As covered in many of my blog posts, students are much more engaged in learning when it is a relevant topic that they are interested in – especially if it relates to the “real world”. The opening of baseball season, a favorite American past time, is one of these great “real world” events that can be connected into classroom curriculum. Opening day is March 31st.
There are so many classroom connections with baseball that incorporate math, language arts, languages, geography, history, and even science and all fit the standards-based instruction. Here are some online resources for ideas on how you can incorporate baseball into your class curriculum.
The Teacher’s Corner – Baseball Season
The Teacher’s Corner has a wide variety of resources to teach core curriculum content in relation to baseball. These activities are great for the elementary classroom or could be adapted for older grade levels and span across many different subject areas. Activities include journal writing, vocabulary crosswords, figuring averages, the science of baseball, baseball-based review games for many different subjects, and problem solving.
The science of baseball activity was really fun and engaging. Students learn about what the ‘sweet spot’ is of a baseball, how to react to and hit a fast ball, throwing a curve ball, along with other historical facts about baseball. There are interactive activities and great animated pictures that bring the concepts to life. The comic book style of the page will also be very engaging to middle school students and is considered very popular and current.
PBS: The Tenth Inning
PBS has great resources for lesson plan ideas that connect with a documentary series about baseball entitled The Tenth Inning. This video documentary chronicles the history and impact that baseball has had on society including the first black baseball player, women in baseball, and the growth of Hispanic and Asian players. It also includes the scandals and triumphs of the baseball world from the 1990’s until today.
Among the many lessons that are found online that correlate with the video and includes “stadium consultants” where students act as the stadium managers and make choices about ticket prices and concessions, a lesson on “shadow ball” which is a warm up activity that was created by the Negro league, and “mapping baseball” where students would learn the history and growth of the baseball league. All of the lessons I looked at were very engaging and I could see my 7th grade students really enjoying the activity and learning at the same time.
Another section on this site is “The 7th Inning Stretch”. This page includes more open ended examples of lesson ideas including researching about the music of baseball, fantasy baseball, and the invention of the baseball.
The Buddy Project has three simple lesson plans for teaching math concepts with a baseball theme. The first lesson incorporates the use of baseball cards. The teacher should provide each student with a baseball card and discuss the information that is included on the back. In this discussion the teacher would talk about the batting average and how it is calculated for each player. The students could then be given the at-bats and number of hits so they could calculate the batting averages of some of the top players.
The next lesson has students playing math baseball on Funbrain. This activity can be done individually or in pairs and is used as a review of basic math facts. Students earn a base for every question they answercorrectly. Competing against their classmates is a great way to motivate students to be more actively engaged in the activity.
The last lesson involves students solving money-based math problems in computation of salaries for baseball players. The website provides a table of real baseball salaries and then provides a quiz based on the data table information.
All of the activities on this site have companion interactive activities that students can do online or on the interactive whiteboard in the front of the class.
Happy Opening Day!
Article by Laura Ketcham
Picture by GatheredMoments