2021 Volume 66 Pages 533-549
The first objective of this study was to develop a course unit plan for physical fitness in the lower grades of elementary school, in which traditional play as exemplified by exercises for physical fitness are used as teaching material to create various movements (Study I). The second objective was to conduct classes using traditional play as teaching material based on the course unit plan, in order to gain an understanding of the fundamental movements that appear and the amount of physical exercise during the class (Study II).
A total of 163 traditional play physical activities were selected from prior studies and related publications. 22 elementary school third graders were examined for the fundamental movements included in 42 of the traditional play physical activities. The median number of such fundamental movements that appeared was 3 (minimum: 1, maximum: 8). From the survey results, traditional play physical activities were selected from among those that had no bias in their fundamental movements and had rules that could easily be changed and levels of difficulty that could easily be adjusted, and a course unit plan was developed taking into account the ease of class preparation by teachers.
A total of 5 lessons based on the course unit plan were given to 23 elementary school second graders. The fundamental movements were measured using observational methods, and the number of steps was measured objectively using an accelerometer. The fundamental movements observed and the number of steps measured during the course unit were compared with the age-appropriate standards for motor skills. The results revealed the following:
1) Of the 28 fundamental movements that were set, 25 were observed during the course unit.
2) There was a high frequency of fundamental movements common to many of the traditional play physical activities.
3) The mean number of steps in the physical education classes with diverse movements using traditional play physical activities as teaching materials for lower grades of elementary school was 2343.6±586.1.
4) There were no differences in the number of steps in any of the classes between the higher-ranked and the lower-ranked children.
These results suggest that from the perspective of fundamental movements and amount of physical exercise, creating various movements using traditional play physical activities as teaching materials may be satisfactory.