Using the Excitement of March Madness to Spark Learning

Photo by Ismail Salad Hajji dirir on Unsplash

March Madness is the annual NCAA college basketball tournament that lasts throughout the month of March and has basketball aficionados go wild with bracket filling each year. What you possibly didn’t know is that you can use the excitement of this event to spark learning in your students. Yes, you can create a much more entertaining atmosphere in your classroom by using basketball and tournament to help them learn better and become more interested in the matter. For some of the most creative classroom activities, keep on reading.

Predict the best book

While during the NCAA competition you’d pick on the favorite teams to advance, in the classroom, you could set up a book bracket, instead. Have your students choose some of their favorite books and choose the champion after several weeks. Your school librarian can participate too by running a list of the top 16 books students take to read the most. Place the books into a bracket starting at the sweet 16 and ask kids to vote. Aside from voting for the favorite book, students can also fill out their own bracket predicting the book winners.

Look up the teams on the map

Having trouble keeping everyone interested in geography lessons? The Madness of March can help out in this area too. Namely, you can assign your students a task in which they would locate an NCAA basketball tournament team on a map. They can go all the way from researching the relationships of the team’s name to learning all about the different teams’ mascots. Have them look up the location of the college, and potentially find their favorite, and cheer the team to victory. This lesson is perfect for students in grades 6-12 because they’ll learn a lot about the geography of a variety of areas. Furthermore, they’ll connect the team names and mascots and find out everything about their relationship history and/or geography.

Basketball Printable materials

For younger students, printable materials are excellent entertainment that will help them learn too. In the spirit of March Madness, you can get basketball printable materials and allow your students to enjoy their favorite sport while also learning a lot. Printable materials usually include activities, such as word searches, a shape maze, counting mazes, dot-to-dot printables, and basketball coloring pages. If you maybe need learning materials for older students or vocational education, you can check out excellent RTO learning resources and get the best learning materials for your students.

Basketball Word Search

Another great way to spark learning in your students is to offer them tasks that involve word search activities. From word scramble to word searches, and something elementary kids can cut out and glue together worksheets will allow you to incorporate the championship tournament into your classroom without much fuss. Moreover, it’ll make your students want to come back to the classroom the next day and learn with much more enthusiasm because they had loads of fun interacting with each other through basketball-related activities.

Food Chain Tournament

Another creative task that features the excitement of March Madness could be the food chain tournament. Make your science lessons less dull, and have your students use their knowledge of the food chain to fill out a tournament bracket. They will create head-to-head battles between various animals in your ecosystem. Use only the animals you’ve taught the students about so far, and make a special bracket featuring those animals. It would be a good idea to pick the animals from the NCAA regions as different habitats. Pick rainforest, tundra, desert, and woodland, for instance. That way, kids can imagine battles between the animals and debate who could potentially be the ultimate food chain champion.

Who Can Be The Reading Champion

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

Another book-related activity that uses March Madness as an inspiration can be the book reading competition. Depending on the grade you’re teaching, the kids can go from competing in how many pages of the book they can read in a week, to how many books they can finish in a week. Pair the students up and let them compete against each other week in week out. To test their knowledge in the end and choose the winner, have the finalists answer questions related to the book, and whoever answers the most questions correctly will be the winner.

Final thoughts

Getting students to actively participate in class and actually become interested in the matter can be more challenging than ever these days. However, if you do your best to be as creative as possible, you’ll have no trouble making your students run to school eager for new activities. Therefore, to make the following classes loads of fun, think about incorporating some of the March Madness into your syllabus. From printable materials to reading competitions, your students will enjoy every second of your class and become more eager about learning, all thanks to your creativity.

Published by Willy Beamen

I'm Willy Beamen, contributor for Business with 15 years of experience from Sydney, Australia. My work is mostly focused on helping small business owners and local startups to get off the ground and expand.

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