By GreatSchools Staff
Whatever you thought of gym class, the current debate over childhood obesity has made PE more relevant than ever. As the website for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign informs us, kids need “60 minutes of active and vigorous play every day to grow up to a healthy weight.” Some schools are even using video games to lure kids to the gym. In an ideal setting, P.E. doesn’t just improve fitness — it also reduces stress, strengthens friendships, and improves self-confidence and self-esteem.
Is your child getting the physical education he needs? Check out our grade-by-grade guidelines to see what kids should be learning in PE.
Second graders can use their burgeoning imaginations to explore new athletic abilities. “Second graders are very creative,” says physical education specialist Amy Kaiser. “In PE that creativity can be displayed in many ways and can be encouraged by [letting] students create their own ‘animal walks,’ tumbling routines, or games.”
Whether it’s walking and running; hopping, jumping, and leaping; or galloping, sliding, skipping, and turning — second graders are expected to build on the physical skills they learned in first grade. They should have time to practice combining these movements and try transitioning between them. Kids can use these skills to run relay races, play tag, or explore obstacle courses. Dance classes offer an artistic alternative.
Sports are a good way to keep students active. In soccer, children learn to dribble, pass, kick, and trap the ball. Playing softball, they’ll swing bats and learn to pitch. Teachers can help by breaking down the steps involved in throwing a ball. They should demonstrate how to stand, when to transfer weight, and how to follow through smoothly. On the basketball court, children should get practice shooting and dribbling.
PE should also teach warm-up and cool-down exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, and stretches, which can help children get comfortable with starting an exercise routine.
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.