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How To Become a Teacher of Physical Education

With one in three U.S. children being classified as overweight or obese, it’s not surprising that physical education is being recognized as one of the most important subjects in schools across the country.

In fact, a study commissioned by Harvard University’s Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement found that 91 percent of parents polled expressed a desire for Physical Education (PE) to play more of a prominent role in their child’s education. 95 percent also showed support for health classes teaching the importance of exercise and nutrition.

So with a greater emphasis now being placed on teaching children the benefits of an active lifestyle from an earlier age, teachers of physical education (PE) are in growing demand. This is one of the reasons the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a six percent growth in employment for all high school teachers, while kindergarten and elementary school teachers are likely to see job opportunities increase by around 12% between 2012 and 2022.

Some of the best qualities that educational institutions are likely to be looking for when hiring PE teachers include:

  • Being passionate about the health and well-being of students
  • Teaching exercises in a way that makes them fun and enjoyable
  • Being able to identify each individual students’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Encouraging the growth and development potential in specific sports and activities
  • Recommending extra-curricular clubs and events that are tailored towards the child’s interests

However, not all children will enjoy every sport, and participating in exercises and activities they don’t enjoy week after week can manifest a negative attitude towards PE from a very early age. This is something that could stay with them for the rest of their lives, so it’s important to develop exercise plans and teaching styles that account for a wide range of exercise preferences.

This is why we’re now going to look at the most important aspects of teaching Physical Education, ranging from government recommendations, to a collection of useful resources for teachers.

Defining the term ‘Physical Education’

Applying a standard definition to the term ‘Physical Education’ is actually surprisingly difficult. On the one hand, it certainly covers the physical aspects of a healthy lifestyle, such as the exercises and activities children can participate in. But on the other, it’s also important to consider the value of nutrition and maintaining a balanced diet.

The problem is that nutrition as a subject isn’t usually taught as a specific area of study until degree level at colleges or universities. But that doesn’t mean to say that the basics can’t be explored alongside the physical exercise through levels K to 12.

As well as setting up children for an active lifestyle in the future, when taught from an early enough age, PE will often be the first time they experience two other important life skills; team work and goal setting.

Depending on the environment and exercises involved, this may also be the first time children experience competition, with learning how to cope with wins and losses an important life lesson in itself.

While we’ve briefly touched on a few of the benefits of PE already, we’re now going to outline why PE can be so beneficial to the future health and well-being of children, as they develop into young adults.

What are the recommended guidelines?

If you start to research the field of physical education for both children and adults, you’ll start to become familiar with the number 150.

One of the recommendations from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education – one of five national associations that make up SHAPE America (formerly AAHPERD, The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) – is that schoolchildren participate in a minimum of 150 minutes per week of physical exercise.

This is also the number that has been used in a number of scientific studies, including one by the New England Journal of Medicine into measures that can be taken to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

In this particular study, 3234 people were assigned to two different programs; one with a placebo, and one ‘lifestyle-modification’ program, where subjects were required to maintain the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

After an average follow-up period of 2.8 years, there were 58 percent fewer people with diabetes in the lifestyle-modification program than in the placebo group.

These results are echoed by a joint position statement from The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, who recommend that persons with type 2 diabetes should undertake at least 150 min/week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise.

However, while 150 minutes is the recommended guideline for elementary schools, the minimum amount of recommended weekly exercise increases to 225 minutes for middle and high schools.

You can find out more about the guidelines specific to your area of teaching or study by choosing from the links below:

As part of an initiative by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), the Let’s Move in School project was launched. The goal of this project is to assist schools in meeting the recommended guidelines mentioned above, through the creation of physical activity programs that run before, during, and after school.

This is also in support of the Let’s Move! campaign, created by Michelle Obama, with the aim of solving childhood obesity within a generation.

6 Useful PE resources:

  • 1. SHAPE America

    Based in Reston, VA – a 40 minute drive from Washington, DC – SHAPE America describes itself as “the largest organization of professionals involved in school-based health, physical education and physical activity, who are dedicated to teaching and promoting active, healthy lifestyles.”

    SHAPE is also an excellent resource in its own right for finding out more about the Physical Education guidelines, with a number of guidance documents available. These cover everything from the instructional framework for fitness education, to work samples for teachers.

