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7 Super Bowl Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom

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After the New Year, there's likely a bit of Super Bowl energy and excitement running through your classroom. Luckily, there are plenty of great ways to wrangle those murmurs and turn them into teachable moments. If you're looking to incorporate the Super Bowl into your lessons in the coming weeks, here are some of my favorite football resources from around the web. There's a little bit of every subject -- from media studies, to math, science, and the arts.

  • Ideas for Teaching the Super Bowl Across the Curriculum: The Learning Network provides fun and interesting ways to bring the excitement of the Super Bowl into the classroom in this resource. There are ideas for all the different subject areas, including history, language arts, and science. Topics like Super Bowl history and football economics are covered, and links to useful New York Times content are included.
     
  • Videos: The Science of NFL Football: These insightful and engaging video lessons feature several lessons for students, covering topics like geometry, nutrition, and Newton's laws of motion. On the newly launched Gooru Learning website, there's also a great list of accompanying lesson plans.
     
  • Super Bowl Mania -- Creating Cross-Curricular Lessons That Score Big: Although this Scholastic article was produced for the Super Bowl in 2012, the ideas can be easily updated. Here, author Addie Albano provides ideas for math, language arts, science, and geography lessons framed around the Super Bowl.
     
  • Learning About Music With Touchdown Songs: This lesson plan, featured on ARTSEDGE from The Kennedy Center, provides a fun way to learn about music through the prism of football. The lesson is designed for students 12-18 years old and covers marching band fight songs, half-time sounds, and music from NFL Films.
     
  • Learn About "the Best" Super Bowl Ad: During the Super Bowl in 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh personal computer with its famous "1984" commercial. Using the ad as a starting point, this lesson from ReadWriteThink provides classroom activities, related resources, and other sources to start a larger discussion about advertising. Another football-related resource from ReadWriteThink to check out is "Swish! Pow! Whack! Teaching Onomatopoeia Through Sports Poetry."
     
  • The Best Sites Where ELLs Can Learn About the Super Bowl From Larry Ferlazzo: Blogger and educator Larry Ferlazzo has been updating this list for the last few years, and there are plenty of valuable links throughout. Included in the list are links to podcasts, articles about Super Bowl history, and Super Bowl ads. There's something for every classroom.
     
  • Top 12 Super Bowl Related Activities for the Classroom: This TeachHUB resource from a few years back provides 12 great ideas for incorporating the Super Bowl into classroom lessons. There's a wide range of ideas, from nutrition lessons to commercial analysis and writing projects. Also, "Super Bowl Blitz: Football-Related Activities," from Education World, offers even more fun ideas to share with students.

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Traci Gardner's picture

Thanks so much. I added a link from the Thinkfinity page back to this post, so maybe we'll get some cross-site love going on :)

Stephen Krashen's picture
Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California

In the discussion of the superbowl in class, please also include the role of professional athletics in society. Noam Chomsky has pointed out that understanding of the details of athletics (eg points after touchdown, off-side penalties, linebackers, odds, details of players' strengths and weaknesses ...) is often more complex than politics, and that fans are usually capable of deep critical thinking involving many complex issues (pass or kick? punt on third down? kick the field goal or go for the touchdown?), but we are told that politics is too hard, and we should leave it to the experts.

He concludes that organized sports is a way of diverting our attention away from areas we could have an influence on to areas we can't have an influence on.

I think the average citizen knows a lot more about the superbowl than the common core standards. To see what you know, please take our short quiz: http://www.progressive.org/test-your-public-ed-savvy

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Media teacher

I love to use the Super Bowl ads to teach target audience. Our kids are so well trained to NOT stereotype people, that it's a stretch for them to understand target audience. Not only does it help them understand their own audience when they write, but it also helps them realize how advertisers are trying to get them to buy something.

(1)
Hillary Hill's picture
Hillary Hill
Social Media Marketing Associate at Edutopia

Dwarfofred,

That's one of the coolest project that I have ever seen. I bet the students love it!

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Media teacher

I love to use the Super Bowl ads to teach target audience. Our kids are so well trained to NOT stereotype people, that it's a stretch for them to understand target audience. Not only does it help them understand their own audience when they write, but it also helps them realize how advertisers are trying to get them to buy something.

(1)

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