The Fastest Swimmers


  • swimming pool
  • stopwatch and whistle
  • two assistants (preferably swimming teachers)


one Before going to the swimming pool discuss with the class the principles of fluid dynamics and how they effect a swimmer.

two Discuss safety rules that need to be followed at the swimming pool. You will also need permission slips from parents with information about the student's ability to swim. If a student doesn't feel comfortable about swimming they can observe those who do swim.

three After arriving at the pool sight go over the rules briefly again.

four Split the class into four groups. Have two boys groups and two girls groups.

five Ask one of the girls groups to enter the water and try the Paddlewheel Arm Pull and the Caterpillar Arm Pull. (These two arm pulls are visualized in the Teacher Text under Fluid Dynamics of Swimming in the K8AIT program). Take about 15 minutes with each group to experience the two types of arm pulls. Also, ask the students to position their bodies in different ways as they use the two arm pulls and their leg kick formation as well. Repeat the process with each of the groups.

six Do timed trials to compare the effectiveness of the two types of arm pulls combined with the various body and leg kick formations.

seven Afterwards sit on the side of the pool area and review with the students what they have experienced in the water. Encourage the students to use the terms under 'Words to Know' as they describe their experience.

eight As a supplemental assignment ask the students to write a one page essay on what they have learned about the principles of fluid dynamics the next day in class. Have the students read their essays to one another.

nine As a bonus you could invite a guest speaker to your room who is an Olympic caliber swimmer to discuss their knowledge about fluid dynamics in relationship to their swimming style.

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Last modified: Sat Aug 30 15:56:51 PDT 1997

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