With the World Series getting started later this month, chances are excitement is running high for the sports enthusiasts in your classroom. Fortunately for teachers, baseball is a great way to get students excited about learning, and as with any sport with tons of statistics, baseball is a wonderful subject to work into math lessons.
Really, the opportunities for incorporating baseball into your lessons are endless; baseball can also be a great lead-in for history, science, and English lessons. Edutopia has put together this collection of lesson plans and resources to help teachers work America's favorite pastime into the classroom.
- Classroom Exercises From the National Baseball Hall of Fame: The National Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, hosts an interactive distance-learning program that combines classroom lessons with real-time videoconferences or on-site visits. If you’re unable to incorporate a videoconference or visit, though, check out their lessons for science, math, social studies, the arts, and character education. All lessons are aligned with the Common Core standards with versions for elementary, middle school, and high school students. A few examples include: Economics: The Business of Baseball and Women’s History: Dirt on Their Skirts.
- Baseball Statistics Lesson Plans for Grades 6-8: Produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), this lesson encourages middle school students to play ball with decimals, fractions, and percentages. Other great baseball-themed lessons from the NCTM include this baseball statistics lesson for students in grades 3-5 and a geometry lesson for students in grades 6-8.
- Perfect Pitch From the Kennedy Center: Set the perfect lineup of instruments in this interactive tool from the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Using this web-based tool, students can explore music history, as well as pitch and tone, through the metaphor of baseball. Another great Kennedy Center resource, "All Around the Baseball Field," lets students "construct a mock baseball field” and “explore the sport of baseball through art, movement, and sound." There are lessons for different age groups.
- Negro League eMuseum: The Kansas State University College of Education produced this resource to help teachers provide historical context about Negro League baseball. The collection features primary sources, including a timeline and history modules covering various Negro League teams, as well as lesson plans for teachers.
- Sport Science Lessons From the Exploratorium: Although not baseball specific, there are plenty of lesson plans geared toward America's Pastime. From lessons that dig into the aerodynamics of baseballs, to a dissection of the ball, there are a bunch of ideas for keeping students engaged. Plus, a whole host of other sports are covered in these lessons.
- Baseball History Source Materials From Library of Congress: This resource is designed to let students “study cultural norms and society’s values through the lens of baseball.” Many different themes are covered, and several collections are available, featuring “primary source songs, baseball cards, letters, and speeches.” The Lesson Plans section is particularly useful.
A Few More Fun, Baseball-Themed Lessons
Above, you'll find collections of lesson plans, activities, and baseball resources, but here are a few single lessons that are all about America's pastime.
- Baseball, Happiness, and Immigration: Exploring American Society and History With New York Times Maps, The New York Times' The Learning Network
- Statistical Analysis to Rank Baseball Players, The Teaching Channel
- Baseball Stats Lesson Plan, Science NetLinks
- Narrative, Argumentative, and Informative Writing About Baseball, The New York Times' The Learning Network
- Seventh-Inning Stretch Activities, PBS
- Encouraging Critical Thinking Through Baseball Questions, ReadWriteThink
- Baseball Economics, EconEdLink
- The Physics of Baseball, PBS LearningMedia
These are just a few baseball-oriented classroom resources, and there are many more out there. Did we miss anything? What are some of the baseball-themed classroom tools you use?