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This Summer Fun Unit
was submitted by Marjorie and
edited by Karen Caroe.
Summer is a great time to get your children interested in
sports--either as a spectator or participant. This unit is designed to help keep
basic skill sharp over the summer while developing a deeper appreciation of
various sports. You may choose to focus on one sport or several. This unit may
be revisited throughout the year as the various sports seasons change.
BOOKS: Some of the Best Books available for studying sports on a
student's level are from DK Family Learning and Usborne Books At Home.
INTERNET: Search for information with these 2 search engines:
LIBRARY: Use the summer to practice research skills at your local
library--searching for sports, athletes, and sport-specific periodicals.
1) Start a scrapbook following your favorite athlete's
career. Cut out newspaper clippings and magazine articles. Include any written
work based on biographical research by student.
2) Read a biography of your favorite athlete.
3) Read fiction and non-fiction books about the sport of your choice.
4) Write a book report.
5) Keep a vocabulary list of terms that are used in the sport. (Example for
Tennis: Ace, love, set, fault)
Use the words for spelling.
6) Write a fan letter to your favorite athlete.
1) Ask very young children to identify the numbers on jerseys.
2) Have older children calculate how many points a losing team must score in
order to pull ahead.
3) Estimate the number of fans in the stadium.
4) Figure out how much the family's snacks will cost at the concession stand.
5) Ask students to "keep the stats" during a sporting event. (If
possible, ask a high school or college coach for one of the tracking forms used
by team statisticians.)
6) At the end of the game, have student calculate which player had the best
free-throw percentage, batting average, most personal fouls, or any statistics relevant
to the specific sport.
7) Taking a visit to a sporting good store or looking at a sports equipment
catalog, calculate the cost of playing a sport. Take into consideration
equipment, lessons, travel, or any applicable costs.
8) Compare the costs of 2 different sports.
9) Compare the salaries of major league baseball players to basketball or
10) Compare the '"winnings" of Tennis and Golf.(or any other sport)
The practice of some sports has become a science unto itself.
1) The Why Files "Science & the Olympics" http://whyfiles.news.wisc.edu/019olympic/
Advanced students can learn more about biomechanics and the effects of
technology on Olympic-level sports with these Web pages.
At the Exploratorium's site, you'll learn about the history of women's
professional baseball, the physics behind a speeding hockey puck, and the
combination of physiology and gear that make for expert cyclists, climbers, and
3) Nutrition--Study the food pyramid and food groups. How does the diet of an
athlete vary from that of the non-athlete?
4) Take time to review or introduce the Human Body--muscles, respiratory system,
5) With older students, discuss the use of steroids by athletes and the dangers
thereof. Talk about why drug testing of athletes is important.
6) Learn basic first aid for sprains, fractures, breaks, pulled muscles, cuts,
History and Geography
1) Learn more about geography by searching for an athlete's
home city or nation on a map.
2) Use a map to follow the travels of a favorite sports team throughout the
3) Research the popular sports of different countries. Make a map using sports
symbols to mark the "national sport" of each country.
4) Research the origin of the Olympics (this can be expanded into a full-fledged
unit at a later date)
5) Research the origin of a particular sport. Make a timeline of events that led
to its current popularity.
6) Using a US map, mark the different College Conferences using color-coding.
Show which Universities from which state belong to each conference.
PE at Home
1) The President's Challenge
The fastest, strongest, and most flexible boys and girls in the country can win
the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. Get all the details, including
instructions for conducting and scoring the tests, at this site.
2) Jump Rope for Heart
Learn 10 different techniques for jumping rope and building cardiovascular
Critical Thinking Skills
1) Ask your child to keep a list of the different strategies
that coaches and athletes use during a game.
2) When is an athlete likely to play conservatively, or to try a riskier
3) How do team members work together on defensive or offensive plays?
4) How do athletes "psych themselves up" during difficult matches?
5) Encourage your child to review the list when faced with a problem at home or
school and decide if any of the sports strategies might help.
Have a great summer enjoying your favorite sports!
comments, and suggestions, Please e-mail Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.