Middle and high school students are sure to love these texts about different sports!
From soccer to basketball to baseball, sports are a meaningful part of many teens' lives. Reading about sports in the classroom is a great way to engage your students. This text set includes exciting short stories, poems, and informational texts to get them thinking critically about the games they love to play and watch!
“Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambera (6th Grade)
In this short story, a young girl nicknamed Squeaky is proud to be the fastest runner in her school. She looks after her older brother Raymond, who has a disability, and practices every day for the May Day races with him not far behind. This year, however, she has competition: new girl Gretchen who claims she will be the one to beat. Consider pairing this text with “Amigo Brothers” and have students compare what the amigo brothers and Squeaky have in common.
“Most Valuable Player” by Sarah Van Arsdale (6th Grade)
In this heartwarming poem, the speaker describes what it would feel like to earn a softball trophy for her hard work. Many students will relate to the speaker’s desire to earn recognition for her accomplishments. Ask students Discussion Question 1, “What kind of rewards have you hoped to earn? How have you imagined your hard work leading up to the moment you win an award, like the speaker in the poem?”
“Baseball: From Pitch to Hits” by Stephen Orens (7th Grade)
Students may be surprised to learn that there is a lot of science that goes into the perfect pitch. This fascinating informational text discusses the different natural laws at play when a baseball is thrown. Ask students if what they learned from the text will affect the way they play or think about sports in the future.
“Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer (7th Grade)
Get students excited about baseball season by reading this classic poem by Ernest Lawrence. The poem tells the story of how Casey, a beloved baseball player, strikes out at bat, much to the crowd’s disappointment. After students read, have them analyze how the poem’s figurative language shapes its mood and conveys its theme.
“Old Games, New Territory” by Khat Patrong (7th Grade)
In this short story, Rashid struggles to find his niche in his new neighborhood. He meets a mysterious girl and talented basketball player named Gigi. When a pickup game of basketball gets a little rougher than he bargained for, Rashid learns there’s more to Gigi than he initially thought. After reading, have students discuss the significance of family in this story and how the concept is connected to basketball.
“The Concussion Gender Gap” by Kim Elsesser (9th Grade)
Sadly, concussions are a serious but common injury across a variety of sports. This informational text explores the high levels of concussions among women who play different sports and the scientific reasons behind this phenomenon. After students read, have them discuss the details that explain the possible causes of high concussion rates.
Looking to hook your students with more texts about sports? Browse the CommonLit Library!
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