Thematic units are perfect for teaching information in fun and exciting ways. While the idea of creating them sounds easy enough, it can take a lot of time to find activities, children’s books, and resources to make a successful unit. Each month, we will be bringing you a theme that you can use in your classroom and provide you with a list of resources and ideas to get you started. September’s thematic unit is all about sports.
Sports Theme in the Classroom
Just in time for football season and the World Series, September is a great time to start a sports theme in your classroom. It is a sure way to get the boys in your class excited and involved in learning. Do not worry about the girls, their competitive sides will also shine as they take part in the sports theme activities.
Sports Theme Lesson Ideas
Football Throw – Turn graphing into a hands-on activity with this fun and wiggle-proof activity. Take a trip outside to the playground with your students and mark off a distance of 25 yards. Have students take turns throwing a football to see how far they can make it go. Graph the results on a bar graph when you get back inside. It will be a fun and interactive way to explore how a bar graph works and how the information is interpreted. You can also make up word problems using the data, for example, “Sally threw the football 11 yards. Katie threw the football 16 yards. How much farther did Katie throw the ball than Sally?”
Rounding the Bases with Vocabulary – This fun center-based activity will keep new vocabulary fresh and encourage students to learn topic related words. Start by creating a baseball diamond poster or interactive bulletin board. Each student then colors a small person shaped cut-out to be a player. To move from base to base, students must complete the vocabulary activities along the way. There can be anywhere from one to 10 activities lined up along the way from base to base. If you have a list of 20 words that you want your students to learn, break them up into groups of five. The activities can then include things like writing each word in the set five times, using each word in a sentence, etc. When students get to home plate, the final activity can be an assessment to see how many of the words from the list they know.
Sports Related Children’s Books
And Nobody Got Hurt!: The World’s Weirdest, Wackiest True Sports Stories by Len Berman
Sports A to Z by David Diehl
Sports by Tim Hammond
The Lucky Baseball Bat by Matt Christopher
Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky
The Kid Who Only Hit Homers by Matt Christopher
Catch That Pass! by Matt Christopher
The Great Quarterback Switch by Matt Christopher
Do you use a sports thematic unit with your class? If so, share some of your ideas below! We’d love to hear how you incorporate sports into your lessons.