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Fundamental Movement Skills

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Fundamental Movement Skills

1st Grade

5 Classes

25-30 Students

45-minute class periods

By Adam Bibbs


Fundamental Movement Skills are movement patterns that involve different body parts such as the legs, arms, trunk and head, and include such skills as running, hopping, catching, throwing, striking and balancing. They are the foundation movements or precursor patterns to more specialized, complex skills used tin play games, sports, dance gymnastics, outdoor education and physical recreation activities (www.steps-pd, There are 3 main types of fundamental movement skills and they are locomotors skills, non-locomotor skills, and manipulative skills. Locomotor skills are used to move the body from one place to another or to project the body upward. Non-locomotors are performed in place, without appreciable spatial movement. Manipulatives are developed through handling some type of object with a variety of body parts(Elementary Book).


It is clear that children and adults who are physically active on a regular basis are healthier than those who are not active. It is also evident from research findings that many children and adults do not regularly take part in physical activities that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. There are many reasons for this lack of physical activity, the most evident being the lack of exposure tat an early age to physical skill development activities. If you do not possess the skills to strike a tennis ball you are probably not going to play tennis. If you are not skilled in throwing or catching you will most likely not participate in games where those skills are needed. Over the past 20 years we have created a world of very young techno wizards who spend huge amounts of time watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet instead of using and developing their physical skills during outdoor play. Have we crated an entire generation of children who do not know how to throw and catch a ball? If children do not learn to throw, catch, jump and kick when they are young they will not possess the skills needed to participate in physical activities as adults and thus most will not get appropriate amounts of physical activity. Developmentally appropriate practice suggests that we as adults make educational decisions based on what is known from research and experience about how children learn and develop. For example, learning to strike a ball with a bat is not an easy task especially when we use a regulation basketball and wooden bat. Using a plastic ball and bat is more developmentally appropriate and will initially better help the child learn the skill. In schools today, children find themselves focused on learning basic concepts in math, reading and social studies. Physical activity, in many schools and in many homes does not have the level of importance it deserves. Children who do not develop physical skills are those who get left out of play with their friends and could be those who remain physically inactive throughout life. The simple fact is that if you are going to learn to read you have to spend time reading. If you are going to learn math skills you need to practice calculations using numbers. If you are going to learn to catch a ball, you have to participate in a developmentally appropriate and logical progression of catching activities. We know that in order to develop physical skills children must spend time practicing those skills ( In the year 2000 only one of the thirteen physical activity and fitness objectives were met, which led to two new objectives: to eliminate health disparities and to increase the quantity and quality of life (Healthy People 2010). Overall the primary focus of physical education is the optimum health of the student for the present and in the future, and the curriculum was designed to provide learning experiences that will help student realize their potential in life (


Integration is bringing in or adding another subject area into your class such as math and doing an activity in physical education that requires critical thinking to apply math while doing a physical activity at the same time. An example of integration in physical education would be to have the students keep score of their basketball game while they are playing. Integration is a great thing because it reinforces what is learned in other classes and might make it more fun doing it in a gym setting. Integrations have proven success because of all the reinforcement it gives. The only reasons I can see why integration is not included in a teachers lesson plan is because they are lazy, it is very time consuming, or they don’t know exactly how to do it correctly.

Behavior Objectives

By the end of the unit students should know and be able to:

  1. Psychomotor:

    • Demonstrated how to perform the 3 basic types of fundamental movement skills, which are locomotors, non-locomotors, and manipulative skills assessed by teacher observation

2. Cognitive:

  • Apply primary cues for each skill taught during the unit by passing a multiple choice and true false test with a score of 70% or better

  • Display a sense of rhythm with the fundamental movement skills

  • Display a positive attitude while fully participating in all activities assessed by teacher observation

  • Encourage other classmates by giving 3 specific comments of what is being done well and this will also be assessed by teacher observation

Listing of Skills

1. Locomotors

  • Jumping – taking off with both feet and landing on both feet.

  • Hopping – Propelling the body up and down on the same foot.

  • Walking – Each foot moves alternately, with one foot always in contact with the ground or floor. Your weight is transferred from the heel of your foot to the balls of the foot. The body is straight ant tall; your eyes are looking directly forward and the arms swinging in opposition with your legs.

