Activity One

Activity Two Activity Three Activity Four Links
Go Yankees


Activity One: The All Star Game

“To say Babe Ruth is to say baseball”

 ex A.L. president Will Harridge on Babe Ruth- quote located by Asasha, class 502

Baseball card front and back designed by Asasha

Inspire your students to become part of an All Star Team through an exploration of famous the New York Yankees.  As students read biographies, discuss, write about, and present the lives of America’s greatest team, they learn that life is about facing and overcoming hardships, meeting challenges, engaging in team spirit, and standing tall at home plate. As students explore this activity “The All Star Game” they become part of an “All Star Team” where their roles as “team players” both in school, and in life have a place. It is there that grand slams, home runs, perfect pitches and batting in a winning run can be realized. Memorable games are played when everyone from the managers down to the batboys or girls and even the fans are performing to the best of their ability with the best of intentions. 


Let’s Play Ball 

Students will select and read a biography of a famous New York Yankee, past or present.  The Internet, daily newspapers, and magazines will serve as additional sources of information.  Students will find and record specific facts and statistics, and summarize significant moments in the player’s life, personal and professional.  Students will share their insights and facts with each as they find connections and similarities to their own lives. 


Calendar of Home Games:

A Timeline

Considering grade level and reading abilities, plan one to fours week for the reading of the biographies. Assign reading based on the time period you have selected. For example that might be a chapter a night or a chapter every two nights.  Set a date for the completion of a related fact sheet and book report.


Also consider using five to ten minutes of class time on a daily basis for students to share insights from their reading.  My students were especially eager to share stories about obstacles and problems their players faced during adolescence.  The students began to relate to the players, finding connections to their own lives and experiences. Several of my students announced, “I was just like this player when I was 9 or 10.” This sharing of sights led many students to finish their books ahead of time so they could begin another book about their player or about a new Yankee.  These sessions can also be used for conducting informal assessment.  Observation, individual reading comprehension conferences, and discussion can occur at this time.  Encouraging students to keep a journal of their nightly reading is another assessment tool that can be used.


Warm-Up Pitches:

Advanced Preparation

 Be sure to notify your school and local libraries in advance.  With appropriate notice librarians will be able to set up a shelf of Yankee biographies for your students. Provide your students with a fact sheet and directions for taking notes as they read. Introduce or review lessons on distinguishing between fact and opinion, identifying main ideas and supporting details, and reading for information.

      New York Public Library information, includes links to Major League Baseball


The Batter’s Box:

Materials Needed

Materials needed include biography books about famous New York Yankees and Microsoft Word software.  Supplemental materials can include: Internet access, daily newspapers, and magazines.  A scanner is helpful for students who wish to include photographs and other graphics from newspapers or magazines on their fact sheet, baseball card or report.

 Official Sites Major League Baseball- scoreboard, stats, standings, players, teams


 Information about players and teams


Getting On Base:


 Developing and posting a glossary of baseball terms and abbreviations with your students is a fun way to ensure your students understand the dynamics of the game and know how to read baseball statistics. Many students may not really understand terms such as RBI or ERA and how these statistics are calculated.  One young lady in my class suggested adding renowned nicknames such as The Babe, El Duque, and Burn Baby Bern to the list. The vocabulary developed here will be especially helpful in Activity Two.  Working with your class to develop a vocabulary chart provides yet another opportunity for informal assessment


  Complete listing of baseball terms


   Baseball and physics dictionary


     Rules and regulations, great listing of baseball terms vocabulary




Hitting for the Cycle:


Go to http://mlb.mlb.com/ official site Major League Baseball- scoreboard, stats, standings, players, teams or go to: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/nyy/homepage/nyy_homepage.jsp  Official site of the New York Yankees to brainstorm New York Yankees past and present


Allow students to select a player for study.  Biographies on rookies (new players) or minor players may not available.  In such a case make sure the student selects a back-up player.


Allow students time to get a book from the library.  You might even consider a class trip to the library for this purpose. http://www2.nypl.org/home/branch/kids/sports/baseball.cfmNew York Public Library information and links to Major League Baseball homepage, ballparks, Negro Baseball League, and the New York Yankees


Assign reading nightly. Providing students with a fact sheet to record information as they read is helpful. Requiring chapter summaries or chapter outlines of main ideas and significant details is also an option.


Check every day or two in ensure students are following the prearranged timeline for the completion of each chapter, the fact sheet or outline, and the book report 


Students may not find particular facts or requested information in their reading.  For example the biography may have been written before the player’s career ended, without updating statistics, or before key events in the player’s life such as being inducted into the Hall Of Fame.  Assure the student that time will be given after the book is read for research on the Internet to supplement their biographical research.


Upon completion of the reading, allow time for your students to continue their research using the Internet and the other sources listed to complete their fact sheets.


Completed fact sheets must include a picture of the player and a quote about the player.  Instruct the students to select and save pictures and other graphics for use not only on their fact sheets but for use on their baseball card.  Students can also scan pictures from magazines and newspapers.


Students present their fact sheets


Students to move on to Activity Two: The Hall of Fame and begin creating their own baseball cards.


The Pitcher’s Mound:

List of Interesting Web Sites

See Links page



Grand Slam Quotes:
Quotes Located by Students

Click here.



Student baseball cards, Surveys, and Posters

Student Baseball Cards


The Scoreboard:

Rubrics and other Assessment Tools

Batter Up: Scoring the Fact Sheet

Rating Scale: 0-5


Grand Slam

Goes Beyond Expectations-all requirements are met and additional information, quotes, pictures and other graphics are included.  Work is neat and very well organized. Student demonstrates superb sportsmanship



Home Run

Meets all Expectations- all requirements are met. The work is neat and very well organized  Student demonstrates excellent sportsmanship 




Meets Most Expectations:  One major requirement is missing. Two or three minor requirements are missing.  Work is neat and organized. Student demonstrates good sportsmanship.




Meets Some Expectations:  Two or more major requirements are missing.  Three or four minor requirements are missing. Format/organization needs work. Student demonstrates good sportsmanship




Falls Below Expectations:  Three or more major requirements are missing. Five or more minor requirements are missing. Work lacks organization.  Student did not always demonstrate good sportsmanship.



Strike Out

No attempt is made.  Student did not demonstrate good sportsmanship.  . 


Comments and Suggestions: _______________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Go Yankees

Batters Up:  Players Fact Sheet

Name and Class: ______________________

Player’s Name:  _______________________


Page Number

Date of Birth




Place of Birth




Position(s) played




Yankee career dates












Throwing arm




Batting stance




Nickname(s) and reason for the nickname when available




Schools attended




Major personal challenges met




Memorable childhood incident(s)




Family facts- brothers, sisters, children, etc.




Major professional challenges met




Player’s own personal hero and/or most important or influential person in his life




Batting Average




Home runs












Strike outs












Professional Awards i.e. MVP, Hall of Fame, All Star player




Career Highlight -1




Career Highlight- 2




Quote about the player




Author of the quote




Quotes from the player himself




Additional fun facts and statistics




Player’s notable contributions to the community




Picture of the Player





Additional Assessment Ideas:

   Classroom observation and anecdotal notes

    Evaluating chapter summaries

    Assigning and rating a book report

    Conducting one-on-one interviews

    Student self assessment

    Assessing student oral presentations


Batting Practice and Extra Innings:

Homework and Extension Activities

Create a time line that highlights significant moments in your player’s personal and professional life
http://baseball-reference.com/ Information about players and teams

Write a newspaper or magazine article about your player
http://aol.sikids.com/ "Sports Illustrated for Kids"- sports news and scores

Create a poster that encourages people to vote your player into the Hall of Fame http://baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/index.htm Hall of Famers- biographies and pictures

Read another biography about your player and compare the style and opinions of both authors.  Do an authors study

Read a biography about another Yankee and compare his life and accomplishments to your original player

Read your player’s autobiography (if available) and compare it to the biography you read

Write an essay discussing how your player exemplifies sportsmanship and team spirit

