is a seasonal interdisciplinary unit. It uses the sport of baseball to introduce
the idea of relating a variety of school disciplines to physical activity.
Studentsí work will involve computer-based research, newspapers and possibly
other media sources. Tasks will include the science and math of the game with
suggested activities in Social Studies, Language Arts, Physical Education and
Learning Level: Grades 7-9Author(s): Judith Reynolds
Itís springtime and school is drawing steadily to a close. How can we meet the challenge of maintaining interest and excitement in learning? How about a game of ball? Why not use their interest in sports to provide an opportunity to research questions that will show the correlation between science and activity? Let them choose a baseball team and use the statistics of that team to improve their math skills in areas such as ratio, percent, comparisons and graphing. Go a step further to probability! Why not use the unique language of the game to discuss communication skills and culture within the sport? Are students aware of the impact of the sport on economic, gender and cultural issues? How creative can they become? Why not design baseball cards, banners or even a stadium? And letís not forget getting out and learning to play the game!
an appreciation for the role of science in daily activities
a continuing curiosity and interest in science
information from a variety of sources/disciplines
the role and contribution of science & technology in our understanding
of natural phenomena
situations in life where the density of substances naturally changes
the effects of changes in temperature on the density of gases
in groups to experiment and discuss variables, and ro draw conclusions
to identify applications of viscosity
a variety of strategies in the problem solving process
basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation
and applies basic concepts of statistics and data analysis
and applies basic concept of probability
and applies basic concept of ratio and percent
I am primarily a Science/Math teacher and will focus on those areas with clear suggestions for the other disciplines described in the resources listed at the end of this illustrative example of a unit of practice. The Science component suggested would take approximately 5 to 6-forty minute periods; the Math slightly more. A computer lab or group of four or more classroom computers will enable students to work individually or in pairs. Newspapers and other media are good sources of statistical baseball information. As a prerequisite, students should have a very basic knowledge of ratio, percent and bar graphs.
or in pairs, provide students with a prepared sheet of leading questions (sample
one given in resources) to be researched on website ( http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/
discussion of answers, one may want to spend some extra time on some of the key
scientific terms such as: atmospheric pressure, trajectory, density, viscosity,
humidity, momentum, elasticity. I suggest having the students create their own
glossary or important fact sheet of these terms. Additional relevant terms can
be added later if desired.
groups, or as a demonstration, do a lab to rate the degree of elasticity of
various balls used in sports. (Sample lab format provided in resources.). Come
back as a class and discuss and compare the findings and their relation to the
game(s). Lead this into a general discussion of the tools or equipment used in
the game. Possibly assign groups to do a report on individual pieces of
equipment used in the game of baseball.
samples from newspapers or prepare an overhead to introduce and discuss the
meanings and readings of the baseball statistics.
or in pairs have students choose a team and research their statistics from media
sources and/or the net (www.baseball-reference.com/
) . Design basic ratio and percent questions for students to compute on their
team, i.e. ratio of games won to games played for a particular period.
students calculate the % of wins over each of the past five or ten years. Have
the students use both language and bar graphs to express and communicate their
teams progress over this time period. Have students make comparisons between
Have students move into the meaning and calculation of probability. (http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/hill/ev/seriesprob.html
will work cooperatively in pairs and/or groups and will need to share
information between groups at times. Students will work as a class during the
delivery of introductory information and drawing conclusions after activities
may collect final sheet of answers to questions provided for initial
may wish to design a check sheet for assessing group and other task related
rubric may be used to assess final lab report.
could be provided with both a self and group assessment sheet.
could choose to correct mathematical computations calculated on team
rubric could be used to assess language assignment and bar graph designed
from team progress report.
of the USA, Canada
paper or spreadsheet software
variety of sport balls for lab experiment on elasticity (i.e.:
baseballs, golf, soccer, tennis, and steel balls)
sticks or other linear measuring devices
Book - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A Modern Fairy Tale of the Dark North Woods By Stephen King (available from your regional public library)
I have included the following work sheets as attachments to this page to help in the science section. Please feel free to use or adjust as you need:
the unique language of the game. There is a good list on the following Ali UOP
ID # 740 to get you started. You might have students design some of their own
expressions or write a story making use of the language.
approaches could be possible here. Students could explore the huge social and
economic influences of the sports world. Gender issues could be studied by
making links to the womenís baseball league both past and present. Race and
cultural issues in sport can be explored through research into the Black
Baseball League in the past and the inclusion now of players from all races and
countries. Students will be interested to locate their teamís home city as
well as its training camp area
could research and design original baseball cards, banners or their own stadium.
This last idea might be done in conjunction with the Industrial Arts Department
with access to computer aided design software.
It would be great if during the same time period the students were to learn the mechanics and skills as well as play the game in the Physical.Education program.
that may be helpful include:
Ė Baseball Site: http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/