  • Running – Same as walking but done at a much faster pace. At one moment both feet may be off the ground and should be done with a slight body lean forward.

  • Skipping – A series of step hops done with alternate feet

  • Leaping – elongated step designed to cover distance or move over a low obstacle

  • Sliding – going form one side to another by a one-count movement with the leading foot stepping to the side and the other foot following quickly.

  • Galloping – similar to sliding but progress is in a forward direction. One foot leads and the other is brought rapidly forward to it.

2. Non-Locomotors

  • Bending – movement at a joint

  • Stretching – a movement that moves body parts away from the body center

  • Pushing – controlled and forceful action performed against an object to move the body away from the object or move the object in a desired direction by applying force to it.

  • Pulling – Controlled and forceful action that moves an object closer to the body or the body closer to an object

  • Twisting – the rotation of a selected body part around its own long axis

  • Turning – rotation around the long axis of the body (body as a whole)

3. Manipulatives

  • Propulsion

-Throwing – an object is thrust into space and is accelerated through the movement of the arm and the total coordination of the body

-Striking – to hit sharply with hand, fist, weapon, or foot

-Kicking – striking with the feet

  • Reception

-Catching – using the hands to stop and control a moving object

  • Redirecting an object in flight

Listing of skill drills and application activities


  • Simple drill: Stand in a stationary spot then performs a jump.

  • Compound drill: Run for 10 feet then perform a jump

  • Application: Free movements – The students will be in there own area where they can perform any movement they have learned in the day and they will move in any direction then they will change to a new movement when the whistle blows.


  • Simple drill: Stand and hop on one foot straight up and down

  • Compound drill: Hop on one foot forwards and backwards

  • Application: Free movements, and High fives – Students move in different directions throughout the area. On signal, they are challenged to run toward partner, jump or hop, and give a “high five” while moving. Emphasis should be place on timing so that the “high five” is given at the top of the jump or hop. Combinations of changing the level as well as changing the speed of the movement can be developed.


  • Simple drill: the students will walk on a straight line

  • Compound drill: students will walk through obstacle course of cones

  • Application: Free movements



  • Simple drill: students will skip on a straight line

  • Compound drill: students will skip through an obstacle course of cones

  • Application: Free movements


  • Simple drill: The students will start running then leap

  • Compound drill: the students will start running then leap over cones

  • Application: High fives


  • Simple drill: students will slide on a straight line

  • Compound drill: students will slide through an obstacle course of cones

  • Application: Rhythm movements – Rhythm can guide locomotor movements, with changes in tempo being part of the activity. The intensity of the sound can be translated into light or heavy movements


  • Simple drill: students will gallop on a straight line

  • Compound drill: students will gallop through an obstacle course of cones

  • Application: Free movements, and Relays – the teacher will split the class into groups then have them perform a relay race. The students must do whatever movement they are asked to do then tag the next person to go. The teacher may change the movement at any time.


  • Simple drill: Bend at the waist and then other body parts

  • Compound drill: Bend at the waist then jump into air (repeat)

  • Application: Secret movement – the teacher has written a number of movements on cards and selects one. Direction is given by saying “I want you to show me the secret movement.” The children select a movement and continue the movement with out change until they are signaled to stop, whereupon the teacher identifies those who performed the movement on the card. The movement is then demonstrating by those who chance upon it, and all perform it together. If no one comes up with the movement pattern on the card, repeat the activity by asking the children to change their responses.


  • Simple drill: Students stretch one body part

  • Compound drill: Students stretch more than one body part at the same time

  • Application: Student led stretches for warm-ups


  • Simple drill: Push a ball to a partner

  • Compound drill: student perform a push up

  • Application: Ball activities – youngsters dribble balls as in basketball or as in soccer. When a change is signaled, they stop, balance on one leg, and push the ball under the other leg, around the back, and overhead, keeping both control and balance. Other challenges can be supplied that involve both movements with the ball are manipulative actions performed in place.


  • Simple drill: have a partner, grab hands and pull against each other

  • Compound drill: Pull your partner on a scooter

  • Application: Play a game of tug of war – the class is split into two teams and they try to gain the majority of the rope. The maximum amount of time for this is 40 seconds. If a team doesn’t win by this 40 seconds then the team that has the most rope wins. Parachute activity – the students will play with the parachute having bean bags pop up in the middle with out them falling off the parachute.