Create a list of fun facts about your player

Write a letter to your player explaining what you admire most about him http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/blb/kids/mlb_kids.jsp Latest news and scores, tips from the pros, mascots, send a letter to your favorite player, team addresses

Create a diorama or poster illustrating a significant moment in the life of your player

Write a poem or song about your player in the style of “Casey at Bat" http://poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=133

Write a letter or an essay from your player’s point of view defending the statement “Baseball is America’s Greatest Pastime”

Research and write a report about another aspect of baseball.  Topics can include: The history of baseball, The Negro League, The Woman’s League, The history of Yankee Stadium, baseball in the Dominican Republic, The physics of baseball, famous broadcasters, popular baseball songs, and poems about baseball  http://www2.nypl.org/home/branch/kids/sports/baseball.cfmNew York Public Library information and links to Major League baseball, and other baseball sites

Create a social commentary cartoon depicting either or both (1.) your player’s contribution to “the game”, or (2.) your player’s contribution to the community   

The Seventh Inning Stretch:

Extension Activities for Group Work

        The Yankee All Star Game Hall of Fame:  Students work together in small groups to create a web page or classroom display of the New York Yankees.  Player biographies, Grand Slam Quotes, pictures, and fun facts can be included.
        MVP Interviews
:  Students take the roles of players and broadcasters and they conduct MVP interviews.  As students take turns assuming these roles the rest of the class can serve as the audience with instruction to “phone-in” their questions for the player.  You can use a radio or television type format.  Students can dress up as their player and you or one of your students can take on the role of cameraman.   
        Post-Game Interviews
:  Students interview each other and then write articles about their findings.  Publish the interviews and articles and display them in the classroom or on a web page.
        Take Me Out to the Ballgame
:  Students working in small groups create their own lyrics to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
        The Yankee Banner
:  Students create their own players magazine
        The Sport’s Page
:  Student use daily newspapers and the Internet to track changes in batting averages, ERA, and other statistics for a selection of New York Yankee players.
Angels in the Outfield:  Rent and show a video based on baseball such as “Angels in the Outfield” or the “Sandbox Kids”   

Comments from the Coach:

Tips for Teacher

        The project works best when each student is assigned an individual player
        Listing Yankee players in a brainstorming activity and reviewing the MLB site should provide enough names for the students to choose from.  Sometimes several students want the same player simply because they don’t know about anyone else.  Brainstorming can eliminate this problem
        Check and approve the books your students select before reading begins.
        Inform parents about the project, materials needed and due dates.
        Listen carefully when students are discussing their reading.  I got the ideas to have a “World Series” event and to include a quote on the baseball cards from my students. And some comments can lead to discussion about self determination, facing challenges, sportsmanship, fair play that all serve to develop student social skills.
        Involve your students in the creation of fact sheets and rubrics
        Have students interview their parents and grandparents about favorite New York Yankee players
        Ask the students what they have learned about “life” from or through baseball.
        Have Fun.

Post-Game Locker Room Interview:

Personal Reflections

While I have enjoyed engaging my students in project-based activities over the years, Go Yankees has proven to be the most rewarding.  Perhaps it is the fact that the many activities list here were generated or inspired by my students affording them a personal stake in the success of the project, or maybe it was because in a post 9/11 world focusing on meeting personal challenges, engaging in team spirit and activity, and expressing patriotism has become important to children and to adults.  "Go Yankees" became our class slogan and what it really meant was go Class 502.


The Home Plate Umpire:

The Standards

Students will:
    Read and comprehend informational material

    Use information to support or enhance a project

    Make informed judgments

    Produce a report/display of information

    Create an organized structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and content

    Includes appropriate facts and details

    Excludes extraneous facts and details

    Participate in group discussions

    Participate in one-to-one conferences with the teacher

    Prepare and deliver an individual presentations

    Demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work

    Analyze and subsequently revise work to improve its clarity and effectiveness

    Publish a final document

    Work cooperatively with others on a “team”

    Demonstrate good sportsmanship

    Appreciate the significance of baseball literally, figuratively, and metaphorically both “on and off”     the field of life

    Employ appropriate forms of technology efficiently and effectively

    Manage time appropriately to meet deadlines