GLSEN's Programs

Game Plan for Elementary School Physical Education Teachers

Changing the Game

Tips for K-5 Physical Education Specialists and Classroom Teachers to Make Classes and Recess Time Inclusive and Respectful for All Students

Physical education and recess play time in K-5 schools are integral parts of the elementary school curriculum. Through these opportunities, students not only learn fundamental movement and fitness skills and a wide range of motor and fitness activities, but they are also given the opportunity to practice pro-social behaviors. Because of the foundational role that physical education and recess activities play in K-5 schools it is important that students have access to climates that are safe, respectful and inclusive for all students regardless of their gender identity/expression, sexual orientation or family configuration. In many schools classroom teachers are responsible for providing physical education instruction or for supplementing the instruction provided by physical education specialists. Classroom teachers also monitor recess or supervise after-school intramural activities. Both K-5 physical education specialists and K-5 classroom teachers must be prepared to take an active role in assuring that physical activity periods are safe, respectful and inclusive for all students.