How to Integrate Knowledge & Skills From Multiple Subjects in Physical Education

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Creating Productive Relationships to Support Student Growth & Well-Being

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Cross-Curricular Instruction
  • 0:33 Reading
  • 1:20 Writing
  • 2:09 Math
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn some specific ways that teachers can integrate other content areas, specifically English language arts and mathematics, into physical education instruction.

Cross-Curricular Instruction

More stringent standards in schools have an expectation that teachers of all content areas, including physical education, do their part to improve literacy and math skills. Research has indicated that using an integrative framework, or a process for combining content areas, improves cognition. Physical movement is an effective means for helping students understand academic content. Let's look at some simple things physical education teachers can do to integrate other content areas into their lessons.


Most physical education teachers deliver more cross-curricular instruction than they realize. Here are some great ways to be intentional about incorporating reading into your P.E. classroom.

  • Bulletin boards are teaching tools that can be used as word walls or to display instructional objectives to students.
  • Reading to students is a great way to introduce a new activity and/or movement and health vocabulary to students. Read alouds may also be used to provide historical information about various sports or autobiographical information about important sports figures.
  • Station cards with explicit instructions can be displayed in each area during circuit-training activities.
  • For elementary students, nursery rhymes and songs, such as Miss Mary Mack or Willoughby Wallaby Woo can be used during jumping rope to increase phonemic awareness.


Writing is an important skill that requires practice in all content areas. Writing can be integrated into physical education classes in the following ways:

  • Blogging about events and activities in P.E. improves students' writing and technological skills.
  • Goal setting is motivating to students. It's also a great way to get students to write about fitness. Both long-term and short-term goals may be written and monitored using fitness journals.
  • Written reflections about physical education activities help students make connections between what happens in class and healthy living.
  • Students learn about the importance of understanding game rules, as well as articulation skills when they work cooperatively with peers to develop their own movement games in writing to be demonstrated to the class.
  • Spelling may accompany bean bag tosses or basketball free throws to reinforce skills.


Math skills encompass numeracy and measurement, as well as collecting and displaying data. Here are some specific ways that P.E. teachers can influence the development of math skills among students:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account