The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, or March Madness, is one of the most exciting events of the year.
Every year, millions of fans tune in to watch the tournament unfold and cheer on their favorite teams.
March Madness isn’t just about basketball. It’s also an opportunity to engage students in creative and meaningful ways.
Whether it’s through sports-related activities or educational games, there are lots of fun things you can do with your class right now.
From creating brackets to having a tournament debate, there are plenty of ways to make March Madness come alive in the classroom.
Who says learning needs to be boring? By adding some fun elements to daily classroom activities, students have the opportunity to enjoy the day whilst learning at the same time.
Let’s take a look at some ideas.
1. March Mathness
March Mathness is a great way to get students excited about math and engaged in learning.
It’s the perfect time of year to spice up math class with some fun activities. Here are a few classroom activities to try today:
Create your own March Madness bracket and have students pick the winners of each game.
Have them explain their reasoning for their picks and then award points based on how close they come to predicting the outcome of each game.
Designate teams, or let students choose sides, and divide them into two groups. Let each group come up with their own set of questions related to a specific topic they’re studying in math class (e.g., fractions).
Ask the questions one at a time and have the teams compete against each other to answer correctly first. Award points for correct answers.
Take any activity from above and use it as an opportunity to help students explore deeper mathematical concepts.
For example, if you’re playing Bracketology, use it as an opportunity for team members to discuss probability or statistics.
If you’re playing Math Madness, have the students explain why their answers are correct mathematically before awarding points.
This will help them deepen their understanding of important mathematical concepts while having fun!
2. Class Tournament-Style Basketball Game
Divide students into two teams and set up a mini court in the classroom. Each team should try to score as many baskets as they can in one minute. The team with the most points wins!
This activity is great for developing teamwork, collaboration, and competition skills.
3. Basketball Trivia
Basketball trivia is an enjoyable way for students to test their knowledge of the sport and its history. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the festivities.
To begin, create a list of basketball-related questions that all students can answer. Think about classic teams and players, memorable games, unusual statistics, and other facts related to the game.
Once you have your questions prepared, divide the class into two teams and let them take turns answering them. You can also assign each team a different color or mascot for extra motivation!
You can make this activity as competitive or as relaxed as you like. Award points for correct answers, or simply allow the teams to discuss each question until someone comes up with the right answer.
Whichever approach you choose, it’s certain to be an entertaining addition to your March Madness classroom activities!
4. Tournament Of Sums
Tournament of Sums is a great way to get students involved in math, while keeping them engaged and entertained. The game requires students to work together to solve math equations and score points.
To begin, divide the class into two teams. Then assign each team a set of numbers, which they must use to create sums.
The team with the highest sum wins that round. The game continues until one team has won all rounds and is crowned the victor!
Students should be encouraged to think creatively when creating their equations and find creative solutions for solving the problems presented to them.
As the game progresses, it encourages collaboration between teams, resulting in better problem-solving skills and improved communication skills.
By playing Tournament of Sums, students can have fun while learning basic math concepts in an engaging way.
5. March Book Madness
March book madness encourages students to work together to decide which books will reign victorious in a literary tournament.
To start, have the students break into teams and assign each team a genre of book. Then, each team will brainstorm books within their chosen genre that they think should be part of the tournament.
After the teams have compiled their lists, bring everyone back together and have them vote on which books from each genre should make it into the final tournament.
Once the voting is complete, create brackets for the tournament and let your students debate why one book should beat another and ultimately crown a winner for the entire tournament!
This activity can help build teamwork skills as well as foster an appreciation for literature in your classroom.
6. Read Alouds
Read Alouds are a great way to turn up the excitement in any classroom. Imagine your students as basketball players, facing off against each other with their favorite books as the ball.
As they listen to you read, they can be transported into their own world of adventure and discovery.
As the coach, it is up to you to choose the right book for your students. Pick stories that have both exciting plot lines and vivid characters so that your students can relate to them on a deeper level.
From classic novels like The Catcher in the Rye to modern hits like The Hunger Games, there are lots of options.
No Read Aloud would be complete without some fun activities afterward. Have your students discuss what they liked about the book, or create a poster about a certain character or scene.
You could even give out some awards for best performance or most creative interpretation!
With these activities, your classroom will be alive with enthusiasm and creativity all throughout March Madness!
7. Athlete Quotes
One way to bring March Madness into the classroom today is to share athlete quotes.
These quotes can help inspire students to have a positive attitude and strive for success, both in their studies and in their sports activities.
The quotes could also be used as conversation starters, allowing students to discuss their favorite athletes or why they admire certain players.
Another great activity is to have students create their own sports-related inspirational posters. The posters can feature a favorite athlete’s quote and image, or even a team logo.
By creating these posters, students will be able to show their support for their team while also learning about design principles.
These two activities will help bring some excitement of March Madness into the classroom, while also creating a meaningful learning experience that encourages students to work hard and reach beyond what they think they’re capable of achieving.
8. Pig Or Cow Game
Sublimely stirring and captivating, the pig or cow game is a wonderful way to promote team spirit and camaraderie amongst younger students.
To play this game, divide the class into two teams. Have the teams stand in lines facing each other, with one empty line in between them.
The first person from each team then chooses either “pig” or “cow” as their animal of choice.
That player then moves forward, and both players perform an action corresponding to their chosen animal (e.g., mooing for cow, oinking for pig). Then the next players on each team do the same thing until all players have gone through.
At this point, both teams switch animals – those who chose “pig” will now do “cow” instead and vice versa – and continue performing the actions until all players have gone through again.
This process continues until there is a winner: whichever team can complete all their turns the fastest wins!
Not only is this game a great way to encourage teamwork, but it is also lots of fun and keeps everyone on their toes!
It’s March, and that means it’s time to celebrate the madness of basketball season! We hope this list of engaging classroom activities are helpful for teachers to use in their lesson plans.
But you might be thinking, ‘What if my students don’t like basketball?’. Well, that doesn’t have to be an issue at all.
Many of our activities focus on math skills and problem-solving strategies.
For instance, Tournament of Sums and Probability Problems are designed to challenge students to think critically and practice mental math in an exciting way. Plus, they’re fun!
We’ve also included activities such as March Book Madness, Athlete Quotes and the Pig or cow Game which tap into student interests outside of sports.
So no matter what your students’ likes and dislikes are, there’s something on our list they’ll enjoy. Try out these ideas today and get ready for a season full of learning, laughter, and March Mathness!
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