Please select your location

UK, Europe and Middle East


Feedback IconFeedback
Moving With Words & Actions

Moving With Words & Actions


Available As


    The earlier that children develop a love for physical activity , the better able they are to acquire the healthy habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. Moving With Words & Actions is designed to help them develop that critical physical literacy.

    Moving With Words & Actions offers early childhood and physical education teachers more than 70 lesson plans that can be used immediately or can be used as models for creating additional lessons. The plans reinforce both physical literacy and language literacy; they use words related to children’s academic learning and understanding of their immediate environment to entice them to move. The lesson plans
    • Use an interdisciplinary approach, integrating academic concepts from language arts, math, science, health and nutrition, community awareness, and environmental awareness
    • Are highly adaptable for various settings, including those working with individualized education programs and 504 accommodation plans as well as those teaching in limited spaces
    • Offer great noncompetitive activities that are perfect for use by recess, lunchtime, and before- and after-school specialists
    • Have been field tested according to best practices to ensure age appropriateness
    Each lesson plan includes three learning tasks that help children apply a variety of action words and movement concepts to the moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activities prescribed in the tasks. Most tasks are easy to implement, requiring no equipment or specialized setting. What’s more, all lesson plans address SHAPE America’s National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education, so preschool children will have a head start on their kindergarten learning.

    This SHAPE America book, based on the authors’ classic Movement-Based Learning, has been completely revamped with new lessons and new material to reflect current research, address the new standards and outcomes, and emphasize physical literacy. Part I offers expert guidance in selecting age-appropriate content, creating and implementing lesson plans, making the most of every lesson, and assessing your students’ learning and progress. In part I, you’ll explore the importance of words in young children’s lives and learn what constitutes an appropriate learning task and how that understanding should inform your teaching. These chapters also highlight two primary instructional strategies for this age group, identify five teaching practices to help student teachers create preservice lessons, and outline three assessment techniques for teachers in early-childhood settings.

    Part II supplies the lesson plans themselves, categorized by these units:
    • Healthy Bodies (examining body parts and the ways they move, and increasing awareness of healthy nutrition)
    • Our Community (enhancing children’s understanding of community helpers in familiar roles)
    • Living Creatures (helping children appreciate animals by imitating their movements, behaviors, and characteristics)
    • Science and Math (using action rhymes, riddles, and games to learn math and science concepts)
    • Language Arts (expanding on children’s language arts and movement vocabularies with alphabet challenges, action poems, movement riddles, and more)
    Moving With Words & Actions will help you plan lessons with confidence, use sound instructional strategies, and assess your students effectively as they learn how their bodies function, move, and grow in healthy ways. Children will enjoy the movement activities, which are fun in and of themselves; but, more importantly, they will be taking a solid first step toward becoming physically literate learners who will gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to move with competence in multiple environments and lead active lives.


    Lesson planning resource for physical education teachers and teacher trainers, classroom teachers, and early childhood teachers. A supplemental text for preservice physical education and early childhood majors.

    Table of Contents

    Part I: Setting the Standard With Age-Appropriate Content, Instruction, and Assessment
    Chapter 1: Selecting Age-Appropriate Content 
    The Power of Words
    Physical Literacy and National Standards
    Guidelines and Frameworks
    Movement Concepts as Age-Appropriate Content
    The Young Child’s Physical Skills
    Manipulative Skills
    Considerations for Content
    Chapter 2: Creating and Implementing Lessons Plans
    Behavioral Objectives
    Central Focus
    Learning Tasks (Ages 3-8)
    Making Smooth Transitions Between Learning Tasks
    Creative Ways to Form Groups
    Structuring the Learning Environment to Be Physically Safe
    Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching
    Personal Community and Cultural Awareness
    Instructional Strategies
    Planned Supports for Children With Special Needs
    Providing Differentiated Instruction
    Academic Language
    Chapter 3: Making the Most of Every Lesson
    A Typical Lesson Plan
    Making Lessons Plans More Purposeful
    Instructional Materials/Props 
    Special Safety Considerations
    Provisions for Special Needs
    Students’ Prior Knowledge
    Health-Enhancing Components of Physical Activity
    Motivating Physically Literate Learners
    Instructional Cues and Prompts
    State Education Standards
    Chapter 4: Assessing Children’s Ability to Move With Words & Actions
    Evidence 1: The Child’s Perspective
    Evidence 2: Responses to Higher-Order Questions
    Evidence 3: Written Summaries and Progress Reports