    SHAPE America
    Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE)
  • 2. The Let’s Move! Program

    Created with the ambition to solve childhood obesity within a generation, the Let’s Move Program is an initiative designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle during a child’s earliest years.

    But as well as focussing on the importance of keeping physically active, this also means ensuring that the children have access to healthy and affordable food, both at home and at school. Details on how these goals can be achieved are outlined in the Childhood Obesity Task Force Report.

  • 3. Physical Activity Guidelines

    A set of guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designed as a guide to some of the best practices for teaching the importance of health and nutrition to Americans aged 6 years and older.

    The Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) include recommendations for levels of physical activity at all age levels, and also includes detailed information on safety considerations and injury prevention.

    Similar to many of the studies and reports we’ve already mentioned, the PAG also concludes that most health benefits occur with a least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical exercise each week. There’s also a similar resource for nutrition, entitled ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans‘, which is aimed at helping Americans over the age of 2 years old to focus on maintaining a healthy diet.

  • 4. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

    Comprised of chefs, physicians, fitness professionals, and educators appointed by the President, the President’s Council is designed to encourage all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and good nutrition.

    Originally named the President’s Council on Youth Fitness, which was founded in 1956, the Council also includes a Science Board. Made up of scholars who have made significant contributions to the field of health and nutrition, the Board was formed in 2003 to ensure that all the advice available through the President’s Council is scientifically accurate.

    President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
    Screenshot of PCFSN website – Physical Activity Initiative
  • 5. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP)

    The CSPAP is the result of a collaboration between the CDC and SHAPE America, and is designed as a way to help develop new physical activity programs for schools, or improve those currently in place.

    CSPAP works on the target of providing students with 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and should be considered an outline of how many different groups of people can work together to create more opportunities for children to be involved in physical activity.

    This also includes a step-by-step process for developing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive school physical activity program.

  • 6. CDC Physical Activity Facts

    A collection of interesting facts related to the participation in physical activity by young people, as revealed by national surveys. Also includes some useful resources that detail the important role schools, families, and communities play in promoting youth physical activity.

Assessing physical fitness level and improvements

An important part of any teaching plan, whether it’s for math, geography, or PE, is to be able to plan and create assessments that are capable of distinguishing which level the children are at academically.

The difficulty is that a child’s ability in PE can be influenced by a whole range of factors that can’t necessarily be compared to any pre-defined list of grades.

Judging the effectiveness of a particular lesson plan can also be difficult. It’s not practical to accurately measure energy expenditure on a large scale, and the ability for children to perform detailed recall often makes self-reporting assessments less accurate than when performed by adults.

It’s always best to start off with the basics. The following list of factors are influential in determining the physical activity level of any student, and can perhaps be used to determine whether they are reaching the recommended weekly amount of physical exercise:

  • Time spent in PE lessons
  • Activity level during recess and lunch breaks
  • Time spent outside when the child is away from school
  • Involvement in community sports programs

One study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used what’s referred to as the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance System (YRBSS) to monitor the general health of children by conducting several surveys – one at national level, as well as local school-based surveys conducted by state.

One of the findings from the combined results of these surveys was that nationwide, 56% of students had played on at least one sports team run by a local community group or their school. Based on their popularity alone, these certainly shouldn’t be discounted as a source of exercise, and would be an excellent addition to a school’s teaching plan if not already implemented.

This is also why it can be extremely important to offer extra-curricular sports clubs after school, which can cover anything from dance to American football. Incidentally, the CDC is another of the organizations that supports the recommendation of at least 150 minutes per week of physical exercise for children.

How to perform the assessments

Performing regular assessments on how much the children’s physical fitness has improved is important for many reasons. This isn’t just to validate whether or not your current lesson plan is effective, but also to identify and resolve any issues that may be causing the students to lose interest in the program.

The assessments themselves can be performed in a variety of ways, whether that be formal, informal, or process-orientated. Peer reviews are also an option, whereby the children evaluate each other on their performances, although these may require a little more management and planning.

The following list of resources should be able to provide you with some ideas on how to go about performing your own physical fitness assessments.

5 Useful resources for assessing student fitness

  • 1. Monitoring Student Fitness Levels

    A useful PDF document produced by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), which takes a comprehensive look at assessing a student’s physical fitness levels.

