Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Luz M. Cruz


This thesis focuses on strategies used to teach first graders literacy skills that could be implemented in a physical education program that would benefit the development of both physical education skills and literacy skills in first graders. Qualitative research was selected to be the method of investigation and data collection consisted of observations, interviews, and document analysis. The review of literature includes literature related to the integration of academics into physical education, national and state standards for physical education and language arts, how children gain literacy skills, the practical application of integrating language arts into physical education, and the effect that integrating language arts has on the acquisition of physical education objectives.

Two first grade teachers were selected and volunteered to participate in this study. I observed six times in each of their classrooms and interviewed each teacher three times during the observation process. Three students from each classroom were interviewed to get a student's perspective on learning literacy skills. The data were analyzed for strategies that were common to both classrooms. These common strategies were then measured against criteria for implementation in my physical education. Three strategies were selected to be implemented and had support in professional literature. I implemented the three strategies with the two classrooms in which I observed and in two additional first grades. All of these classes were videotaped and the videotapes were analyzed by two Language Arts experts for the effectiveness and usefulness of implementing the selected strategies.

The three strategies implemented were the use of a K-W-L chart, reading aloud books related to physical education, and providing a print rich environment. The Language Arts experts determined that these three strategies were effective and useful strategies, benefiting both physical education and language arts. These three strategies also have support in the professional literature. Future research in this area may result in additional classroom strategies being identified for use in the gymnasium. This study may also encourage physical educators to observe what strategies are being used in their schools and adapt these strategies for use in their classes.


Repository staff redacted information not essential to the integrity of this thesis to protect privacy.