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Monday Morning Ready10.08.2015
Jumpstart Your Week!

As long as there have been home runs and strikeouts, ballplayers have worn mustaches, beards and sideburns. At the turn of the 20th century, the majority of baseball players sported mustaches. But by the 1930s, the trimmers came out and a fuzzy upper lip was forbidden.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

The article tells about great baseball players with mustaches. Do you think there are or have been any poor baseball players with mustaches? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

If you were a baseball manager and heard these statistics, would you pay your players to grow mustaches? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

What do you think can be done for baseball today to help the game promote "a shift in social etiquette" and make it "more appealing to families?"

Grade 9-10

Why do you think people in the 1930s thought "decent" men had to be clean-shaven and well groomed? What key events in history-other than Reggie Jackson arriving at spring training in 1972-do you think prompted people to change their attitudes about mustaches?

LESSON PLAN
Design Your Own Baseball Card

PROCESS:

  1. After reading the article, pose the following question to the class: Do you think having a mustache can really make someone a better baseball player or do you think this is just an interesting way to look at statistics? Invite students to share their opinions.
  2. Inform the class that, whether or not there is a logical connection, a connection has been made. According to these statistics, teams with more facial hair outperform their competitors.
  3. Encourage students to identify a quality or trait they have that—logically or not—could be interpreted in this same way. What makes them special?
  4. Point out that some of the images might be ones you would see on baseball cards. Baseball cards are like really short biographies. They show an image and the name of the player on the front and reveal vital information about the player's career on the back.
  5. Provide each student with a blank index card and access to drawing supplies. Then give students time to create their own baseball cards. Instruct them to write their names and draw a picture of themselves that shows their special quality on the front. This quality can be as real or imaginative as they like. Tell students to give examples of how the quality has helped them on the back. 

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their cards with the class. You may even wish to make copies so students can trade their cards and learn more about their peers. Use this activity as an opportunity to highlight students' special talents and promote bonding and acceptance within the class.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:   

Grades 3-4:
Instruct students to identify one example of how their special quality has helped them succeed. Have them write a detailed description of that instance on the back of their cards. 

Grades 5-6:
Instruct students to identify three examples of how their special quality has helped them succeed. Have them summarize each instance on the back of their cards.

Grades 7-8:
Instruct students to identify three examples of how their special quality has helped them succeed. Have them write a detailed description of each instance on the back of their cards. Then challenge students to identify three famous people with this same ability. If necessary, provide time for them to conduct research. Tell students to list the famous people on the back of their cards. 

Grades 9-10:
Instruct students to identify three examples of how their special quality has helped them succeed. Have them summarize each instance on the back of their cards. Then challenge students to identify three famous people with this same ability. If necessary, provide time for them to conduct research. Tell students to list the famous people and summarize each person's top achievement on the back of their cards. 

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
That Time When Ansel Adams Posed for a Baseball Trading Card
This Smithsonian article features famous photographers who once posed for baseball cards.

Read "Baseball Saved Us"
In this resource, students can read information about the book "Baseball Saved Us", its author and its illustrator. The resource also includes images of objects from the online exhibit A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution.

Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente
This is a virtual exhibit that traces Roberto Clemente's extraordinary life and career through interactive games, teacher's lesson plans and movie clips. The site is available in both English and Spanish.

Rounding Third (Roberto Clemente)
In these two lessons, students will look at statistics from Roberto Clemente's baseball career. They will use mathematics to gauge his athleticism and visual art skills to create an action portrait of Clemente. They will write a poem inspired by his famous quotes and centered on themes in his life.
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