Sample Lesson Plans

Thematic Mapping - Players by Home State. In this lesson plan, students will use team roster data to study where teams from different parts of the country recruit players. This is ideal for studying NCAA rosters.

Thematic Mapping - Players by Home Country. In this lesson plan, students will use team roster data to study where teams from different parts of the world recruit players. This is ideal for studying professional teams in the big leagues of baseball, soccer, and basketball.

History of Basketball. Each sport has its own history on how it developed and how it spread across the globe. In this exercise, students will read about the history of one sport, basketball. After reading about the history and background, students will answer questions and can do further research about the popularity of basketball.  

Brazil. In this lesson plan, students will learn about the history of soccer and how it developed into the sport it is today. They will also learn about Brazil, the host country for the 2016 Summer Olympics as well as the host country for the 2014 World Cup.

Compare Contrast Sports Reporting. Comparing alternate perspectives is a powerful lesson in thinking critically. In this lesson plan, students will compare perspectives from at least two different geographic regions, and evaluate how the same event can be viewed similarly or different, based on where people are from. 

Mascots and Nicknames - Research lesson plan to learn how a team nickname and/or mascot relates to its geographic location.


 Ideas

Collegiate Football is one of the most popular sports in America. Did you know that the first collegiate football game was held in 1869, between two teams from New Jersey? Started as an American form of rugby, the rules have changed quite a bit over the years. Using the Sporting Geography theme, students can learn more about the sport and about their favorite teams. During this process, students connect with the curriculum using the five themes of geography (location, place, movement, regions, and human environment interaction). For example, by studying the history of football, students can learn where it started, how it spread, and where it is most popular today. Students can also learn more about sports that they might not be familiar with here in the United States. Have them find out where rugby is played today. In which countries is it most popular?
Use the Sporting Geography theme to connect to the five themes of geography using team names and mascots. When students at the elementary and middle school level are learning about Westward Expansion, a great tie-in would be to study how team names sometimes have a strong connection to the history or character of a region. For example, Brigham Young University is named after Brigham Young. Who was he and what was his connection to Utah? Students can also create timelines to help organize key dates in history. For example, the first collegiate football game was held in 1869 ... the same year that the Transcontinental Railroad was completed.   
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