ES PE Curriculum

ES PE Curriculum


Often in PE class, students and parents ask which sports we’ll be covering each year. This is a difficult question to answer and requires some explanation as many traditional games such as Dodge ball and Duck Duck Goose are no longer considered appropriate for Elementary Physical Education.

Activities such as these, in which children are singled out to perform solo with everyone watching them, can be both embarrassing and discouraging when the less skilled children are “on center stage”. Needless to say, children, or adults for that matter, who are embarrassed or made to feel inadequate are hardly motivated to participate. One of our primary goals is to encourage children to develop positive attitudes about themselves and about physical activity so that they choose to be physically active throughout their lives. Games such as Dodge ball are developmentally inappropriate in that they do not take into account the varying skill abilities of children within a class and thereby force some children into situations that make them unhappy and may lead them to dislike physical activity.

These games also emphasize “winning” more than learning. Another of our primary goals is to help children develop the movement competence that enables them to participate in physical activity successfully and with enjoyment. For this reason, we have organized our curriculum around skill themes rather than the more complex movement forms of games, gymnastics, and dance.

Skill themes are fundamental movements that are later modified into the more specialized patterns on which activities of increasing complexity are built. Once the basic skills are learned to a certain degree of proficiency, they can be combined with other skills and used in more complex settings such as those found in dance, games, and gymnastics.

Skill themes are generic, in the sense that they are not tied to any single sport or activity. Rather, they transcend, or cut across, structured activities. For example, jumping and landing is studied initially as a fundamental skill (one-foot takeoff to a two-foot landing) and later as a skill in the context of a game (jumping to catch), a dance (leaping in synchrony with a partner), and gymnastics (jumping and turning as part of a sequence)

This skill theme approach reflects the growing concern that children who participate in programs emphasizing games playing rather than motor skills learning don’t necessarily improve their motor ability. The logical implication, of course, is that adults with inefficient motor skills tend to avoid physical activities that require them to use these poorly learned skills and as a consequence develop tendencies toward “couch potatoism”.

Source: Children Moving. A Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education; Graham, Holt, Parker.



  • §  Safety (including water safety)
  • §  Teamwork and participation
  • §  Sportsmanship and honesty
  • §  How do we learn in Physical Education (including transdisciplinary skills)


  • §  Body Awareness (Body Parts; Body Shapes such as twisted, wide, rounded, angular, and asymmetrical; Body Movements such as sway, stretch, push, pull, bend, swing).
  • §  Space Awareness (Personal space; General space; Directions such as forwards, sideways, backwards; Levels such as high, medium, low; Pathways such as zig, zag, curved; straight, spiral; Extensions such as near far).
  • §  Effort (Speed such as fast, slow, acceleration deceleration; Force such as strong light; Flow such as bound, free, fluid).
  • §  Relationships (Relationships to objects or others such as under, above, between, beside; Relationships to partners such as leading, following, mirroring, matching).


  • §  Locomotor Movements (Walk; Run; Jump; Skip; Hop; Gallop; Slide; Leap).
  • §  Chasing, Fleeing and Dodging
  • §  Jumping and Landing (Short Jump Rope; Long Jump Rope; Height; Distance).
  • §  Swimming


  • §  Rolling (Rocking; Sideways; Forward; Backward; Aerial roll; Rolling on equipment).
  • §  Balancing (Base of support; Static; Dynamic, Inverted).
  • §  Weight Transfer (Rocking such as rolling from one body part to another; Feet only; Feet to Hands; Spring takeoffs)


  • §  Dribbling With the Hands
  • §  Kicking and Punting
  • §  Throwing and Catching
  • §  Striking with Short Handled Implements
  • §  Striking With Long Handled Implements
  • §  Volleying (striking with body parts)


  • §  Introduction to the concept of Fitness and its four main components
  • §  Healthy Habits

Standards are incorporated from NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education – US)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *