Physical Education Curriculum Mapping: 3 Easy Steps to a Year Long Plan

Physical Education curriculum mapping is a process in which teachers can align overall program outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment strategies to ensure and support meaningful learning experiences for all students in Health and Physical Education. Alignment within a department or group of teachers can provide a collaboration of ideas – be it teaching strategies, games and activities, assessment tasks, methods and tools and/or shared resources.

Coherence through alignment of curriculum can help advocate the HPE program’s identity or purpose within a school community as key messages of the HPE program can be shared among students, staff, and parents.

Use these 3 easy steps to Physical Education curriculum planning to generate a year-long assessment plan. Consider sharing the plan with your school community at upcoming curriculum information nights. A poster of the UNESCO Quality Physical Education Guidelines is front and center on the door of an HPE department clearly communicating the benefits of a quality HPE program.



What are the overall outcomes and big ideas of your HPE program?

Ask yourself, if you were to run into former students five years from now on the street, what skills sets do you hope they acquired through your HPE program? Why does HPE matter in the lives of your students?


Task: Using a brainstorming activity with the entire HPE department and or a colleague, jot down on Post-it notes what conditions are necessary for all students to thrive in your HPE program. Group them into themes/categories that can help guide curriculum planning to foster meaningful learning experiences for all students as outlined in a previous blog. For example, creating an inclusive and non-judgmental environment is a necessary condition for students to learn and take inherent risks in HPE and can be modelled through differentiated instruction and assessments. This big idea can guide how units and assessment tasks are organized throughout the year.


Identify what is the student learning?

Making clear connections to chosen curriculum standards is necessary to generate a year-long plan with identified units, topics and content to be shared with the students, parents and school community. The image below illustrates OISE MT HPE student teachers creating a mind map to organize the overall outcomes and key learnings of the Ontario Health and Physical Education Program. It is a curriculum that is recognized as a significant health promotion intervention strategy to provide an active start for all children through the development of physical literacy and health literacy.



 How do we know students are learning?

Consider how you will chunk the learning into units throughout the year per grade and/or division (e.g. primary K-3, junior 4-6, intermediate 7-8, secondary 9-12) as seen in the sample below from OPHEA’s Teaching Tools for Secondary HPE.


Task: Discuss and decide upon the curriculum models, such as TGFU, you will use to plan and deliver your HPE program.

      1. Chart the various game categories (e.g., Netwall, Territorial), other focus (e.g., Personal fitness, Aquatics) across grades and/or divisions and identify the physical activities, games and/or sports to include in each unit. Ensure a variety throughout the year and over the course of the student’s experience in HPE at your school.

      2. Identify the assessment tasks within each unit and determine what evidence of learning will be observed and collected in each unit. Keep in mind, big ideas about assessment to shape philosophy for assessment in HPE that is meaningful and purposeful – students can demonstrate what they know in several ways (triangulation of evidence of student learning) observations, conversations and/or product. Discuss with your team/colleague what this looks like in various divisions. Look here for more insight and tips on quality assessment physical education curriculum practices.

Some final thoughts for consideration…

·       Physical Literacy as an overall outcome ·       Interest of Students
·       Scope and sequence (e.g., Target à Territorial)·       Sport Specific vs. Game Category
·       Previous Grade Progressions ·       Curriculum Expectations
·       Time of Year (Indoor/Outdoor Facility availability )·       Breadth vs. Depth
·       Resources·       Student Assessment

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