Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication and Collaboration
Producing, Executing and Performing
Developing Arts Literacies:
In this lesson, students will explore the sport of baseball as they construct a mock baseball field using an assortment of materials including pattern blocks, tiles, and a variety of geometric shapes. Students will then work in small collaborative groups to examine baseball through art, movement, and sound. They may choose to enact a skit showing the physical movements used in baseball, to create a picture or a painting about the sport of baseball, or to create an audiotape capturing the sounds of the game. Students will share with the entire class what they learned in their individual group work through oral presentations.
Create a spatial representation of a baseball field using pattern blocks, tiles, wood blocks, manipulatives, tape, paper, and other assorted materials
Explain the connection between geometric shapes and real world examples
Write a descriptive paragraph explaining their problem-solving process
Create an oral presentation
Create an audiotape using bats, balls, gloves, etc. that incorporates the sounds, rhythms, and words that capture the game of baseball
Create an artistic rendering (i.e., a drawing, collage, or painting) of a baseball field
Enact the movements used in the game of baseball
Respond to writing prompts and participate in small-group and whole-class discussion
Large or Small Group Instruction
What You'll Need
1 Computer per Classroom
You'll also need: Tape recorder or other audio recording device.
Teacher should have a basic understanding of:
The game of
baseball. General design and layout of a baseball
field. Prior Student Knowledge
Students should have basic familiarity of baseball.
Large Group Instruction
Small Group Instruction
Set up computer and LCD projector, making sure that websites display properly
Resources in Reach
Here are the resources you'll need for each activity, in order of instruction.
1. Have the students brainstorm ideas about the sport of baseball. Write the word "baseball" in the center of a circle on a piece of chart paper. Post the circle where the students can see it. Ask your students to brainstorm ideas about this sport. Record and discuss each student’s response. Your goal is to help students activate their background knowledge about baseball so that they can make connections between what they already know about baseball and the new knowledge they will gain as they continue with the lesson activities.
1. Explore the “Introduction to How Baseball Works” page. You should use an LCD projector so that the class can view the website. You should ask some general questions to check for understanding such as:
What are innings, runs, and outs?
How is baseball different from most other sports?
What two players drive the action of the game?
2. Explore the “Baseball Diamonds” page on How Baseball Works. Lead a class discussion about baseball fields using questions such as the following:
Why is the field where baseball is played unique in sports?
What is the difference between foul territory and fair territory?
What are some of the elements of a baseball field?
What shapes do you see on a baseball field?
1. Introduce the field building activity. Tell the students that they are going to create a baseball field using different materials that may include pattern blocks, tiles, wooden blocks, drawing paper, tape, manipulatives, and marbles. Explain to the class that they are going to build the field and then give a presentation explaining their work to their classmates. Give the students a copy of the Presentation Rubric, a copy for which is available within the Resource Carousel. Explain each part of the rubric, and clarify any questions the students might have prior to beginning the project.
2. Visit and explore the 'Ballparks of Baseball' website that shows examples of what baseball fields look like as a class. Students can return to the site if they want additional time to explore as they create their design.
3. Divide the class into small groups of four or five students. Give each group a copy of the handout entitled Build a Field available to you within the Resource Carousel. Emphasize to your students that the goal of this activity is not to build a perfect baseball field. Instead, it is to help students become active problem solvers as they experiment with shape and symmetry, make mistakes, make changes and modifications, think about real world applications of geometric properties, and explore basic geometric properties. Tell the students that they are going to problem solve to build their baseball field. Your goal is to help them in this process, not to give them all the directions. Encourage the students to experiment. For example, if they build a baseball field with 10 tiles between home plate and first base, and then use 15 tiles to represent the space between first base and second base, ask them if their field looks the same as the ones they saw on the websites or baseball fields that they have seen in their life experiences. Encourage them to figure out what is wrong. Do not complete the task for them.
4. Ask students to plan and build their baseball fields. Give each group rulers, drawing paper, and scissors. Tell the students that they can use these materials to figure out how to build their fields. Tell the class that some students may choose to plan their fields on paper first, while others might want to experiment with tiles and blocks. Others may choose to combine paper, drawing and geometric shapes to create the baseball field. Be aware that this can be a difficult task for some students who may be concerned with only doing things one way.
5. When the students have completed their baseball field designs, have them write a paragraph describing how they built their baseball fields. Tell the students that their paragraph should explain how they went about solving the problem of how to build a baseball field. Provide time for each group to present their field to the entire class. Ask the class to provide feedback on each group’s presentation.
6. Have students choose an additional project to help them learn more about another aspect of baseball. The goal of these activities is to help students see that you can learn about a topic by exploring diverse perspectives. Ask students to choose to work on one of the following three projects:
Baseball Art: Create a picture or a painting of a baseball field. (Students who choose this option will work individually.)
Baseball Sounds: Create an audiotape of the sounds of baseball. (Students who choose this option will work in small groups of no more than four students.)
Baseball Moves: Create a skit that shows the movements used in baseball. (Students who choose this option will work in small groups of no more than four students.)
7. Provide students with the materials for their chosen projects. Give each group or individual the appropriate handout based on students’ project selections. You will need to visit with the student groups (or individuals) to explain and/or clarify the handout directions. Make sure that you provide time for students to use computers as they complete their project tasks. Students may wish to visit other pages on the site "How Baseball Works" to prepare for their projects. Give the students who selected the "Baseball Art" project drawing paper, markers, crayons, paint, and any additional art supplies you have available. Give the students who selected the "Baseball Sounds" project props such as a baseball glove, a baseball bat, baseball helmets and caps, and a baseball. (You can also give them small musical instruments if they are available in the classroom.) Also provide them with a blank tape and a tape recorder. Make sure that the students know how to operate the tape recorder prior to their beginning the project. Give the students who selected the "Baseball Moves" project props such as a baseball glove, a baseball bat, baseballs, helmets, baseball caps, etc. This group will need adequate space to move in as they develop their skit. If possible, provide students with a video recorder and a blank tape. Make sure that the students know how to operate the video recorder prior to their beginning the project.
1. Ask the students to respond as individuals to a series of questions in a reflective writing journal. Use the questions listed below:
What did you learn about baseball in this lesson?
What did you learn about baseball from your classmates’ presentations?
What can you learn from looking at a painting or a picture?
What can you learn from listening to an audiotape?
What can you learn from viewing a videotape?
What can you learn from viewing a skit?
2. Divide the group into pairs and tell them to discuss their responses to the reflective journal questions.
3. Ask for volunteers to share their thoughts with the entire group.
Assess the students work using the Presentation Rubric located within the Resource Carousel.
As a class, create a design logo for an imaginary baseball team that incorporates different aspects of the sport. Tell the students to incorporate what they learned in the lesson activities as they create the logo.
The National Standards For Arts Education:
Grade K-4 Music Standard 8
Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts
Grade K-4 Theater Standard 2
Acting by assuming roles and interacting in improvisations
Grade K-4 Visual Arts Standard 3
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Grade K-4 Visual Arts Standard 6
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Language Arts Standard 1
Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
Language Arts Standard 8
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes
Math Standard 1
Uses a variety of strategies in the problem-solving process
Math Standard 2
Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers
Math Standard 5
Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of geometry
Physical Education Standard 1
Uses a variety of basic and advanced movement forms
Physical Education Standard 2
Uses movement concepts and principles in the development of motor skills
Common Core/State Standards
Select state and grade(s) below, then click "Find" to display Common Core and state standards.