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Home Educaton Program

Play Ball

Grandma is writing when Nebraska will be playing their first football game for the year this weekend. However, she has decided that since much of the work she has given you has been so late at getting there she wants you to understand that much of it can be carried on into September and throughout the year. Whatever it takes to add to the learning. Various sports is one of the lessons Grandma begins with so this could be used as an introductory to that lesson. The history you will receive for the summer months can just be given as that and added to what you have and you can start out again with the beginning of time and move onto each time in history, placing a little bit of the Bible at a time on the line as you cover it.
Grandma has worked very hard to make connection today with the interference of the storms. She kept loosing her wireless router connection today as well as a problem with making InternetInternet connection again. The gal sent out some signals and the rain that had just came down as well as another push on the plug-in to the modem possibly did it finally; after my husband just had to spend $35 on new cords a guy the other day said it might be making part of the problem.
Therefore, Grandma is going to give the rest of the unit in Book (57) on the baseball games she gave some information to you last night from. It is as follows except for the Bibliography I will give you later:

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Whole Group Introductory Activities

Showing a film such as Field of Dreams, The Rookie, Babe, or Rookie of the Year is an excellent way to introduce this unit.(A League of Their Own; which is a movie about women first playing softball or baseball is showing on This ,a movie channel in Omaha, NE, this weekend.) Viewing a televised game, attending a live game, or holding a (group) baseball game are other suitable introductory activities . Before beginning, establish rules for working at the centers and a routine for moving from center to center. (A center is an area of a home or school with each of subjects such as math, social studies, history, language and reading, writing, art, science, and health or physical education. Grandma has area in her home for each of these subjects some are named different things as a work area, Disney area, play House area, Play store, and even another additional area for Media as movies, comedy as jokes, riddles, comics etc. Some things still need some more organization and some things are done at the table still for art, writing, etc.It is getting better and better. Because of my knees I have actually failed to do my gardening totally outside because I cannot stand long at all now, which SSI is not allowing me to call it a disability and want me to go out to a job making phone calls. My husband knows I cannot even do that since I can hardly get about very fast he says. I know I could reach my grandson in danger fast enough a while back though. However, each area can be called simply what it is for either reading, language, social studies, history, writing, art, science, health or physical education even besides the physical games or dances you may preform. Someone stated they felt bowling and golf were not a physical activity. They are very wrong there. I have totally forgotten the teaching of music and that is really one of my favorite subjects to teach and use as a tool for learning. For by the way you can use many things as tools for learning as dolls, decorating rooms, posters, films or making videos, pretending things is even a tool, acting out things or role playing, puppets. Anything you can think to help get the concept through the same as blocks to build with or colored pencils or things drawn on paper; anything to help.) You may wish to set up all centers at the same time and have (the children) rotate through the complete cycle in their cooperative groups, or you may choose to have (the children) complete half the centers and then set up the other half. Another option is to have the (children) complete half the activities in cooperative (work with others) and then allow (the children) to select individually from the remaining activities. You might have students complete some of the activities as individual contracts. (Each unit of topic like baseball to a country to fairy tales might be handled different than even an ongoing subject as all the continents and countries to art and math or an interchange of a play store used as part of math but maybe math in another area or all the individual other areas or centers as well as by itself somewhere. History and the time line might even be handled with only a part of history in an area or an area of study rather than all of it together along with the Bible study on the line as well with many books included for them to read.)

Small Group Activities
Where It All Began

There are several conflicting theories about how baseball began. Some contend it was adapted from cricket.Others state that Abner Doubleday invented the game in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. (Football grew out of the game we call Soccer, but in Mexico they call Soccer Futbol.) At this center, have students work in cooperative groups to brainstorm possible origins of baseball. Have them select their most original idea and write a myth or legend telling how baseball originated, and then perform a reader's theater version of their story for (others). (Now Grandma might set this up in what she calls the children's work area where they can dress-up to go to work at a desk where there is a pretend computer or real one to use and pretend they are doing it for work then come home to their house area when done and pretend they are working in a restaurant and fixing a meal or go to the store and buy food. Else she may set it up to be done at a play school desk to be done as an assignment in a separate writing area. If she thought of it as a history lesson or social study lesson she may assign it to be done close to those areas. If after a movie she might assign it to be done in another room of the house. This is how it works.)