    This includes recommendations for collecting student fitness data at state level, safeguards for monitoring student fitness levels, and an overview of which states are currently reporting fitness testing data back to the state education agency or state health department.

    PYFP are actually one of the many organizations to adopt the FITNESSGRAM software as a tool for schools to assess the health-related fitness of students, and is another of our recommended resources.

  • 2. SPARK Webinar: Fitness Assessment in Physical Education

    Despite being recorded in January 2012, this particular webinar is one of the most relevant that SPARK have produced in relation to fitness assessments for Physical Education classes.

    Lasting just over an hour, the webinar is quite comprehensive in the topics that it covers, which includes how to appropriately assess student fitness levels, tools for self-monitoring, and how the assessments fit into a high quality physical education program.

    This particular SPARK webinar also features Shellie Y.Pfohl, M.S. – Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition – as a guest speaker.

  • 3. FITNESSGRAM Physical Fitness Testing

    As a comprehensive educational, reporting, and promotional tool created by the Cooper Institute (the same group that developed the Cooper International Fitness Test later in our list), FITNESSGRAM has gained increasingly popularity amongst schools and universities across the country.

    The software has 3 main goals; to assess, to report, and to educate. From an assessment standpoint, teachers are able to select the testing method they feel is most appropriate from the multiple options on offer, then either enter the children’s scores for them, or allow the children to enter their own scores. This is an excellent example of the self-assessment method we mentioned earlier.

    At a recent count, 50-60,000 FITNESSGRAM licenses had been issued to education agencies, schools, and institutions across almost every state in the US, including being designated as the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) of choice for students in California public schools, and the assessment tool of choice for the Texas Education Agency.

    The Cooper Institute - Fitnessgram
    FITNESSGRAM is part of a suite of tools that can also include ACTIVITYGRAM and NUTRIGRAM
  • 4. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

    Whereas FITNESSGRAM is a software that can compile data electronically to a central resource, the OSPI has developed assessments for health and fitness that can be used throughout the year by teachers in the classroom.

    These are primarily used to gauge student understanding of the physical education program as the year progresses, also providing teachers with student copies of pre-written tests for the assessments.

    Resources are available for all levels of schooling, from Elementary, through to Middle School, and concluding with High School.

  • 5. Cooper International Fitness Test

    The Cooper International Fitness Test is a customizable fitness assessment software created by the same company that created FITNESSGRAM.

    What sets this particular software apart is that it’s developed on a much larger scale, customized to report on health-related fitness levels of schoolchildren on a countrywide level.

    One of the most recent customizations was recently adopted by Hungary, who are now using a version known as NETFIT. This was launched in the fall of 2014, with the goal of reaching 1.2 million children in 4,000 schools across the country, in an effort to establish a national framework for student fitness assessments.

Quick guide to getting qualified

If you’re considering becoming a PE teacher yourself, it can also be useful to know which qualifications are needed. But in order to provide you with an accurate plan, it’s important to take into account the level of education you eventually want to be teaching.

PE is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding subjects to teach. Although in most cases you won’t be seeing the same transformations as personal trainers do with adult clients in later life, instilling a sense of importance in leading a healthy lifestyle can be truly life changing for the children in the future.

Not only that, but you’re preventing the health risks that are often associated with weight issues, including diabetes and obesity, improving their quality of life, and even extending their life expectancy.

But before you start down the path towards becoming a PE teacher, it can be useful to take a look at some job search websites at the skills, education, and experience schools and institutions are looking for.

Although specific requirements vary by state, there are a few key requirements that any school or teaching institution will require.

  • 1. Bachelor’s degree in teaching related discipline
  • 2. Completion of a teacher preparation program
  • 3. Pass a certification exam
  • 4. Pass a background check

If you want to improve your CV and increase your chances of being accepted to teach PE at any level, you can also complete an advanced credential known as the National Board Certification.

This is offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and can be achieved by completing a voluntary assessment program. Unfortunately this isn’t something you can do straight away if you’re a new or prospective teacher, as one of the requirements to entry is having completed 3 full years of teaching.

This won’t be covered by the time spent studying for your Bachelor’s degree, as although there is a student teaching element combined with the coursework, the 3 years need to be while you already hold a teaching license.

