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Play Ball: Improving Literary Skills through America’s Pastime Kate Lenz and Tyler Simms Education 200 Curriculum Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Play Ball: Improving Literary Skills through America’s Pastime Kate Lenz and Tyler Simms Education 200 Curriculum Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Play Ball: Improving Literary Skills through America’s Pastime Kate Lenz and Tyler Simms Education 200 Curriculum Project

2 Leadoff: Introductory Thoughts…  Our curriculum project is designed for a fourth-grade classroom in the urban Hartford School District with which we had the best experience.  Through our school placements, we observed many disinterested and unengaged students.  We developed a curriculum centering around the sport of baseball in hopes of reengaging and motivating students.

3 Around the Horn: Reviewing Objectives…  Students will collect and record general information from an Internet website which will help them practice research skills as well as give them a basic knowledge of baseball (Bloom’s Taxonomy).  Students will be able to write a “friendly” letter in the correct format. They will also gain skills in reviewing the teacher’s comments to edit their own letters for a final draft (Bloom’s Taxonomy).

4 Around the Horn: Reviewing Objectives…  Students will identify key aspects of separate stories and be able to compare and contrast their gathered information by placing the information into categories (Bloom’s Taxonomy & Gardner’s Theory).  Students will collect previously known information together as a group in order to explain it to the entire class. The students then will apply this information to a short poem that each one will write (Bloom’s Taxonomy & Gardner’s Theory).

5 Batter Up: Motivating Activities…  Five day curriculum, two hours a day  Previous week: The teacher will give students a handout with questions that gauge their knowledge and interest in baseball. The teacher will review worksheets over the weekend and place students of differing ability, interest level, and gender, into groups of about four students.

6 Day One  Students will create baseball “team name” for the week.  Students will be given a handout with questions related to the origin, rules, and other interesting facts about baseball to complete.  At the end of the class, the teacher will facilitate a discussion of the correct answers in order for all students to have an understanding of the basics of baseball.

7 Day Two  The teacher will explain that the students will be writing a letter to a baseball player.  The teacher will introduce the correct format for writing a “friendly” letter on the blackboard.  The teacher will distribute a rubric that lists specific criteria that the body paragraphs must contain.  Within the class period, the students will write two drafts of the letter and the final will be graded.

8 Day Three  To begin the third day, the class will read together “Casey at the Bat” and a story about Babe Ruth.  Students will complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two characters.  The students will be evaluated y the teacher on this assignment based on a rubric grading system.

9 Day Four  Initially, in their groups, students will brainstorm baseball vocabulary together.  The teacher will present a vocabulary handout featuring more baseball terminology.  The teacher will model a poem that incorporates all of the reviewed baseball lingo.  Students will create their own poems in the same format, keeping with the theme of baseball.

10 Day Five  Baseball clinic with Trinity baseball players

11 Scorecard: Student Evaluation…  The teacher will evaluate the students on the following criteria:  Class Participation  Effort  Creativity  Completion of Assignments Online Handout Two Drafts of Letter Venn Diagram Poem

12 Scorecard: Student Evaluation…  The final draft of the letter and Venn Diagram will be judged using a formal grading system.  Students will receive rubrics that state the expectations of each assignment.  This will not only give the teacher a uniform way of viewing these activities, but it will also give students and parents a measurable way of seeing if class expectations are being met.

13 Curveball: Anticipated Questions…  Why have we selected a male dominated sport like baseball to motivate learning, rather than a sport that both boys and girls play?  Why are we focusing on only literacy skills? Why not incorporate mathematics and calculate batting averages?  Why have students write a letter to a major league superstar who may or may not respond back?

14 Shutout: Closing Thoughts…  Ingredients for a successful curriculum: Motivating Topic Concentrated Content Base Outlined Objectives Engaging Activities Various Forms of Evaluation High Expectations

15 Perfect Game!

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