The Playing Field
Baseball is played on an area divided into an infield of definite measurement and an outfield that varies from ballpark to ballpark. The infield is a square with 90' (27.4 m) sides. The corner farthest from the outfield fence is home plate, and the other bases run counterclockwise. The pitcher's mound is an 18' (5.5 m) circle inclining toward a small rectangular rubber slab in the center. It lies inside the square, 60' 6" (18 m) from home plate. The outfield ends at an outer fence, and its distance from home plate varies with the shape of the field. The fence is usually about 250' to 450' (76 to 137 m) from home plate.
Provide (the children) with the above information, and have them work ...to sketch a blueprint of their "ideal" ballpark (at the work desk as mine, an art table, little school desk, the health, physical education area, reading and language area, math area, history area, newspaper writing area, or the social study area if not where they watched a movie with you.) Have them create a scale model of the park. Encourage (the children) to consider dugouts, dressing rooms, concession booths, parking, washrooms, press box, handicapped accessibility, and anything else that is necessary to their plans. When (the children) have completed their models, have them "sell" their ideas to (you or others).

How Many Miles?
At this center, provide students with the formula for calculating area, perimeter, and circumference. Have them create ballpark problems involving running the bases, outlining the base path, and edging the pitcher's mound. Ask (the children) to include realistic problems in which the calculation of area, perimeter, and circumference is necessary. Have each ...write its problems so that (another person) at the center (if their could be a friend, relative, etc.) can solve them and add problems of their own. When all (children) have completed the practice area, perimeter, volume, circumference, and so on. I would use a separate math area or where the movie or maybe the work area for this unless it was near the history area.)

The Great Baseball Machine

Several machines have been invented to use in ballparks. These are machines that provide easy maintenance of the ballpark, line the field, sell tickets and record sales, provide music and other special effects in the stadium, and assist ball players with their practices. There are even machines that measure the speed of a pitch, computers that record statistics, and pitching machines. (Think of even the things they have in video games now.) At this center, have (the children) brainstorm possible technological advances which might occur in the future of baseball. Have (the children) select their best ideas and draw sketches or create models of them to "sell" to (others).

Let's Hear It for the Team!
At this center provide lists of baseball teams currently in the American and National Leagues. ... Also provide (the children) with a list of Baseball Hall of Famers (which Grandma already provided you with.) Have the (children) reach a consensus on a perfect ball team. Invite (the children) to create their own "dream teams" by selecting members  from any present or past baseball team for each of the nine positions, designated hitter, and coach. Have (the children) share their line-ups with (others as yourself or the person they are learning with), indicating the player in each position. Ask (the children) to justify their choices by using player statistics. Have them name their new teams and create uniforms for the newest additions to the league!

Shoeless Joe
W.P Kinsella is a modern North American writer who has won great acclaim for his tales of baseball in the Midwest. Perhaps the best known of these is Shoeless Joe, from which the movie "Field of Dreams" was adapted. At the center, provide book excerpts and a selection of novels about baseball. Have the (children) read selections and attempt to write their own baseball stories in which local characters are brought to life. (From what I have told you, I will let you decide where the best place for this would be-maybe use it as a homework assignment-to give them plenty of time for it.)

ERAs and RBIs
At this center, provide baseball cards and other sources that identify player statistics. Have the (children) examine the statistics of ten players and create charts or graphs comparing the players. In their presentation to (you or others), have (the children) share why they selected their ten players. Have the (children) create mathematical problems involving average (mean), median, and mode statistics using the information from player cards. Have (the children) submit these problems for later use in mathematics. ... .(This is a third thing that could be used in a math center by itself. They could be given one a day.)

Casey at Bat
At this center, provide students with a copy of "Casey at Bat" and any other appropriate baseball poetry.  Have the (children) use the ideas to create sequels telling what happened to Casey, write their own original baseball ballads, or write prose playscript selections of Casey's batting incident for presentation as plays.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
At this center, provide a recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or any other baseball songs. Have the (children) create baseball rally songs for their favorite teams and teach them to the (you and others)!
(Now Grandma would do this in her Music area which is also in the living room with much of the reading and Social Studies.)

Baseball Trivia
At this center, provide baseball cards, trivia books (see bibliography), and Trivial Pursuit™ or another trivia game. Have (the children) work cooperatively to create their own baseball trivia cards. Have each (child) at the center read the cards that are already there and add their own original cards to the cooperative ...game. They can use friends or family members to help them with this lesson.

Baseball Bibliography
Have (the children) examine the bibliography provided at the end of this unit. Have them use baseball books, card catalogs, electronic encyclopedias,and other sources to create their own annotated bibliographies with at least twelve books, pamphlets, audio-visual resources, journals, and resource people.Show (the children) a sample style for an annotated bibliography.
(I Grandmother does not or cannot provide you with this Bibliography as she will try wait 'till she can for this or obtain what you can from the library.)

Baseball Hall of Fame Greats
At this center, provide pictures of famous ball players. Have (the children) use pen and ink, charcoal, or paint to create their own portraits of present or future Hall of Fame players. (Guess what center Grandma would use here.)

Cricket/Baseball Controversy
For decades, the controversy has raged over which is the better sport--baseball or cricket. Have the students examine material explaining how each game is played and prepare charts showing similarities and differences between the two sports. Have them consider such things as: rules, cost, equipment, playing fields, officials, number of players, and skills required. Have them prepare a statement defending one of the games as the greater sport and providing supporting reasons for their choice. (A good assignment for your newspapers.)(If you had not finished out your yearbook, it would be a good time to now also.)

I'm Conducting a Survey
At this center, have (the children) prepare questions examining preferences for games watched and games played. Encourage them to include both males and females of different age groups, levels of education, occupations, and socioeconomic levels as they conduct their surveys. Invite (the children) to include as many sports as they wish, but have everyone include baseball as one of the choices. Have (the children) conduct their survey with relatives, neighbors, school friends, and so on. Then have them compile their data individually and (together with others) and analyze the results. Have them prepare charts and graphs to share their data with (you and others).(Maybe this would be best as homework but as part of a math center and the newspaper area.)

Baseball Food(Remember fruits and vegetables are part of June's monthly project and that of food is important in lessons for September.)
For years, hot dogs, soda, and pretzels have been considered ballpark food. Have (the children) brainstorm other foods they could sell at their new ballparks. Have them select and prepare marketing campaigns to "sell" their new ballpark food to (you and others).

The Quiet Hero
Provide biographical information of famous ball players, past and present. Have each (child) select a player and use the "Bio-Poem" format (Grandma is providing below) to create a bio-poem for that player. Have (the children) create pencil sketches of these players to illustrate their poems. Display completed editions of the poems and sketches, then mount them in a book for the (family, friends, and others). (This part even though it has parts of art which could be part of the newspaper or yearbook areas, but Grandma still would probably make it part of the language area. However, language could be part of the newspaper or yearbook area vice versus.)
Bio-Poem Pattern
Line one: Poem title (Person)
Line two: Three adjectives to describe the person.
Line three: A significant accomplishment.
Line four: A detail of early family life.
Line five: An early career/school accomplishment.
Line six: Something for which you will remember this person. The reason you picked (them).
Line seven: A word, phrase, or saying synonymous with this person's name.
                   (Example: The "Say Hey" kid.)

The Great American Pastime
It has been said that baseball is woven into the fiber of American life--that within the game, all the lessons of life can be learned. Have (the children) work (you or friends) to brainstorm the lessons about life that can be learned on the ball field.

Indoor Baseball
Have (the children) consider how baseball could be played in a living room or recreation room (or as a board game or video game) with young children. Have them rewrite the rules and redesign the equipment to adapt the game to the change in setting and age group. Have them demonstrate the new game with a group of primary children in a gym, library, or classroom.

Great Moments in Baseball
Provide biographical materials about Baseball Hall of Famers. Have (the children) select members of the Baseball Hall of Fame listed and what might be added since the time of Book (57) in the 1990's. Have each (child) prepare a one-page biographical sketch of a player's great moment in the sport. The data should include: stats, position played, teams played for, family life, date of birth and death, and any other interesting facts. Have (each child) check their chosen players off the list so that the next (child) does not select the same player. Completed pages may be bound, illustrated, and placed in the (house or a special place).

What Makes a Great Coach?
Have (the children) brainstorm the characteristics of a good coach. When the (children) have made a long list, have each (child) create an extended simile. Provide the following examples: a good coach is like a parent; a good coach is like a guardian angel; a good coach is like a good sandwich. When each (child) has written a simile, have them complete their comparisons using data from their list of characteristics.(Another good project for the newspaper, yearbook, or language center or area. By the way folks the newspaper and yearbook could be a part of the language area or center. Else the language a part of the newspaper and yearbook area or center. Art could be a part of it all also.)

Baseball in a Box
Have (the children) use the rules of baseball to create a baseball board game for 8 to 10 year olds. Have them write the rules and package the game attractively.

Cartoon Capers
Have (the children) examine comic strip sequences of the Charlie Brown baseball series. Have them create their own cartoon characters with baseball as the topic for four-frame comic strips.(use your own judgement here of where to do it)

The San Diego Chicken
Many major  league teams have a mascot. The Toronto Blue Jays have the blue jay, the St. Louis Cardinals have a cardinal, the Detroit Tigers have the tiger, and the San Diego Padres have the famous chicken. Have the students create team mascots for their local or created baseball teams. Then encourage them to design costumes and routines for these mascots. (This gave Grandma a great addition to this unit of using puppets to play out games or act them out themselves.)

Field of Dreams
Artists like Ken Danby have captured the magic of a sport in their art. Invite (the children) to work cooperatively (with you or group of friends, etc.) on a mural that captures the magic of baseball. Before beginning, have (the children) discuss how to represent their ideas in a mural. It would be helpful to provide pictures relating to baseball at this center. This mural can be on paper, a poster, or a wall if wish.

Whole Group Concluding Activities
The main purpose of the concluding activities is to share the products of the various centers and to celebrate the learning that has taken place. Any or all of the following activities would constitute a fitting finale for this unit.
  • Share products of the centers through displays, presentations, newspaper coverage, an open house, an assembly, and so on.
  • Go to a live ball game.
  • Have "Baseball Day" in which each (child) wears team apparel, has baseball food for lunch, sings baseball songs, and plays a school baseball game or tournament.
  • View a film, such as The Rookie, Field of Dreams, Babe, or Rookie of the Year.


Non-Fiction Bibliography
Angel, R. Once More Around the Park, 1991.
Allen, E. Baseball: Play and Strategy, (3rd ed.), 1983.
Appeal, M. and Goldblatt, B. Baseball's Best: The Hall of Fame Gallery, (rev. ed.), 1989.
______, Baseball Encyclopedia, (6th ed.), 1985.
Child, M. How to Play Baseball, 1951.
Einstein, C. The Pitcher's Story, 1967.
Honig, D. When the Grass Was Real, 1975.
James, B. Historical Baseball Abstract, (rev.ed.), 1988.
___, The Baseball Book, 1990.
Kahn, R. Good Enough to Dream, 1985.
Laird, A. W. Ranking Baseball's Elite: An Analysis Derived from Player Statistics 1893-1987,1990.
Levine, P. Spalding and the Rise of Baseball: The Promise of the American Sport, 1985.
Mantle, M. The Quality of Courage, 1964.
Mays, W. My Secrets of Playing Baseball, 1967.
Petersen, R. Only the Ball Was White, 1985.
Reichler, J. The Baseball Encyclopedia. (6th ed.), 1985.
Ritter, L. The Glory of Their Times, 1984.
Robertson, J. OK! OK! Blue Jays, 1983.
Seymour, H. Baseball: The Early Years, 1960.
____, Baseball: The Golden Age, 1971.
____, Baseball: The People's Games, 1991.
Smith, R. World Series: The Game and the Players, 1967.


Fiction Bibliography
Archibald, J. Bonus Kid, 1959.
____, Shortstop on Wheels, 1962.
Brossman, J. Pennant Race, 1962.
Gelner, S. Baseball Bonus Kid, 1961.
Jackson, C. Hillbilly Pitcher, 1956.
Kinsella, W. P. Shoeless Joe, 1982.
____, Box Socials, 1989.
____, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, 1979.
____, The Dixon Cornbelt League, 1992.
Porter, M. Winning Pitcher, 1960.
Russell, P. Going, Going, Gone, 1967.
Scholefield, E. Tiger Rookie, 1966.
Scholtz, J. Base Burglar, 1955.
____, Center Fielder Jinx. 1961.
Tunis, J. Highpockets, 1948.
____, Keystone Kids, 1945.
____, Rookie of the Year, 1944.
____, The Kid from Tompkinsville, 1940.
____, World Series, 1941.
____, Wells, B. Five Yard Fuller of the New York Giants, 1967.
Wallop, D. The Year of the Yankees' Pennant, 1964.
Zanger, J. Baseball Spark Plug, 1963.

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