In terms of what the student teaching experience for a degree actually involves, as a prospective PE teacher you will be required to teach children at various grade levels, with your performance being monitored by a licensed teacher.

State-specific requirements

In addition to meeting the 4 requirements listed above, you will also require a teacher’s license issued by the state in which you intend to teach.

If you would like to find out more about the specific state certification requirements for teaching, or the licenses you need to teach at different levels, we’ve added a link to our ‘useful resources’ section below (entitled State Teaching Requirements).

It goes without saying that you will also need to be passionate about what you’re teaching, as this will help tremendously with being able to convey the importance of health and nutrition in a way that’s interesting to the age range you’re teaching.

Hopefully the information above has provided you with a basic idea of what’s required to enter the world of PE teaching, but if you want to find out more, we’ve also put together a shortlist of recommended resources below. These are designed to cover everything you need to know, from salary expectations all the way through to recommended universities and the license application process.

10 Useful resources for studying to become a teacher of Physical Education

  • 1. Online tuition programs

    A variety of online Masters degrees related to teaching PE are available from Universities across the country, including the University of North Georgia and West Virginia University.

    Unfortunately these are often only available for residents of those specific states, and are supplementary to a pre-existing teaching degree. This means that they aren’t generally considered a valid starting point for a career in teaching.

    However, the United States Sports Academy does appear to offer online study for their Bachelor of Sports Science degree.

    While there are a number of online tools that can be used to discover online degree opportunities, it’s always worth checking with the University or college that you’re enrolling with, as well as your local state’s teaching requirements to ensure they consider that particular course a valid path of entry into teaching Physical Education.

  • 2. Searching for jobs as a PE teacher

    Once you’ve passed your Bachelor’s Degree, and have the certifications and license required by the state you would like to teach in, you’re probably going to want to start looking for employment opportunities.

    While some schools will announce vacancies on their social media accounts or personal websites, one of the best resources you can use is still a dedicated job search engine.

    General job search sites such as Indeed, , and are certainly effective options, but it’s also possible to keep track of local opportunities using specific school jobs websites.

    Two of the best options in this category are SchoolSpring, and TopSchoolJobs (lets you filter by state). As with other jobs, you can also use services such as GlassDoor to discover new employment opportunities, as well as find out more about the experiences of teachers who have already taught there.

  • 3. Student Financial Aid

    As an office of the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid offers more than $150 billion each year to students in need of financial assistance as they progress through their higher education courses.

    Whilst there is a certain level of eligibility criteria that you need to pass in order to qualify for federal student aid, in most cases this will simply be proving your enrolment in an eligible degree or certificate program, demonstrate the need for financial assistance, and have a valid social security number.

    Non-U.S. Citizens are also considered, but if you’re considering seeking this type of aid, there are a few more guidelines you’ll need to comply with. A full list of eligibility requirements for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens can be found here.

    This is also the website you will be directed to if you were to apply for a direct loan through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, where you will be asked to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Federal Student Aid
    Screenshot of the Federal Student Aid website
  • 4. Federal Pell Grant Program

    Whilst federal student aid in the form we mentioned above usually involves a loan, Federal Pell Grants are a type of financial assistance that doesn’t have to be repaid.

    The amount offered differs based on your personal circumstances, as well as the circumstances surrounding your school attendance, with the maximum amount awarded changing from year to year.

    Usually only awarded to undergraduate students, there is also a limit on how long you can receive funds under the Federal Pell Grant program, which is currently set at 12 semesters.

    The Student Financial Aid website can provide more information about the level of payment you may be entitled to, as well as the special circumstances behind the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

  • 5. Federal Stafford Loan Program

    If you choose to go down the route of a Stafford Loan, you will have two options available to you; subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Neither of these are credit-based, and you can currently borrow up to $12,000 per year via an unsubsidized loan, depending on your eligibility.

    The interest rate is fixed and no payments need to be made while you are studying at least half-time. By opting for a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest, while the interest is left to accrue while you’re in school by choosing the unsubsidized option.

    In much the same way as on the Student Financial Aid website and for the Federal Pell Grant, you will need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    For more information on the application process, eligibility, and current loan interest rates, you can visit the Stafford Loan website.

