Sports as a spark for literacy!

For ever since I can remember, R.A. has brought in sports clippings, sports paraphernalia, and many sports stories with him to school each day!

Last year, you might remember the post about him and his knowledge around football.  He created a "sophisticated survey" as Junior Kindergarten student.

Are you curious to know how he has grown? 

This year, we challenged him to take all of his most favourite newspaper clippings and begin to create his own book.  We gave him a black project folder with clear sleeves, to ensure that it would be easy for him to store all of his daily writing and information.

R.A. was so engaged with this independent inquiry that he added to his book all day!

Ms. Babalis: R.A., talk to me about your book.

R.A.: I made this book, because I like sports.  I watch sports with my dad.  I always watch Sunday football.  I wanted to make a book, because I wanted to put hockey, football, soccer, cricket, basketball, baseball, NFL football inside.

Ms. Babalis: Why are sports important to you?

R.A.: Because it gives me something to do and you need to concentrate in sports.

Ms. Babalis: What is your favourite sport?

R.A.: Football, because they don't fight.

Ms. Babalis: Do you play any sports?

R.A.: I play with my dad football and in the Spring time I am going to sign up for soccer, football, and baseball.

Ms. Babalis: What do you wonder about sports.

R.A.: Why do they fight in sports like hockey?  Why is cricket similar to baseball?  In cricket they have a bat like baseball, but they don't hold it up they hold it down and then they hit the ball up in the air.  The baseball players hit it across the home plate.  I wonder why they play cricket in the night.  I wonder why they get the people down in football.

Ms. Babalis: Is there anything else that you want me to know that you have learned about sports?

R.A.: On my iPad I have a football game and when they are going to score they call out the yard lines.  The first yard line, second yard line, third yard line, fourth yard line, fifth yard line, and in the middle of the fifth yard line is the home.  That is the team symbol, like the Baltimore Ravens or the Atlanta Falcons.

Ms. Babalis: R.A. you are counting with ordinal numbers!  Sports can teach you a lot about literacy and mathematics!

I hope that this learning moment makes visible the power of authentic, real-life opportunities for our students.

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