Creative Lesson Plans and Reading For Information: March Madness Ideas for High School Teachers Who Want to Watch the Games and not get Fired

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Reading For Information Creative Lesson Plan

I love college basketball.

March is my favorite month, but that pesky teaching job gets in the way of watching the games. That’s why I devised this creative lesson plan that helps kids prepare for the reading proficiency test. It’s a great way to practice reading for information. It is clearly one of the greatest March Madness ideas since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

If you’re trying to get away with watching basketball during the school day, you better have detailed creative lesson plans with detailed objectives that correspond to state standards:

  1. Students will read for information.
  2. Students will take large amounts of information and draw conclusions.
  3. Students will use evidence to support opinions.
  4. Students will read tables, graphs, and charts.
  5. Students will prepare for proficiency examinations.
  6. Students will win their NCAA tournament pool.

Preparation and Procedures

The more you prepare, the fewer annoying questions students will ask during the last two minutes of a close game:

  1. Go to your local college team’s website and copy the statistical chart for the season. ESPN, CBSSportsline, Foxsports, and CNNSI are the most popular. You could probably go to the site for your local newspaper and get the same information. Here’s a sample chart I use for UNLV (1990 National Champions).
  2. Cut and paste to make sure you get the right information. Be sure to include the chart legend. Make enough copies for each student in the class.
  3. On the board write the following suggestions for understanding charts and tables:
    • Read the chart title and subtitles.
    • Read the chart legend.
    • Determine how the chart is organized.
  4. On the backside of the chart, write questions that require students to practice this “important” skill. I’ve included some excellent examples on the next page. Feel free to copy and paste them.
  5. Write your instructions carefully. Every second wasted on explaining things could be crucial.
  6. Turn on the TV in your classroom and tune it to CBS.
  7. Circulate throughout the room, pretending to help students. Be sure to have a copy of your lesson plan easily accessible in case a nosy administrator comes around.

Sample Reading For Information Questions

Use the chart provided to answer the following questions. Be sure to answer each questions in complete sentences.

  1. Who led UNLV in points per game (PTS), during the 2008-09 season?
  2. Who led the team in rebounds per game (REB)? Assists per game (AST)? Blocks per game(BLK)? Steals per game(STL)?
  3. How many points per game did Rene Rougeau average?
  4. What was Joe Darger’s 3-point shooting percentage (3P%)?
  5. What was the team’s free throw percentage (FT%)?
  6. If there were two seconds left in the game and the Rebels were trailing by one, which player with at least 25 games played gives the Rebels the highest statistical chance of winning?
  7. If there were two seconds left in the game and the Rebels were trailing by three, which player with at least 25 games played gives the Rebels the highest statistical chance of sending the game to overtime?
  8. How many turnovers (TO) does the team average per game?
  9. What is the team’s assist to turnover ratio (A/T)?
  10. Which five players played the most minutes during the 2008-09 season? How many minutes did the #1 man play?
  11. What is Wink Adams FG percentage?
  12. What is Darris Santee’s FT percentage?

DAY 2: As you know, the opening round takes two days to play, so you need something for day two. Here it is:

Essay Question: Using statistics from the chart, write a five paragraph essay discussing the team’s three most valuable players. Use statistics from the chart as evidence. Make sure you have an introduction that captures the reader’s attention, contains a thesis statement, and outlines your major points. Make sure you have three body paragraphs. In your conclusion, announce your choice for player of the year.

NOTE TO TEACHER: For the day two assignment, just write the question on the board, click on over to and watch March Madness On Demand at your desk. It’s free.

Now that’s the best March Madness Idea I’ve heard yet.

This post is part of the series: March Madness Lesson Plans

Teach kids and watch basketball. It doesn’t get any better than this.

  1. March Madness Reading For Information Lesson Plan
  2. Teach About Fact and Opinion During March Madness
  3. Fun Math Lesson Plan: Math Basketball