Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 181–189

Using Physical Activity to Teach Academic Content: A Study of the Effects on Literacy in Head Start Preschoolers

  • Stacie M. Kirk
  • Coleman R. Vizcarra
  • Erin C. Looney
  • Erik P. Kirk
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10643-013-0596-3

Cite this article as:
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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Picture naming Academic achievement Preschool Early literacy Head Start 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stacie M. Kirk
    • 1
  • Coleman R. Vizcarra
    • 2
  • Erin C. Looney
    • 1
  • Erik P. Kirk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Special Education and Communication DisordersSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology and Health EducationSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA