Linking Physical Education and Technology to Engage Primary Students in Meaningful Literacy Experiences

By Laurie Gatzke and June LeDrew.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This project’s purpose was to link physical education and technology to engage primary students in meaningful literacy experiences. The setting for the project was two classrooms (grade two/three and grade four) in an urban community school. Students were taught, and were digitally photographed playing, five low organizational games. After learning on laptop computers how to manipulate the photographs, the students sequenced the order of game events and engaged in a procedural writing process that was used to develop ebooks describing how to play their games. Students reported that they: 1) loved writing their books and listed many additional topics for writing another book; 2) loved using the computer to write their books – it made the writing, spelling and changing (revising) easier; 3) wanted to write another book; and, 4) loved playing the games with their classmates. Teachers found this project benefited the development of the following student skills: social and engagement, story sequencing, revision and editing, technology, First Nations content and perspective, physical education and differentiated instruction. To the extent that children think about it at all, technology is generally perceived by them as a means to entertainment, and is used mainly in a sedentary and often passive way. In this project technology was employed to enhance and reinforce an important learning experience respecting healthy active living and development of literacy skills. At the same time, the children learned valuable and exciting computer skills that will aid them in their future learning experiences.

Keywords: Literacy, Health, Primary Education, Cross-Disciplinary, Technology, Obesity

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp.287-294. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 846.411KB).

Laurie Gatzke

Vice Principal, Regina Public School Board, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Laurie Gatzke has over 20 years of teaching experience in elementary schools. She received the Celebrating Literacy Award from the International Reading Council for her contributions to literacy in the the province and community. Laurie is currently Vice-Principal at Henry Braun Elementary School in Regina and this project recently contributed to her completing her Master of Education at the University of Regina.

Dr. June LeDrew

Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

June LeDrew PhD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, who works extensively in partnership with community-based groups working to improve upon issues relating to the health and physical activity of children. She is the creator of the ‘On the Move’ book series, a series that encourages healthy, active lifestyles for young children through the use of descriptive sentences and colorful pictures of children in active living situations.

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