle of a lesson.

Get inspired
Think about your own interests and use them in your teaching.

Are you an avid painter or good at acting? Can you play an instrument? Many lessons can be livened up, for example, with drama and visual arts, thus making them much more active. Students are inspired by a teacher's genuine interest in the teaching methods they use.

Be creative
Organize a cross-curricular theme day or a trip with a colleague. You can even organize a lottery to randomly draw the subjects. Let your creativity run wild!

The theme day or trip can combine, for example, home economics and biology: you could measure nutritional values of local food or study harvesting from a learning angle of both subjects.

In a lesson combining a foreign language and mathematics, you can in turn communicate in a foreign language, visit a museum or watch and discuss a documentary on the topic.

Make use of the students’ interests
Students have a wealth of interests and expertise that can be put to use for active-based learning methods.

Are there any eager ballgame players in the group? Could raising a hand in class be replaced by throwing and catching a ball for a part of a lesson?

Observe your own everyday life
Think about your own choices and how you could encourage and inspire your students and colleagues with your example.

Do you take the stairs instead of an elevator? Is physical activity a part of your daily commute?

Explore the school environment with new eyes
Staircases, window sills, and benches are excellent work spaces for running dictations, QR code treasure hunt or group work.

Also, large lobbies and exercise equipment in the yard can be used for lesson purposes.

Take your group outside
Organize a lesson outside, weather permitting.

Take advantage of the school yard. Being outside is often enough to activate the students. While studying outside, tablets and phones can be used just as well as pens and paper.

Involve the students in planning
Discuss, together with the students, what kind of physical elements they would like to include in their school day.

As you take the students’ opinions into account, they are encouraged to suggest their ideas in the future, as well.

Think about yourself as a student
Ask yourself: Would I enjoy my own lesson?

School work should not be a circus or constantly changing, but learning is more effective in an inspirational atmosphere. Remember that getting used to new routines takes time and activity can be increased in small steps! Not all things need to be implemented at once.

Spread of the innovation

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