Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing Column 23
This editorial article was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.
Fun Ways to Boost Your Sports Fanatics’ Literacy Skills
The Children’s Book Review
4 Literacy Tips For Young Sports Fans
If you’re looking for ways to help your sports fanatic boost their literacy skills, here are four fun activities that will get the ball rolling!
Create! Encourage kids to:
Create Their Own Sports Broadcast Show, or Podcast
There are a lot of different ways your sports fanatics can tackle this fun project. You could play sports highlights without the volume on and let your kids share their thoughts and opinions on the plays. They could also study the highlights and take a few notes, such as simple bullet point notes to work on their writing and spelling skills. Other options include encouraging your sports fans to write or type a “game day report” script based on whatever sports highlights they feel most excited and passionate about. Your broadcasters may want to create some visuals to accompany their commentary, too. The best part about trying this activity out is letting them build, design, and create their very own show and studio and there is no right or wrong way to do so!
Invent Their Own Game
Encourage your sports fans to invent their very own game. Did you know that PickleBall was created by kids who complained of being bored? With their parents’ encouragement, they used materials they found in their garage to invent a popular game that you may have heard of today! Encourage or help facilitate a brainstorming discussion on games with your kids. The power of respectful discussion is important for growing successful readers and students and this activity is perfect for current or future book club discussions! Practice discussion skills by brainstorming ideas, sharing thoughts, and providing respectful feedback to one another (if working in a group). The game inventors can write their own functional text (a type of nonfiction that teaches others HOW to do something), create a video demonstrating the game, or simply show and teach others how to play.
Extend this activity by going to your local library, or favorite local bookstore to browse other functional texts. What are your sports fans curious to learn? Whether it’s how to perfect their sports skills, or learn something entirely new, functional texts are so cool! Exposing readers to these types of texts will help them learn how to “attack” the genre in order to best comprehend and enjoy it.
Inform and Persuade
Research your favorite athletes or sports moments and try to convince others why this particular athlete, or sports moment is the BEST.
Use the internet or local library to find books about a favorite athlete, inspiring athlete, or an incredible moment in sports history. You can browse informational texts, biographies, or autobiographies. Research can be overwhelming, so use this guiding question: What makes this athlete or moment special? Why? Review notes and transfer them into a more “official” report to further practice those writing skills. If your sports fan would rather create a visual, such as a collage or poster, of their athlete with incredible and fascinating facts, illustrations, and photographs, that’s great, too! Reading, determining the importance of facts related to the guiding question, creating a report or visual, AND sharing information while trying to persuade others as to why this athlete or moment is the best, covers a wide range of important literacy skills.
Keep Reading: Fun Book Series for Sports Lovers
Author Mike Lupica, one of the most prominent sportswriters in America, has many great realistic fiction chapter books for sports fans! From Fantasy League, The Bat Boy, The Underdogs, and Shoot Out from the Comeback Kid series, there are almost too many to choose from!
With female main characters and various sports to choose from, we love the Jake Maddox Girl Sports series! Titles such as Softball Switch Up and Rebound Time, just to name a few, will captivate all sports fans!
There’s also the incredible Ballpark Mysteries chapter book series by David A. Kelly. And, if your kids love collecting baseball cards like my kids, then the Baseball Card Adventure series will be right up their alley! “Twelve-year-old Joe “Stosh” Stoshack loves baseball and knows almost everything about the sport. But there are some things you just have to see with your own eyes. So when Stosh discovers he has the power to travel through time using a baseball card as his time machine, he sets off to meet some of the greatest baseball players of all time.”
Our kids love getting real mail and they look forward to the Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine Subscription coming once a month. Jam-packed with awesome photographs and facts, your sports fan will love this!
You can find even more sports-themed books here: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/topic/books-by-subject/sports.
Thank you for reading the Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing column. Bookmark this Growing Readers Column link or subscribe to our e-newsletter so you do not miss out on the monthly reading tips. Fun Ways to Boost Your Sports Fanatics’ Literacy Skills was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.—follow her on Instagram: @wildflower_learning_denver.