Integrated Lesson Plan: Baseball Stats and Opinion
This is an interdisciplinary lesson intended for middle school students. Ideally the lesson would be team-taught by the English and math teachers, along with assistance from the technology department.
This activity will use students' interest in sports to introduce them to tables, spreadsheets, and Internet research. As a wrap-up and segue into grammar, parts of speech will be defined and then identified in the research report.
The resources I have developed relate to baseball. Next year, other sports--particularly soccer--will be added to appeal to more students.
1. Show pictures (on projection monitor) of baseball stars.
2. Ask who the best of these athletes is.
3. Show the sports page of a newspaper (either a class set of papers, or from the Internet).
4. Tell students, "We will use statistics to try to determine who the best baseball (or soccer, basketball, etc.) player is."
All three teachers--English, Math, Technology--will instruct the students in the following activities:
1. Make a table with five top players of your choice. List name, team, position, and key offensive statistics.
2. Create a spreadsheet with the information from the table. Include averages of key stats, and at least 2 graphs.
3. Go to web site http://espn.go.com/mlb/statistics/index.html Research one of the players you included in your database. Complete research worksheet (see attached).
4. Using word processor, write a brief (1 page) report on the player. In the last paragraph, argue why you think he or she is the best player.
1. Share your report with a partner.
2. (OPTIOINAL) As a class, debate who is the "best." (This activity involves higher level thinking skills and would require significant class time. Persuasive writing and speaking skills would need to be taught.)
3. With your partner, do parts of speech crossword. (See attached.)
(Depending on level of student, an involved review of parts of speech may be necessary here.)
4. In your report, identify 2 nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositional phrases.
Baseball Research Worksheet
Athlete's name ______________________________________
Team, sport ________________________________________
Years played _________________
THE EARLY YEARS
Birth date _____________ Birth place________________________________
An interesting childhood fact:
Education (List the last schooling the athlete received. If he did not go to college, list his high school--and try to find out if he graduated. If he did go to college, did he graduate? What did he study?)
Write a few sentencs about one interesting fact that does NOT have to do with sports. What are his/her interests, achievements, hobbies? Does he have a family? Discuss ANY interesting non-sports fact you found. Do NOT just list how much money he makes.
MAKE YOUR CASE: Using the statistics you gathered, compare your athelete to other top players. Do you feel he is the best player in baseball? Use evidence to support your opinion.