Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Play Ball!

Welcome to baseball season! In honor of my favorite time of year, let's talk baseball lessons!
Do you know what historic baseball event happened on April 4, 1974? Please add a comment with your guess.

Baseball is a great resource for making connections with students. Even if your students aren't fans of baseball, the concepts behind the game can make learning fun.

  • Try a good old-fashioned game of classroom baseball when reviewing. (walking the bases when correctly answering questions provides a nice kinesthetic break to a long afternoon)
  • Have students use the many statistics in baseball to practice math skills. (Why is a .300 batting average so great? It doesn't seem like a big number.)
  • Brainstorm common expressions and additions to our American culture that are connected to baseball. (Stepping up to the plate)
  • Practice geography by matching teams with cities and locating them on a map. Make predictions and research the origins of baseball team names. 
  • Learn about the many different players in the world of baseball: Negro Leagues, integration in the major leagues, women in baseball during WWII, the impact of baseball in Latin America, Japanese baseball leagues in WWII internment camps, etc. 
The following link provides some great ideas from PBS. If you have never seen the Ken Burns documentary on baseball, the sheer history of the beginnings of baseball with the exclusive men's social clubs and elaborate rules in the mid to late 1800s, will be enough to fascinate any history student.

From PBS:
Some resources that connect to the newest addition to the Ken Burns documentary on baseball titled "The Tenth Inning".  Lesson plans include longer activities or some quick ideas called "Seventh Inning Stretch" activities.