With the summer games occurring this August, why not start incorporating the theme into your classroom now? It would be something fun, something different, something of interest to many of your students (and you!), plus get them excited about watching this summer. Below are some simple ways you can incorporate related themes into what you are already doing!
Idioms are hard for students to grasp and sometimes just have to be explicitly taught. Once learned, your students will get a kick out of them. I had no idea that there were so many sports related idioms. Check out this list from Wikipedia. Apparently so many are derived from baseball that it gets its own list here. I made a triple match idiom FREEBIE for you using a few! This activity contains 18 different idioms with sentences and definitions to match each. Grab it by clicking on the images below.
Below are some read alouds about summer sports. Click on any of the images to find them on Amazon.
I first discovered this book in a multicultural literature class. It tells the story of Sammy Lee, a Korean American diver. Not only was his father insistent that he become a doctor, he was discriminated against all throughout his childhood while trying to find pools he was allowed to practice in but eventually became the first Asian American to win a gold medal in the Olympics.
Another true story of overcoming obstacles, this book tells about Wilma Rudolph who was the first woman to win three gold medals in an Olympics. She was sick as a child and not even expected to be able to walk after being diagnosed with polio but overcame all to become an inspirational track athlete.
This book shares Michael Jordan's childhood journey to becoming a famous basketball player and gold medal athlete. As a kid, he felt like he needed to become taller in order to be taken seriously. His family continued to encourage him to keep trying hard and never give up.
Gold medalist Michael Phelps wrote this cute book to tell kids just how much he had to practice, eat, sleep, swim, etc. to win his medals. It would actually be a great book if you teach math as well because it is full of numbers.
This book is written by gold medalist soccer player Mia Hamm, but from the perspective of when she was a child and only wanted to win. The book teaches kids that they won't always win but that they need to keep on trying.
I have not read this book, but it seems like it would be cute for kids. The pig tries hard in the animal games, but ends up performing very poorly. He learns that it is okay that he did not win and looks at his losses as practice for the next games.
If you like ABC books or just want a good overview of many sports, this is the book to get this spring. It contains lots of information in paragraphs on the sides of each page, so you can choose to share as much or as little as needed with your students.
Since so many of the above books have a theme related to working hard or not giving up, I created a sports themed graphic organizer for theme that can be used with any of the texts. You can download it for free by clicking either of the images.
When I taught second grade, we did a huge research project during the last six weeks. It was always on animals so the science standards could be covered at the same time. But, if you aren't tied to something else, having students research a sport or a famous athlete would be a great thing to do instead this year. Here is a list of all the summer games that will be include this year. Here, here, and here are some lists of great athletes if you need some ideas (all subjective of course).
Use sports related nonfiction texts to teach about text features. This will be especially useful if you are having students do research since many of the nonfiction books are about several sports or are very long. Students will need to know how to use the table of contents, headings, and index to find information as well as how to read captions, diagrams, charts, etc.
Buzzing with Mrs. B. has a great text features hunt freebie (see right) in this post as well as some tips for using it. If you have access to any Sports Illustrated for Kids magazines, those would be perfect for this, especially since they could cut out headings, diagrams, and so on.
It is difficult to find books about less common sports, but National Geographic and Sports Illustrated both have series of books for the most popular ones.
Most biographies can be used to teach nonfiction text features as well. Above are a couple of series that have some athletes included.
While you've got the nonfiction books out, use them to review main idea and details. A lot of times the nonfiction books students are using for research are much too long to read aloud in their entirety. Or they may be about a bunch of different topics and only a certain section is relevant. It's fine! You can totally do a mini lesson on main idea using just ONE PAGE from a nonfiction book. I do this all the time and my kids think it's fun. Choose a page and read them the paragraph. Their job is to figure out the topic, then the main idea, and then to determine the details. They see it as a challenge. Below is a sports themed graphic organizer you can use for this.
Many sports have lots of similarities and differences. Having students compare a new sport to one they are already familiar with would be a great way to learn some new information and focus on details. Here are some examples and a Venn diagram your students can use.
- table tennis/tennis
- track cycling/road cycling
- field hockey/ice hockey
- shot put/hammer throw
Since many students have had experiences either playing sports or seeing them on television, they tend to have some background knowledge to share. On the other hand, students are naturally curious about sports they aren't as familiar with. Just showing students a photo of an athlete playing handball, water polo, fencing, or rowing and they are bound to have lots of questions! Younger students need lots of practice forming questions. Select any of the sports from the top left corner of Team USA's site and you will find plenty of photos and/or videos to share with your students. You Tube is a great resource for videos from previous competitions as well, particularly this channel. Below is a KWL chart you can use for sharing prior knowledge, asking, and answering questions.
All of the graphic organizers shown above are available for free on TpT by clicking the image below.
Making inferences is a skill that students need constant practice with. Sports are great for this because they do have some background knowledge they can use along with new information to figure things out. I recently finished a new product that contains FORTY task cards each with a paragraph about a different summer sport and a question that requires making an inference. I also made three different graphic organizers that can be used (and you can get for free here). Find the product by clicking on the images. I learned so much writing these, I know you and your students will too!
To download a FREE SAMPLE of this product (four paragraphs and three graphic organizers) simply click on the image below and you will find it in Google Docs.
If one of your standards is to have students WRITE procedural texts, or EXPLAIN a procedure have them choose a sport and tell or write how to play it! I've written a post in the past with procedural text resources. This template below is a freebie from that post. Just click on one of the images to download it.
Action words are great for teaching shades of meaning and checking for understanding because you can have students physically show you what the words mean! Go outside and give your students words that have similar, but different, meanings. Have them perform the actions and determine the differences in the words. Here are a few examples:
- jog - run - sprint
- hop - jump - leap
- toss - throw - hurl
- bump - hit -whack
- catch - grab - snatch
Sports are perfect for reviewing nouns and verbs! Find and cut out photographs of athletes and sporting events from newspapers, magazines, or just print them from the internet. Have students glue one on a piece of paper and have them list all the nouns and verbs related to the photo. Add in the adverbs and adjectives if your students can handle it. They could then use these words to write a descriptive paragraph about the photo. Very simple, no prep activity. All you need is photos and paper.
I hope that you have found a few activities that you can use as you finish up your year or even in summer school.Pin for Later: