The Effect of Verbal Instructions on Preschool Children’s Motor Creativity


  • Elissavet Konstantinidou Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Elizana Pollatou University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Evridiki Zachopoulou Department of Early Childhood Care and Education, Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki


divergent movement ability, fluency flexibility, teaching methods, instructions


Verbal suggestions or questions are used by educators like instructional guidance (Chen & Cone 2003),
in order to provide a stimulus for the presentation of a task, movement or a motor problem. According to
Mayesky, (1998) and Pica, (2000), a type of question that expands a child’s creative thinking is one that begins with, “In how many different ways…?”. This teaching technique was used with three different sentence structures – affirmative sentence, affirmative sentence with positive challenge, and interrogative sentence.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of these three types of verbal instructions on preschool
children’s scores on divergent movement ability - DMA (i.e. ability to perform and modify fundamental
movement patterns). DMA is a combined product of two motor creativity measures, fluency and flexibility
and these were the criteria which were used for the evaluation of this study in one fundamental movement
skill, running. The participants were 54 Caucasian preschoolers (27 boys and 27 girls) which were randomly
selected from 4 preschool centers on the outskirts of a city in northern Greece. The evaluation of motor creativity was based on the first activity of the TCAM set (Torrance, 1981) and recorded on special score sheets
after videotaping the children’s performances. A multivariate analysis of variance 2 x 3 (gender x types of
instructions) with repeated measures showed statistically significant differences between types of instructions. Further analysis with contrasts revealed that children showed the highest scores when they received
the second type of instruction - affirmative sentence with positive challenge, on fluency (Μ = 10.056 ± 3.9)
and flexibility (Μ = 8.148 ± 3.2). Regarding gender, no statistically significant differences were found between boys and girls neither for fluency nor for flexibility. It seems that even small changes in the structure
of a simple sentence – instruction, can diversify the children’s motor creativity. 


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Konstantinidou Ε., Pollatou Ε., & Zachopoulou Ε. (2005). The Effect of Verbal Instructions on Preschool Children’s Motor Creativity. Inquiries in Physical Education and Sport, 3(1), 90–97. Retrieved from




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>