In South Bend Indiana, students are learning in gym class about other subjects.
One morning, Perley Fine Arts Academy physical education teacher Patricia Morton told her second grade gym class to place their hands on their chests after vigorous jumping jacks, and feel the “lub dub” of their heartbeat.
Students then had to remember how blood moves between the heart chambers and the lungs. In one game, students ran between spaces representing the heart’s atriums, ventricles and the lungs. When the game was over, Morton quizzed them on what they had learned, and they enthusiastically answered her questions.
“I like that we get to do fun activities, and we’re always active,” said 8-year-old Ariana Butler. “We always do something fun, but we’re also learning.”
Morton believes that the time spent in physical education is valuable for many reasons. In light of how PE is often targeted for elimination during cutbacks, in favor of academics, she strives to make sure that the time spent in gym class is time well spent in learning about life long healthy practices and how the body works.