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Lesson Plans
Stadium Voices
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


Procedures for teachers is divided into five sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson
Extensions -- Additional activities


Prep

Media Components

Computer Resources:
  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running Windows® 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM. Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB of RAM.
  • Software: Any presentation software such as Power Point or Hyperstudio (optional)


Materials:

Students will need the following supplies:

  • computers with the capacities indicated above
  • notebook or journal
  • pens/pencils

Teachers will need the following supplies:

  • Board and/or chart paper
  • Ideally a screen on which to project the Web-based video clips
  • Handouts of Web resources if computers are not available in the classroom
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year published by Simon & Schuster. ISBN Number: 0-684-84795-7
  • Baseball as America: Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game, published by National Geographic for The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. (ISBN Number: 0-7922-6486-X
  • Photocopies of reading passages for each student


Bookmarked sites:

Bookmark all of the Web sites used in the lesson and create a word processing document listing all of the links to distribute to students. Preview all of the sites and videos before presenting them to your class. Since many of these Web sites have advertising, please warn your students not to click on the ads.

For general information about all Baseball stadiums


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Steps

Introductory Activity:

  • Divide the students into small discussion groups. Within the groups, students should read the following:
    • An excerpt from Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella about enjoying a summer's evening watching a baseball game. This is available on page 272 of Baseball as America: Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game
    • An excerpt from Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field on pages 46 to 48
    • "Farewell" by Roger Angell about the razing of the Polo Grounds where the New York Giants played. This is available on page 281 of Baseball as America: Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game

  • In the group, students should discuss what the unifying theme is. Each group should get a copy of the Baseball Reading Organizer which includes questions for them to consider as they are reading.
    • What is the unifying theme in the excerpts from these three authors?
    • How do the authors feel about baseball?
    • How do the authors feel about the stadium?
    • What is so special about Ebbets Field for Doris Kearns Goodwin?
    • What is so special about the Polo Grounds for Roger Angell?
    • Based on the tone of the readings, what do you learn about the three authors?

  • After brainstorming their ideas in groups, come together as a full class to discuss why people are so connected to these sports arenas. For schools outside of the New York City region, it would be good for teachers to come prepared with information and photographs of the local major or minor league stadium. Information about high school or university stadiums would be appropriate as well.
    • What makes sports arenas so special?
    • Is it just the physical space and location that make it so special? Explain.
    • How do you feel about your local stadium? Discuss why it is so special.

  • At this point, show the one hour "NEW YORK SPORTS: BIG SHOTS AND BAD GUYS" episode of Thirteen's NEW YORK VOICES.

  • After watching the show, consider the question again. What makes sports teams and the spaces that they play in so special?

    Learning Activities:

  • As a class, brainstorm a list of the players and owners who were mentioned in the show.
    • The 'Big Shots' list includes:
      • Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers
      • Mike Piazza, New York Mets
      • Roger Clemens, New York Yankees
      • Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
      • Willis Reed, New York Knicks
      • Bobby Thomson, New York Giants
      • Joe Namath, New York Jets
      • Mark Messier, New York Islanders
      • Dennis Potvin, New York Islanders
      • Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees
      • Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers
      • Joe DiMaggio, New York, Yankees

    • The 'Bad Guys' list includes :
      • Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
      • Walter O'Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers
      • John Rocker, formerly of the Atlanta Braves
      • George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees
  • Based on the information that students learned from the show and what they know as sports fans, the class should write poems or essays about the players that were featured in the NEW YORK VOICES episode. In the end, the class will have a collection of poetry that can be put together in a book. It is important for the teacher to look at the distribution of the players that the students select so there aren't too many poems about one player and none on other athletes.

  • The poetry and essay writing will probably take a couple of sessions for brainstorming, peer editing, and publishing. Remind students how Roger Angell, Doris Kearns Goodwin and W.P. Kinsella communicated their feelings about their teams and the stadiums that they played in. For example, what was it like for Bobby Thomson to hit "The Shot Heard Round the World" in the 1951 pennant race in the enemy territory of the Brooklyn Dodgers' Ebbets Field? What were John Rocker's comments about the 7 train that goes to Shea Stadium and how did he feel when he played at that stadium?

  • Encourage students to search the Internet for photos of the players as well.


    Culminating Activity/Assessment:

  • The final project for the unit will be to put together a tourist brochure for each student's favorite sports arena and/or stadium. If you want the focus to remain on the NEW YORK VOICES show, then students should focus on Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Madison Square Garden, and Giants Stadium where the New York Giants and the New York Jets play.

  • The students' brochure should include information about the building's history, architecture and lore. Distribute and go over the rubric with students. The rubric lists all of the brochure's required information. You should collect tourist brochures prior to teaching the lesson so the students can use them as models for their final projects.

  • Allow for research and design time. This can be an individual or group project, depending on the size of the class and the ability of the students. Remind students that they are creating a tourist brochure and/or booklet that should entice visitors to the ballpark for a fun-filled afternoon or evening with their family and friends. How will they convey that while including all of the required information?

  • Finally, allow time for presentations and question and answer sessions.


    Extensions




    Cross-Curricular Extensions:
    • Mathematics – Assign students the task of examining a player's batting or fielding statistics. There are plenty of mathematical skills that can be taught using this kind of data. Teachers can teacher concepts using decimals, fractions, percentages, mean and median, chart reading, etc. For example, if you are researching Jackie Robinson, go to
      http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers%5Fand%5Fhonorees/
      hofer%5Fbios/robinson%5Fjackie.htm
      . This site will provide all of the statistical information about his career.


    • Literature and book reports – Assign students to read a book from the myriad of books about baseball and its role as America's pastime and national game. Keep in mind the appropriateness of the books for the age group.


    • Architecture – Students can pick their favorite basketball, football and baseball teams and then study the difference in the structure of the stadiums for each of the sports.


    • Architecture – Assign students the task of designing their own stadium. This lesson is more advanced in concept and skill. Students can brainstorm ideas about what they would like to have in their "dream" stadium and then present an artist's rendition of it.


    Community Connections:
    • Plan a field trip to your local stadium (major or minor leagues) to interview the maintenance crews, owners or managers about the history and importance of the facility.
    • Write letters to your city's minor league players or interview them about their dreams of "making the show."
    • Take a field trip to a ball game.
    • Interview grandparents about their memories of "listening" to baseball games when they were only available on the radio.



    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students