  • Simple drill: Stand up tall then twist your body

  • Compound drill: Start running then jump and twist your body

  • Application: Secret movement, and Athletic movements – students move and stop on signal. They then perform an athletic skill move, such as a basketball jump shot, leaping football pass catch, volleyball spike, or soccer kick. Students should place emphasis on correct form and timing. A variation of the activity is for students to move with a partner and throw a pass on signal, punt a ball, or shoot a basket. The partner catches the ball or rebounds the shot.


  • Simple drill: Stand up tall and turn your body

  • Compound drill: Run then Turn your body

  • Application: Athletic movements


  • Simple drill: Throw a bean bag in the air

  • Compound drill: Throw a bean bag to your partner

  • Application: Accuracy throw – the students will be in groups of two and try to throw as many beanbags through a hula hoop in 30 seconds. After the 30 seconds the students have 10 seconds to switch and get ready to throw again. Each person will go three times then we will see which group has the most accuracy.


  • Simple drill: Kick the ball

  • Compound drill: Kick the ball on a spot at the wall

  • Application: Kick the ball to a partner under control


  • Simple drill: Throw bean bags in the air and catch it with one or two hands

  • Compound drill: Move and throw the bean bag up and then catch it with one or two hands

  • Application: Play catch with a partner, move around and try to catch on the run

Other games to play during this unit

  • Animal shapes – have the students at an time pick an animal and have them mimic what that animal would do, then on the whistle have them pick a new animal.

  • Airplanes – children pretend to be airplanes. When told to take off, they zoom with arms out swooping, turning, and gliding. When they are commanded to land, thy drop to the floor in prone position, simulation a plane at rest. To start their engines and take off, they can perform a series of push-ups, and move up and down whole simulating engine noise.

  • Crossing the river – a river can be set up as the space between tow parallel lines about 40 feet apart, or it can be the crosswise area in a gymnasium. Each time the children cross the river, they use a different type of locomotor movement. Children should be encouraged not to repeat a movement. Play is continuous over a minute or so.

  • Beanbag touch and go – beanbags are spread throughout the area. On signal youngsters move and touch as many different beanbags as possible with their hands. Different body parts can be specified for children to use for touching. Different colors of beanbags can be selected, and the command might be “touch as many blue beanbags as possible with your elbow.” Children can also move to and around a beanbag. The type of movement can be varied.

  • Medic tag – Three or four students are designated as “taggers.” They try to tag other students; when tagged, a student kneels as if injured. Another student can ‘rehabilitate” the injured player with a touch, enabling the student to resume play.

Health and Safety Precautions

  • Inspect area before games or activities are started

  • Warm up and stretch

  • Stop on the whistle

  • Wait until directions or commands are given

  • No gum

  • No jewelry

  • No grabbing, pushing, tripping, or horseplay

  • Act in a safe and healthy manor

  • Report injuries to instructor

  • Proper dress

  • Treat everyone and the equipment with respect

Block Plan

Day 1


Anticipatory set – good morning class today we are going to learn about locomotor skills.

Introductory activity – Go over example of locomotors. Establish freeze signal


Major Tasks

1. Walking

2. Running

3. Skipping

4. Galloping

(Tape a line on the floor and have cones)

Game – Free running with a whistle change, Animal shapes, and relay races


Closure of lesson – Bring everyone together.

Recap of lesson – Review cues for Locomotors

Assessment – Observation of participation and knowledge in review

Preview next class period – tomorrow we will learn more locomotors.

Day 2


Anticipatory set – who can tell me what we did yesterday and what are locomotors?

Introductory activity – Give examples of the locomotors being covered today.


Major Tasks

1. Leaping

2. Jumping

3. Hopping

4. Sliding

Game – High fives, Medic tag


Closure of lesson – Bring everyone together

Recap of lesson – Review locomotor skills

Assessment – Observation of participation and knowledge in review

Preview next class period – Tomorrow we will be learning about non-locomotors.

Day 3


Anticipatory set – Who thinks they know what a non-locomotors are?

