An Interdisciplinary Approach to Physical Education and Sport: An In-Class Activity

By Marx, Anne C. | JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, April 2009 | Go to article overview

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Physical Education and Sport: An In-Class Activity


Marx, Anne C., JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance


Physical education teachers continually strive to engage all students in a movement-based curriculum. Providing movement-based activities can be a challenge on rainy days or when gym space is limited. However, these situations provide an opportunity for teachers to use an interdisciplinary approach to teaching physical education. Interdisciplinary learning is an "educational process in which two or more subject areas are integrated with the goal of fostering enhanced learning" (Cone, Werner, Cone, & Woods, 1998, p. 15). Interdisciplinary teaching has been applied to physfca) education in subject areas such as science, reading, dance, and art (Cone et al.; Gagen & Getchell, 2008; Rovegno & Gregg, 2007). The value of interdisciplinary teaching in physical education is that it enables children to use their strengths and existing knowledge, which may encourage children who are not as easily engaged in physical activities to participate more actively.

The purpose of this article is to describe an in-class interdisciplinary activity that can be used on a rainy day, as an icebreaker on the first day of class, or when gym space is limited. It is presented in 12 easy steps. Index cards and colored pencils are the only materials needed.

Step 1: Ask students to find a partner and sit near their partner.

Step 2: Provide each student with an index card and a pencil.

Step 3: Ask students to write the name of their partner on the lined side of the index card.

Step 4: Ask students to report their partner's answers to several "fun fact" questions.The first question should be "What is your favorite sport or physical fitness activity?" Additional questions may include, "What is your favorite book?" "What is your favorite place in the world?" or other questions that the teacher deems suitable.

Step 5: Ask students to turn their card over to the blank side. Explain that it is very important that no one, including their partner, see this side of the card.

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