PE Resources – The Books You Can’t Live Without

When I first started teaching Physical Education over 17 years ago, the only way to find new ideas, games, and activities for lesson planning was through collaboration with colleagues or purchasing physical education books through equipment catalogs. I remember spending hours combing through various PE books looking for things I could use to teach K4 through 8th grade physical education.

In the process, I wasted a lot of time and money on books that weren’t worth it. The internet was just beginning, so the ability to search for quality resources was very limited. However, in today’s world the internet has changed everything. The way we search, research, and collaborate to find useful material has made books seem of little use. We can find information at anytime and from any place in the world. We can use desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones to gather information whenever we want instantly. However, books, of course, can still be very useful.

Throughout my career, I have purchased numerous physical education books that have changed the way I teach today. Of course, I had to live and learn and waste money and time figuring out what was and wasn’t quality material. That is why I decided to create and share with you the 14 must-have physical education books you need to check out! 

1. Make It! Take It! by The Great Activity Publishing Company

A great resource for instant integration ASAPs. Just copy and use! 

Make It Take It - PE Book

2. Great Activity Magazine by The Great Activity Publishing Company

For just a few dollars a year receive this great PE Activity magazine subscription delivered to your door with activities for PE professionals from all over the country.

Great Activity Magazine - PE Resource

3. Physical Education Outside the Box by Bud & Sue Turner

Here is another great resource for instant activities, as well as, skill related activities. What makes this a must in your PE tool box is every activity uses very little equipment, simple instructions, and minimal set-up time.

Physical Education Outside the Box - PE Book

4. No Standing Around in my Gym by J.D. Hughes

This is a must have ready-to-use resource for teaching large classes! It is packed with 6 units, 70, games, 15 hints, and 39 special game variations.

  No Standing Around in my Gym - PE Book

5. No We Are Not Playing Dodgeball by Mike Bohannon

This book is a resource for fun, easy-to-use activities for promoting integration and fitness for all students. The book provides awesome warm-up, integration, and station ideas that get kids moving.

No We Are Not Playing Dodgeball - PE Book

6. PE2theMax by J.D. Hughes

Another must have book for large classes! 

PE2theMax - PE Book

7. Spark byJohn J. Ratey, MD

A must have book for Physical Education Advocacy. Make sure to have your administrator read the first chapter!

SPARK - PE Book

8. SHAPE America Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education by SHAPE America

A must have resource that includes the National PE standards and outcomes that guide your instruction! This it non-negotiable!

SHAPE America Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education - PE Book

9. No Gym? No Problem!- Physical Activities for Tight Spaces by Charmain Sutherland

This doesn’t need explaining. It is a lifesaver for every P.E. Specialist!

No Gym? No Problem! - PE Book

10. Journey Toward the Caring Classroom by Laurie S. Frank

This is a great resource for covering NASPE Standard 4 while building community in your classroom. I highly recommend!

Journey Toward the Caring Classroom - PE Book

11. Instant Activities Volume 1: Dice Games by Kevin Tiller

The title says it all! Easy to use with printable ready-to-use activities with math integration. Need I say more? 

Instant Activities Volume 1 Dice Games - PE Book

12. The Great Games Handbook by Kevin Tiller

Recommended for skill based activities. This resource uses creativity to keep kids active and engaged. 

The Great Games Handbook - PE Book

13. The First Six Minutes! by Hal Cramer

Here is another fantastic must have for getting your students active from the start. If you want to increase your students MVPA then get it now!

The First Six Minutes! - PE Book

14. Phys. Ed. Fun & Fitness by Kevin Tiller

This book includes “Warm-up activities”, “Skill Builders”, and “QR Codes in P.E.”. The awesome part is that it includes reproducibles making it easy to implement. Love that!!

Fun & Fitness - PE Book

Check out other great physical education reads here! What are some of your favorite physical education books?

Michael is a Physical Education Specialist at Fairview Charter School in Milwaukee, WI. He was the Wisconsin Health and PE JRFH/HFH Coordinator of the Year in 2015 and Wisconsin Health and PE Elementary PE Teacher of the Year in 2013.

Michael is a Physical Education Specialist at Fairview Charter School in Milwaukee, WI. He was the Wisconsin Health and PE JRFH/HFH Coordinator of the Year in 2015 and Wisconsin Health and PE Elementary PE Teacher of the Year in 2013.

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