Motor Skills & Movement Concepts to Improve Physical Education Learning

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  • 0:03 Motor Skills Definition
  • 1:03 Motor Skills Types
  • 1:42 Motor Skills Practice
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nichole Kurmaniak
Motor skills are the basic movements that underlie all physical games and activities. An understanding of how to improve students' basic motor skills can enhance the quality of a physical education program.

Motor Skills Definition

Walking, running, stretching, bending, catching, and throwing are all motor skills. They are the building blocks of all games and activities in physical education class, sports, and daily life. Enhancing the quality of students' motor skills can enhance the quality of the activities in a physical education program and the daily lives of students.

Kelly teaches physical education at an elementary school with students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. Kelly will use her knowledge of the types of motor skills to observe the class and guide them to success. The skills that are taught and the way they're introduced will vary from grade to grade and class to class, but in a way, students will all be working on the same things: motor skills.

Motor skills are actions that require the use of muscles in specific ways to achieve a desired outcome. These abilities are learned and developed from an early age and can continue to develop through instruction. Motor skills are combined to create games and activities.

Motor Skills Types

There are three main types of motor skills: locomotor, nonlocomotor, and manipulative. Each has specific sills associated with it.

  1. Locomotor skills are actions that move the body from one space to another. Examples include: running, skipping, leaping, and hopping.
  2. Nonlocomotor skills are actions that take place in one spot. Examples include: bending, reaching, stretching, and balancing.
  3. Manipulative skills are actions that involve the control and handling of an object. Examples include: throwing, catching, kicking a ball, striking, and hula-hooping.

Motor Skills Practice

One way to ensure that specific, discrete practice of motor skills is incorporated into a physical education class is to use stations as a warm up activity. To identify which skills need reinforcement, a teacher should carefully monitor the class. When a specific motor skill is noted as needing attention, the teacher can incorporate stations to address the skill. The teacher may also choose to set up motor skill stations prior to introducing a game or activity.

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