George Lucas Educational Foundation

March Madness 2010

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Here it comes. The NCAA basketball nuttiness that grips our nation every March. The scene is familiar to most of us; 65 teams, mascots, and fight songs (not to mention their millions of faithful fervent fans) coming together in a prolonged cluster clash of roundball rowdiness to determine the best team in the land. I grew up in Philadelphia where we almost always had a couple local schools in the tourney. Wisely, some of our teachers learned how to leverage the action back into the classroom. One middle school teacher turned us in to geography luminaries by having us map the hometown locale of every team in the tournament. I downright dog-eared my World Book pages getting that one done. Are you getting any constructive classroom mileage out of March Madness?

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Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

Interesting ideas... When I first read this post, it seemed to me that March Madness could be an interesting project-based learning opportunity. So I did a little digging and found some interesting ideas online.

A thoughtful piece on using March Madness to foster sense of community within classroom for middle and high schoolers.

Nice collection of classroom ideas for all grade levels:

Curriculum ideas for 4-6 graders

An immense list of resources from Florida School for Deaf and Blind.

What are some ways you've used March Madness in the past, or thinking of using it this year?

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Just came across this really interesting NY Times article on how infuse March Madness into debates:

"In this lesson, students use the March Madness bracket structure to decide a question in their field of study, holding a research- and debate-based "tournament" to determine the "winners" of each round, until a final "winner" is declared. Along the way, they write essays about the last two topics standing, use the bracket to organize debates, and, perhaps, share their thoughts on N.C.A.A. tournament basketball."

Very cool! Anyone out there doing something similar?

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