30 NCAA Basketball Lesson Links … PBL Series… Best Classroom Lessons Never Taught


Welcome to a  post with a mix of educational ideas pressing full court toward the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I bring to you a not only a two part series of posts containing 30 amazing links. I also wish to share an almost PBL story. After a short read I am sure you will understand my thoughts on student voice, choice and relevance.   It really is quite amazing the impact that the NCAA tournament has on students. Please let me share a story and dream about educational transformation. First, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans .  You see… we really must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught! Sign up and retweet… the next 15 links will be out soon. Have an exciting tournament and a wonderful week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

Welcome to my PBL Reflection… it really is a good read… but if you want the links right away… scroll down

It was twenty minutes before the first school bell would ring, signifying the beginning of another day of learning. Students were beginning to enter and fill the classroom.  There was air of extreme excitement as the teacher looked from nook to corner. It was a typical room filled with students, desks, chairs, and a few computers. This morning seemed to be different from the others. The teacher stood perplexed, in awe of an  amazing event that was beginning to unfold. Students were using computers and  printers to produce what appeared to be a complicated worksheet. Some kids were on the floor while others were seated at tables eagerly filling the paper out! Their eyes were filled with inquiry and enthusiasm as they completed the graphical sheet from top to bottom! It was definitely a worksheet experience like no other the teacher had ever witnessed! Upon closer inspection the teacher realized the students had searched for and found the new NCAA Basketball Brackets.

The teacher watched students engaged in a true spirit of collaboration and communication, as they learned from each other some interesting facts about each of the college teams. Geography was a main topic, as students discovered via Google Maps, the location of various universities. The teacher could hear students compare and contrast strengths and weakness of the various competitors, while others children used mathematics to perform some comparative scoring.  There was a massive research symposium, as students looked on the internet to find out what the experts of the newly founded science of “Bracketology” thought!  Some students came to the teacher ready to present their reasoning for their selections showcasing some powerful  persuasion skills. Any observer would have been amazed by the thought, creativity, and reflections that the students were able to share. It appeared that that the students were in control of this special learning experience. They had created their own lesson with an engagement based on their interest in the real world. It was much like watching a game of neighborhood baseball long before the advent of sanctioned  leagues and teams.

The twenty minutes were soon past as the bell  rang, and announced yet another day of learning. The Brackets Papers were put away, while the room came to a silent halt. Students left their collaborative groups and sat in their individual seats. They pulled out a worksheet, some only half filled out, assigned  from the day before. The teacher initiated a lecture entitled ” Making Predictions Using Compare and Contrast”. The students  appeared to listen as they took notes. After all this was an important standard to be repeated for a test. What a change the bell had made.  The March of Madness was over.  It was now a time to learn!

NCAA Basketball Links – The First 15 (Next 15 in a later post this week… sign up now and please retweet!

Live Interactive Bracket – Watch the NCAA live interactive bracket for this year’s tournament.  Note that this page also contains a printable bracket.

2013 NCAA Big Dance Basics – Take a look and get ideas from the STEM site eGFI. You will get hooked as your read their statement: “ From long-shot “Cinderella” teams to “field goal” averages, “giant killers” and “bracketology,” the NCAA Div. 1 men’s college basketball championship has generated a host of pet terms and traditions since it first tipped off in 1939”.

Basketball Physics – This lesson comes from Science Friday.  It contains the Driving Question, “ How does physics affect your game?” John Fontanella, a physicist at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of The Physics of Basketball, explains the role of physics in basketball, from foul shots to side-arm passes. You and your students will find out what forces are acting on the ball, and what players have to do to offset these forces.

Physics of Basketball – From the same author found above, watch this video that shows and explains some of the Physics involved in basketball.

Tennessee Sports Math Project – This page provides not just Math ideas but a complete interdisciplinary set of ideas to bring the NCAA tournament into any classroom.

Basketball For Better Verse – This lesson from Education World provide students the opportunity to look at various basketball poems and the publish their own.

The Team at Home – Another lesson from Education World that allows students to locate an NCAA basketball tournament team on a map, research the relationship of the team’s name and mascot to the history and geography of the college. This is a great social studies lesson.

Who’s Number 1? Investigating the Math of Rankings – In this amazing lesson, students explore the use of quantitative ratings by examining how Division I college basketball teams are ranked, and how specific mathematical decisions can and do have significant consequences.

March Madness… Reading for information Lesson Plan – This is brought to you by Bright Hub Education.  It contains a creative lesson plan that helps kids prepare for the reading proficiency test. It’s a great way to use the NCAA tournament to practice reading for information.

Thinking About The Future… A Poem of Possibilities –  This resource from Read Write Think  focuses on the poem “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike, analyzing the details and the format of the poem. From there students are then introduced to a writing assignment in which they write a poem about themselves in five years.

Bracket Science – Do you really want a fascinating reading about the science of the brackets? This is a great read and could be a part of any language arts or math class.

Basketball Jersey – This activity from the Smithsonian’s History Explorer examines Boston Celtics, Bob Cousy jersey…  using both the artifact at the museum and the image. What stories might one jersey tell?

James Naismith… Inventor of the Game of Basketball – This is another awesome activity from Read Write Think. Students look at the original rules of basketball, allowing a perfect opportunity for students to practice their expository reading and writing skills. Best of all, students end up with some their own innovation as they put together their own hand out to explain a game.

Should LeBron James Mow His Own Lawn? –  Discover this lesson that explroes absolute advantage, comparative advantage, specialization and trade with an example using professional basketball player LeBron James.

Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whiskers Plot – You may wish to substitute a student’s favorite NCAA player for the NBA player.  This lesson from Illuminations requires students to use information from basketball statistics to make and compare box and whisker plots. The data provided in the lesson come from the NBA, but you could apply the lesson to data from the NCAA men’s or women’s.

So there is my story and links… want the next 15 links? Please follow and sign up. I have them scheduled to be published before the end of this week. If this has been usefull please give a retweet! It mean a lot!

Thanks for joining me in my tribute to education and the need to include student voice, choice and relevance to learning. In the coming weeks you will discover posts devoted to 21st century education including such topics as Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also, remember to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech  Blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets.  I hope you enjoy your journey of  best lessons never taught.  Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Those 2014 dates are going fast.


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4 responses to “30 NCAA Basketball Lesson Links … PBL Series… Best Classroom Lessons Never Taught

  1. Jennifer Dennison

    I think bringing NCAA Basketball into the classroom is a great way to engage students. Your story proves that PBL is a great way to engage students in the classroom. I personally do not know much about basketball, so the link March Madness… Reading for information Lesson Plan, is the most interesting to me. It is a great lesson plan to help students learn how to read basketball information.

    • Jennifer… I am so happy that the Reading For Information worked for you. Thanks so much for the Kind words and comments and I wish you the very best on your education journey! …. Mike

  2. My names is Courtney Fields I am a student of EDM310 at the University Of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your PBL story. I agree that project based learning will transform how students learn. Through collaboration and peer-to-peer learning the students are able to share what they know with each other. Basketball is a great way to engaged the students. They become eager to learn and share when it is something that strikes their interest. Thanks for sharing!

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