    Part II: Lesson Plans for Moving With Words & Actions
    Chapter 5: Moving With Words & Actions to Create Healthy Bodies
    Content Knowledge for Enhanced Physical Literacy
    Strong Bones 
    Twisting Body Parts
    My Special Body Parts
    Muscle Actions
    Body Expressions 
    Jumping Jills
    Time, Force and Flow . . . On the Go    
    Body Outlines
    Active Fruits and Vegetables
    Fruit Salad Toss-Up
    Sizzling Vegetables
    Healthy Lunchtime Foods
    Chapter 6: Moving With Words & Actions in Our Community
    Community Helpers
    Fire Station
    Toy Store
    Food Market
    Pet Shop
    Gas Station and Repair Shop
    Train Station
    Car Wash
    Pizza Parlor
    Construction Site
    Building Structures  
    Wintertime Holidays
    Chapter 7: Moving With Words & Actions Like Living Creatures
    Living Creatures Near and Far
    Animal Actions
    Under the Sea
    Feathered Friends
    Eagles and Chickens
    Spider Web Formations
    Insects and Bugs
    Life Cycle of the Butterfly
    Learning About Nature    
    Chapter 8: Moving With Words & Actions in Science and Math
    Substances, Surfaces, and Textures
    Power Sources
    Wave Actions
    Undersea Travel
    Life Cycle of a Tree
    Cave Structures
    Wind Patterns
    Vines Found in the Jungle
    Rock Formations and Water
    Jumping With Words and Numbers That Rhyme
    Hopping With Words and Numbers That Rhyme
    Moving With Words and Numbers That Rhyme
    Geometric Shapes
    Puzzle Shapes
    Body Triangles
    Measuring Horses
    First and Last
    Chapter 9: Moving With Words & Actions in Language Arts
    Alphabet Stretches A to Z
    Alphabet Letters
    Alphabet Treasures
    Alphabet Rhythm
    My Body Can Form Letters
    Brain-and-Body Connection
    Body Language
    Twisting and Twirling Actions
    Halloween Objects
    Movement Narratives
    Places in Our Community
    Super Bodies
    Fairy Tale Actions
    So Very Small
    The Letter S
    Small to Tall
    Objects in Our House
    Amusement Park
    Ice Rink
    Sports Stadium
    Hardware Store
    Shoe Store
    Magical Powers
    Rainbow Magic
    Space Travel
    Science Museum
    About the Authors
    About SHAPE America

    About the Author

    Rhonda L. Clements, EdD, is a professor and the director of the master’s of arts in teaching (MAT) program in physical education and sport pedagogy at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. At Manhattanville College, she collects data regarding early childhood play activities and teaches about historical and sociocultural issues in sport and physical education.

    Clements is the author of 10 books on movement, play, and games. She is past president of the American Association for the Child's Right to Play, a United Nations–recognized association composed of experts in play, games, and sports from 49 countries. The association’s primary purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote play and leisure activities throughout the world.

    Clements has written numerous articles related to physical education, including 20 on sport and play factors. She is also a consultant for several manufacturers of sport equipment and playthings and has been interviewed by more than 300 journalists regarding children's right to leisure and physical play. She has presented at 40 international or national conferences and over 60 state or local conferences on topics related to cultural understanding through play and sport. Clements lives in New York City.

    Sharon L. Schneider, MS, is an early childhood adjunct assistant professor at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. At Hofstra University, she teaches all the required courses for undergraduate and graduate students pertaining to child movement, music, rhythm, and play and their integration into academics for early childhood and elementary educators. In addition, she has been a keynote speaker, a consultant for numerous groups, and a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    Schneider has served as a national physical activity consultant for Head Start Body Start and the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play, and she has served as a facilitator for I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL). She has been an officer and member of the executive board of the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play, for which she also served as an alternate representative to UNICEF and the United Nations Early Childhood Care and Development in Emergencies Working Group.

    Schneider enjoys family adventures, her grandchildren, and the bragging rights she earns playing in her family’s fantasy football league.