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Game, set, match

21 July 2008

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Rally up some sporting fever with this month’s National Year of Reading theme – ‘Read the game’

Boy dreaming of football

With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, the National Year of Reading theme for August, ‘Read the game’, couldn’t be more appropriate. Whether it’s reading the latest sporting news in the paper or on the internet, delving into the biographical lives of sporting personalities or reading about fictitious sporting heroes, there’s plenty of material out there for children to get stuck into. Follow our ideas to get the ball rolling…

Activities

  1. On your head
  2. Goal!
  3. Sporting headlines
  4. History of sport
  5. It’s a match
  6. In the zone

1. On your head

Ask the children to research some information about their favourite sports star, and to find an image of them. Once they have gathered together some information, they must cut or print out their image and write a description about the sports star in no more than 50 words. The image must be big enough for the children to stick their description onto the sports star’s head.

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2. Goal!

Create a football goal wall display. Arrange the children into small groups and give them a list of sporting personalities who have achieved great things in their careers, such as Steve Redgrave (type ‘Steve Redgrave’ into the ‘Find a resource’ search facility at www.scholastic.co.uk/junioredplus for related resources), David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Paula Radcliffe and Tanni Grey-Thompson. Invite the children to find out what the sports stars have achieved by reading books and the internet. Once they have found out, ask them to add the sporting star’s name and their achievement onto a paper football (which could be a scrunched up bit of white paper with added detail to make it 3D) and stick it onto the goal.

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3. Sporting headlines

Bring in sports pages and supplements from the weekend papers. Ask the children to read them and find a sports story they find interesting. They must make notes about the story, considering the following questions: What was it about? Who did it involve? What was interesting about the story? The children can then discuss what they have found with the rest of the class. (This could be a good homework activity.) You could also invite the children to compare how the same stories are reported both online and in print – what are the differences and similarities? Does the print version contain more information than the online story, for example? If so, why?

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4. History of sport

Research the history of the Olympics. Divide the class into small groups and assign them a period of history to research (include the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, too). Create a running track wall display. Ask the children to create a gold medal template in which they can write up what they have found out. Challenge them to convert their facts into a list poem, an acrostic poem or a mnemonic? Add the medals to the running track in chronological order.

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5. It’s a match

Collate a selection of sports stars and an image of something that links the star to the sport they are famed for. The aim of the game is for the children to match the sports star with their sport. For example, you could add easy matches, such as David Beckham and a football, but make others more difficult by showing part of an object, making others fuzzy or zooming in on something they are wearing for a clue. You could divide the class into teams with ‘buzzers’ and hold a class match.

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6. In the zone

Create a sports-themed reading corner full of different reading material, including comics, newspapers, fiction, and so on. Set up the corner to suit the sporting interests of the class – ask them to provide a list of their favourite sports and replicate some of them in the area. Add an umpire’s chair in between two seats with tennis rackets and balls; a swimming cap, goggles and towel pegged to a wall; a start/finish line over the entrance to the reading corner and a goal in which finished books sit, for example. Once the children have all read something of their choice and described what they have read, they can receive a reading medal for their achievement.

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National Year of Reading

Find out more at www.yearofreading.org

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