  • 6. State Teaching Requirements

    TEACH is a partnership led by Microsoft, State Farm and the U.S. Department of Education. The TEACH website is a great resource for finding out which licensing and certification requirements apply to which US states.

    While most certificates require a Bachelor’s Degree as standard, you can also find out how long each certificate is renewable for, as well as whether or not there are specific GPA requirements.

    Although Teach.org does provide you with an option to search for teaching jobs in the field of Physical Education, we found many listings to be out of date, so it’s probably best to use a dedicated job search engine, such as our option listed above (number 2 on this list).

    TEACH - Teacher Licensing and Certification Requirements
    TEACH – Teacher Licensing and Certification Requirements
  • 7. Praxis II test

    As part of the licensing and certification process required for many states, prospective teachers will need to take what’s known as the ‘Praxis II Tests’.

    Subject assessments are available for over 120 different areas of study, so it’s important to check with your local state education system to confirm that this particular test is something they require.

    In terms of what to expect from the test content, questions can include multiple choice, essays, and constructed responses. These questions are created by educators and disciplinary specialists with a goal to assess your subject-specific teaching skills at various grade level ranges from K to 12.

    For more information on the various testing requirements imposed by specific states, your best option is to visit the Praxis website directly, then search for specific state requirements using the dropdown box in the sidebar.

    Specific tests vary greatly, and include the Georgia Assessments for Certification of Educators (GACE) if you want to teach in Georgia, and the Praxis Core tests if you want to teach in Oklahoma.

  • 8. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

    The NBPTS was created in 1987 as a response to the 1983 report entitled ‘A Nation at Risk’, which outlined concerns about a rising level of mediocrity in America’s education system.

    As well as defining the expectations required to maintain and improve upon the current level of teaching and learning, the NBPTS is also in place to recognise accomplishments in the profession.

    The standards themselves have actually been created by teachers, with a voluntary process in place to certify teachers against these standards, called the National Board Certification.

    If you’re considering getting Board-certified yourself, the National Board website contains an invaluable resource detailing the process involved. The site also contains research showing that students of Board-certified teachers learn more than students in other classrooms, and details of state-offered incentives for teachers to attain Board certification.

    National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
    National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
  • 9. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

    After the release of the revised CAEP standards in 2013, these are now the standards that programs seeking accreditation should be using.

    CAEP is a result of consolidating the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

    Although this transition is currently an ongoing process, CAEP standards are expected to become the norm by spring 2016. Unlike the assessments of how children are improving their activity levels and knowledge of physical activity, CAEP has a mission of developing principled education leaders who meet high academic standards – essentially an assessment and accreditation process for teachers of grades P-12.

  • 10. Physical Education Requirements

    Our final recommended resource for prospective teachers is the PE Teacher website, which provides detailed information about all aspects of licensing and qualifications on a state-by-state basis.

    This includes advice on the course load you can expect when studying for your Bachelor’s degree, any tests you need to pass before being admitted into a teaching program, and the various different types of licenses that can be applied for.

    There’s also information on the careers and salaries on offer, as well as the differences between Bachelor level degrees and Master’s Level programs in Physical Education.

    Much of the information is fairly similar to the Certification Map site (maintained by the University of Southern California), so it might be useful to take a look at both and see which one you find easier to navigate.

What is the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program?

We already mentioned the importance of having a bachelor’s degree in a teaching related discipline, but we realise this probably isn’t very specific, and leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation.

So what degrees do we mean? Would graduation of an Exercise Science program leave you with all the skills you need to teach PE at a K-12 level, or perhaps a course that specializes in human performance and movement?

The fact is that if you are passionate about pursuing the role of teaching physical education, there are few degrees that are better suited than PETE.

Over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in the number of universities offering this as its own degree, although it’s often managed by a broader department, such as the department of kinesiology.

Unlike the exercise science and human movement programs, PETE specializes in preparing students for being successful teachers of physical education, usually in the K-12 grade range.

The curriculum for this course will usually involve many of the same subject areas, but will often integrate courses in teaching methodology and helps you to build on the skills needed to teach the subject effectively.

However, it’s important to mention that it won’t always be possible to enroll straight onto a PETE course. In many cases, such as for the Indiana University Bloomington, there will be several possible paths to entry.

