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Tips for Incorporating Common Core Curriculum Into Elementary Physical Education Activities

Updated on February 18, 2013

Physical Education Curriculum

The new push in New York State is to incorporate core curriculum into special area classes. Incorporating core curriculum into physical education activities and gym classes is something many PE teachers are now looking for. It has become a requirement to incorporate the common core into PE activities. So as this new rule comes down the pike, physical education teachers are redesigning some of their activities. After spending years in the gym and on the field with physical education classes, I have some activities where I already incorporate and some ideas about how I can better incorporate core curriculum into my PE lessons and PE games.

Physical Education Activities Including Core Curriculum

There are many ways to incorporate core curriculum into Physical Education activities and physical education games. For example:

Elementary Physical Education:

Each time a student counts the number of activities they are doing, they are using Math..

Count jumping jack, curl-ups,pushups...

With a partner count number of baskets made in a minute, let partner shoot, count his/hers, add the two numbers together to get your teams total.

We play a game called Food Sequence which incorporates nutrition information and graphing:


To play sequence in the gym, you will need to make a sequence board. we use floor tape and tape a large board on the floor. An 8 X 8 would probably work the best with 8 squares down and 8 across.

To play: Place food group cards face down in opposite corner of the gym of the sequence board. You will also need poly spots or different colored markers and some cones.

Divide students into 4 or 5 different relay teams. On the word go first students in line run and pick up a food group card. Take it to the teacher who is nearby and tell them information (either what food group it belongs to or reading the label and telling amount of fat or calories in that particular food.

If teacher gets correct information from the student, he gives the student the team colored polyspot. The student quickly runs and puts the polyspot on the sequence grid and goes and touches next persons hand on his relay team. Next person does the same. When next student gets his polyspot, he goes to grid and tries work at getting 4 in a row on the grid. If students see that another team almost has their four, they can block with their color.

the first team to get four in a row wins. It's alot like connect four but students must earn their polyspots.

Incorporates: Math, graphing, reading, critical thinking

Frisbee Golf

Frisbee golf is another great way to incorporate core curriculum into physical activities in Physical education class. By throwing the frisbee towards designated spots(hole), we use hula hoops, students will keep track of the number of throws it takes them to get to a certain hole. After nine or eighteen holes, students add up their scores. this game can be played from about 4th grade all the way to 12th grade. (Math)

Ways of Incorporating Core Curriculum into PE Classes

There are a number of rules to any game played at the middle school or high school level. After doing a little bit of research, I found that a large majority of students play games but when asked about the rules, they cannot repeat all of them back. As a my units come and go now, the students are given simple study sheets and participate in the unit during gym class. At the end of the unit, the students are tested on their knowledge of the rules of the unit. A 7 to fifteen question quiz is usually given.

Middle school students are given a physical education skills term. They must research this term, write two or three paragraphs about it and then demonstrate the skill in class for a grade. Example underarm pass in Volleyball.

These are just a couple more ways of incorporating core curriculum into PE classes


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    • Johnathan L Groom profile image

      Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

      niced out wordage prevelant in expanded comment- great!