Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The purpose of this project was to identify curriculum design strategies that would assist elementary physical education teachers in producing thematic units for elementary physical education classes. Strategies for integrating curriculum were identified in the literature then used to create and implement a thematic physical education project. Specific strategies were explained in detail through examples associated with the project. The strategies demonstrate that thematic instruction can successfully meet the needs of many children, invite new learning, and will assist teachers in coordinating themes with elementary physical education classes. A school-wide Olympic Fest was the culminating event of this project. There were 380 sixth graders involved within a Midwest community school district. The competition was designed to foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration among students from the seven elementary schools within the district. This project integrated all areas of the curriculum through the combined effort of classroom teachers and the elementary physical education teachers within the school district. The project provided a basis for the continuation of planning and developing an Olympic theme on a yearly basis. Themes definitely add spice to the physical education curriculum! The process of developing this integrated curriculum and its results indicate that thematic units for elementary physical education classes provide curricular connections for students and encourage collaboration among teachers. This project enhances teachers' abilities to develop physical education curricula with themes, to engage in teacher collaboration, and to motivate students.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Linda F. Quinn

Second Advisor

Mary J. Selke


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (130 leaves)



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