Whether or not your class follows basketball, it is hard not to get caught up in the annual March tournament. You can use this to your advantage to engage your students!
Basketball is a sport that lends itself well to inclusion in the classroom. The simple point-scoring system allows teachers to use basketball to engage our students and keep them deep in the content year-round, but especially in March while the best collegiate teams go head to head to crown a champion.
Of course, there are endless ways we can use basketball to engage our students, but some require more work than others. Today I have my three favorites to share with you!
Use Basketball to Engage Students with a Game
Trashketball has long been a favorite among my students and it couldn’t be simpler to set up. All you need are a set of questions, a couple of lines marked on your floor, a trashcan or basket, and a ball. If you don’t have a ball, no problem, wad up a piece of paper instead. If you have a large class, or even if you don’t, you might want to set up multiple stations around the room.
To set up a station, place your trashcan or basket in a specific location and measure a specific distance away. This distance will be different based on the grade level you work with, but an example might be six feet and ten feet. Use tape to mark these distances. The closer tape mark is worth two points when a basket is made. The further tape mark is worth three points when a basket is made. I prefer to set up multiple of these stations around the room to keep students moving through them and not waiting too long.
In order to play trashketball students answer a question. A correct answer means they get to take a shot. Students choose if they want to attempt a two or three-point shot. After their attempt, they mark down their score if they made it, return to solve the next problem and repeat the process until all problems are solved or time runs out. The student with the highest point total at the end is the winner, but really everyone wins by solving problems and having fun!
If you want to add an extra element to Trashketball, set students up in teams. Team point totals allow students to battle it out and encourage collaboration.
Use Basketball to Engage with a Book Bracket
In the name of honesty, I have never completed a Book Bracket, but I have always admired them!
I first read about Book Brackets from The Brown Bag Teacher and have wanted to try one out ever since, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself.
You can read all about how she uses the Book Bracket or Book Madness in her post here.
Use the Topic of Basketball to Engage
One of the easiest ways to use basketball to engage is by using questions and readings that include the topic. Whether you ask students to figure out a score based on a number of two and three-point shots, read a book about basketball, or have students write a how-to on making a free throw the topic itself is engaging.
To make it even easier, I have created several Digital Stinky Feet versions that are basketball-themed with math problems for third, fourth, and fifth grade. I know these review questions and format will be winners with your students too!
Books About Basketball
The books listed below are some of my favorites to have in the classroom about basketball.
Each of the links below is an affiliate link. This means if you click on it and choose to purchase I will receive a small amount in return. I use this money to host giveaways and support the blog.
The Everything Kids’ Basketball Book
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