This can include maintaining a certain GPA, passing a test, and even being assessed using an application process created by the admissions committee. The cap on new applicants to the PETE program will also differ by university, so it can be useful to find out about any application deadlines and spaces available before you apply.

Some Universities are even taking this a step further. The University of West Florida currently offers a PETE degree, but is also looking to create a Fitness and Conditioning program that includes elements of PETE – such as training students to work with people and a wealth of interpersonal training:

The PETE degree is where one needs to be if there is any future potential of teaching. That is where the cert is achieved and that is where you learn and are trained to be a teacher.

I also think that PE degrees are grossly undervalued. A degree in PETE allows the graduate to teach and do most of the things exercise science or related degrees offer.

I have lots of PETE grads that go into fitness and exercise fields, strength and conditioning, advanced degrees in other related or unrelated areas, etc.

Daniel K. Drost, Department of Exercise Science and Community Health
The University of West Florida

So what should you expect from Physical Education Teacher Education?
The duration and course content will vary between institutions, with some majors running a full 4 years, while others are much shorter at between 12 and 16 months.

The shorter courses we’ve come across have required a Bachelor’s Degree in a discipline such as Exercise and Sport Science as one of their requirements for entry.

In most states, students graduating the PETE program are then qualified to apply for certification, and are eligible to teach in private and public schools for grade ranges K-12.

How to apply for a PE Teacher Education (PETE) program

The information contained in this guide is designed to be a useful resource for anyone that’s interested in pursuing a career as a teacher of Physical Education.

But while we hope this is comprehensive in the topics it covers, we understand that it’s one thing to actually read about the different stages of accreditation, and another to actually take action.

That’s why we’ve also put together a step-by-step guide where we follow the application process through from start to finish for a real college that includes the recommended PETE program as one of its courses. You can find the guide to application here.

Teacher Resources

Whether you’ve just started your career as a PE teacher, or have been teaching children for many years, it’s always useful to get different perspectives on what makes up an effective lesson plan.

This is why we’ve also included a list of resources that offer detailed lesson plans specifically tailored towards teaching Physical Education to students in the K-12 levels.

5 Useful resources for lesson planning ideas

  • 1. SPARK Physical Education Lesson Plans

    A collection of free lesson plans designed for a wide range of age levels and abilities, from early childhood through to high school. There’s even a list of ideas for physical activity lessons taking place after school.

    SPARK PE is one of the most researched and tested programs of its kind in the world, with its lesson plans designed to be more inclusive than traditional PE classes.

    As an organization, SPARK is a specialist in creating programs that promote lifelong wellness, and has over 25 years of experience in the field.

  • 2. New York Road Runners Lesson Plans

    The lesson plans available through NYRR differ slightly from those found on the SPARK website, in the sense that they are currently exclusively for an elementary school level.

    They are also focussed much more on running as a form of fitness, with detailed guides to important aspects of effective running, including pacing, posture, attitude, and the fundamental athletic skills that can benefit this form of exercise.

  • 3. Physical Education Games Ideas

    A selection of games ideas that are mostly designed for children in the age range of 5 to 11 years.

    Detailed descriptions of what each game entails are also provided, as well as, in some cases, a basic diagram of any setup that’s required. Variations are also regularly suggested detailing ways to make the exercises more fun or effective.

  • 4. PE Central – Physical Education Lessons

    One of the most popular online databases of health and physical education lessons, PE Central features lesson ideas for the full range of grades, including preschool as well as K-12.

    In addition to being categorized by grade range, lesson plans can also be filtered down to specific sports and activities.

    You’ll also find a number of innovative assessment ideas, complete with report cards, student examples, and activity-specific test plans.

    Although the information found on Physical Education has been added to the site over the course of the past 15+ years, much of it still remains relevant today.

  • 5. TES Connect

    This is actually the only one of our lesson plan resources to be specifically based around the UK physical education system.

    There are a few reasons why we’ve chosen to include it here, not least because of the fact that many activities found on the site aren’t country-specific.

    If you’re setting up a plan for PE lessons at a specific age range, there will be some basic conversion necessary to switch from the Key Stage grade system in the UK, to the traditional grading system in the US.

    That being said, as TES Connect currently offers nearly 9,000 free lesson plans, worksheets, and teaching ideas based around various sports and physical activities, it’s certainly a useful source of information.