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Be Active And Achieve: A Research Essay On Physical Education And Movement In An Elementary Level Classroom

3350 words - 13 pages

With childhood obesity becoming an epidemic in America, we need methods to help stop obesity in children such as physical activities. Physical activities are not only to help prevent obesity; it can also help students improve on their academics. “Physical education helps the brain function; exercise increases the blood flow within the body and increases the blood volume in regions of the brain associated with memory formation” (Kovar, Susan K at el. Elementary Classroom Teachers as Movement Educators. 4th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004. Print.). Children spend many hours of their week inside a classroom, there are activities and lessons teachers can do to help their students become more active. “Physical education and movement are important to start at a young age because children are very active and child obesity is a huge problem these days” (Gaither, Laura, personal interview. October 7, 2013). Having movement and physical activity in the classroom is crucial to elementary school children as it is shown to have a positive effect on their overall life quality. “We know that physical activity is critical…not just for better health but for better academic performance” (Michelle Obama).


Physical education is critical for a complete education to educate the whole child. It is important for movement and educating both the mind and the body. “The healthy, physically active student is more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. “In the preschool and primary schools, active play may be positively related to motor abilities and cognitive development” (Physical Education Is Critical to a Complete Education, Education.com, National Association for Sport and Physical Education). In the elementary grades, the physical education program emphasizes the development of fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills through the main content areas of educational games, dance, and gymnastics. Young children learn by actively engaging with “stuff” in their world. Physical education can provide formation of mental schemes such as mental patterns or systems that describe the ways people think about the world; building blocks of thinking. The building blocks of thinking are an example of cognitive benefits. Cognitive benefits are what a student will know intellectually. Several locomotor skills are learning to run, walk, gallop, and jump. Some non-locomotor skills are bending, stretching, twisting, and turning. Manipulative skills are when children learn to use both of their hands, fingers, and large muscles of the body. Children need to learn theses skills to become more active to run, gallop, bend and turn.
“Children who are more active may have greater social success and positive relations with peers. Children need many opportunities to experience personal feelings of success and achievement in physical activity settings” (Physical Education Is Critical to a Complete Education. Education.com. National Association for Sport...

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