Classroom Discussion: Sports Science, Super Bowl, and Richard Sherman

Due to the upcoming Super Bowl game this weekend, the central topic of today's writing assignment was football, of course. However, bringing up current events and issues surrounding this year's "big game" can turn into more than just an assignment about sports. Today we had a great classroom discussion about the depths of Christ's love, how we can use that in every day life (such as sports), and what we see from professional athletes.

My lesson plans included showing three videos to the students. The first two videos, NBC's science of NFL football, integrated math and science into the sport. For the third video, I showed Richard Sherman's infamous interview after his amazing play at the end of the Seahawks-49ers game, which secured Seattle's spot in this year's Super Bowl game. The students have been already talking about this interview on and off over the past two weeks anyway, so I thought I might as well make a writing assignment out of the controversy and hopefully challenge the students to think differently. After the videos, I had them answer several questions in their journals:

  • What are your thoughts about American football?
  • What did you learn about using science and math with the sport?
  • Are you going to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday? Are you a fan?
  • Have you heard of any traditions people do for the Super Bowl?
  • After watching Richard Sherman's interview, how do you think Jesus would have responded if He was interviewing him?
  • Do you think Sherman has a right to talk that way?

Certain boys in my class have a hard time writing in general, and not surprisingly, they wrote more words and more quickly than I have ever seen so far this year! We had a great discussion after the writing portion. The topics ranged from sportsmanship, to thinking before speaking, to how Jesus would play sports, to trash talking, to standing up for our friends, to loving others, and so much more. I am amazed at how the minds of my students are buzzing with all that they are learning and seeing around them. It was great to be able to discuss such a controversial event in a place where we can connect it with Jesus and what He would be pleased with when it comes to competition.

My hope is that watching videos and having discussions like these will inspire these students to do what they know to be right as they grow up. Their character is something that we often neglect as teachers and thankfully at a Christian school we can use this environment to have a safe discussion of what we see around us.

Go Seahawks!!!

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