Using Physical Activity to Teach Academic Content: A Study of the Effects on Literacy in Head Start Preschoolers
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- Kirk, S.M., Vizcarra, C.R., Looney, E.C. et al. Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42: 181. doi:10.1007/s10643-013-0596-3
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The potential impact of increased physical activity on early literacy skills in preschool children has not been sufficiently explored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 6 month, low cost, teacher-directed, academic program that delivered existing literacy lessons using physical activity in Head Start preschools. Preschool Literacy Individual Growth and Development Indicators were used to assess early literacy and phonological awareness in the areas of alliteration and picture naming. The results showed significant increases in physical activity during free play and improvements in early literacy (Picture Naming, Alliteration) compared to a non-exercising control group. In conclusion, the findings suggest that academic lessons taught using physical activity improve early literacy in preschoolers.