Introductory activity – Define non-locomotors and give examples of the ones being covered today


Major Tasks

1. Bending

2. Stretching

3. Twisting/Turning

4. Pulling/Pushing

Game – Secret movement, tug of war, Parachute activity


Closure of lesson – Bring everyone together

Recap of lesson – Review non-locomotor skills

Assessment – Observation of participation and knowledge in review

Preview of next class period – Tomorrow we will be learning a few new non-locomotor skills

Day 4


Anticipatory set – Who thinks they know what manipulatives are?

Introductory activity – Define manipulatives and give examples of the ones being covered today


Major Tasks

1. Catching

2. Throwing

3. Kicking

Game – Athletic movements, Moving to rhythm, ball activities, playing catch with a partner


Closure of lesson – Bring everyone together

Recap of lesson – Review manipulative skills

Assessment – Observation of participation and knowledge in review

Preview of next class period – Tomorrow we will be reviewing everything we have learned and tie it all together

Day 5


Anticipatory set – today we are going to play games

Introductory activity – Review locomotors, non-locomotors, and manipulatives


Major Tasks

1. Review skills

2. Play Games

Game – Ball activities, beanbag touch and go, airplane, parachute activity, and crossing the river


Closure of lesson –Bring everyone together

Recap of lesson –Review games played

Assessment – Observation of participation and knowledge in review

Preview of next class period – End of Unit

Special Activities and Alternative Plans

  • If the gymnasium was used I could go outside if the weather is nice

  • I could schedule a field trip if I knew it was needed ahead of time

  • If half the class was missing I could have a free day of games or do relays where every we could have class

  • The class could watch a video

Equipment and Supplies/Space Requirements

  • 40 beanbags

  • 2 parachutes

  • Tumbling mats (enough to fill the entire gym)

  • 1 tape/CD player

  • 20 jumping boxes

  • 1 portable chalk board

  • 40 rubber balls

  • 30 hula hoops

  • 30 jump ropes

  • 1 long rope

  • I will need the entire elementary gymnasium for these activities or I could go outside if the weather is nice

Interdisciplinary Connection/Motivational Techniques

  • I could incorporate math by having them do addition relays

  • I could incorporate music and rhythm by playing it while they are doing skills in class.

  • I can modify activities and skills to fit needs of everyone

  • I could let the children pick their partners every once in a while

Teacher Behavior

  • Free exploration – most child centered style of learning, guided by teacher it is limited to the selection the instructional materials to be used and designation of the area to be explored. DAY 1

  • Cooperative learning – focuses on the importance of people working together to accomplish common goals. Groups of students working together to achieve a goal. DAY 2

  • Guided discovery – when there is a predetermined choice or result that the teacher wants students to discover. DAY 3

  • Task – arranging and presenting learning tasks at several learning areas or stations. DAY 4

  • Mastery of learning – takes a general program outcome and breaks it into smaller parts providing a progression of skills. DAY 5

  • Direct – providing instruction to either the entire class or small groups and guides the pace and direction of the class. Explain, demonstrate, then have the students perform. EVERY DAY

Evaluation of Student learning

Daily Participation 1 2 3 4 5

Acts in a Safe and healthy manor Y or N

Displays knowledge of skills Y or N

Attendance list

Day 1

Day 2














  • Displays correct movements

  • Participates

  • Assessed by daily points awarded by teacher observation


  • Able to identify cues for movements

  • Teacher asks questions for class discussion

  • Assessed by teacher observation


  • Able to work together, get along with others, and has respect for everything and everyone, which is assessed by teacher observation.

Skills Check list for each student






  • Jumping

  • Hopping

  • Walking

  • Running

  • Skipping

  • Leaping

  • Sliding

  • Galloping


  • Bending

  • Stretching

  • Pushing

  • Pulling

  • Twisting

  • Turning


  • Throwing

  • Kicking

  • Catching


Pangrazi, Robert. (2004). Dynamic physical education for elementary school children 14th ed. San Fransico, CA. Pearson Education Publishing.

Unknown. (Unknown). Fundamental Movement Skills. Retrieved April 2, 2005, From the World Wide Web:
Unknown. (Unknown). Importance of Physical Education. Retrieved April 3, 2005, From the World Wide Web: (google images)
Unknown. (Unknown). Healthy People. Retrieved October 23, 2004, Fro mthe World Wide Web:
Unknown. (Unknown). Physical Education. Retrieved April 2, 2005, From the World Wide Web:
Unknown. (2005). Retrieved April 2, 2005, From the World Wide Web:

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