Teacher Resources

The lesson plans listed below are derived from Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a traveling exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program and brought to you by Main Street Iowa and Ames Main Street Cultural District.  The materials and activities were compiled to help students observe, encounter, participate, and learn about the importance of and impact of sports in American communities. The lesson plans that accompany Hometown Teams will help you create meaningful and fun experiences for your students, based on current common core standards for grades 6-10. All the lessons can be adapted for younger or older audiences, so evaluate each lesson before selecting activities for your students. 

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Lesson Plans Grade School

Portrait of a Hero        Grades K-2

Through a series of interactive activities, students will explore their beliefs about heroes and heroism. They will share names of familiar figures (athletes among them) they consider to be heroes, and then closely examine their reasons for believing each one is a hero. Students will also broaden their understanding of what makes a hero, enabling them to identify the real-life heroes who surround them each day

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What makes a Hero?      Grades 3-5

A common lament one hears today is that young people lack heroes to emulate. Is that true? Do your students have heroes? Who are they? What qualities of a hero do they represent? Which historical figures, including athletes, would students recognize to be heroes? Are there contemporary or even local figures with similar qualities?

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Lesson Plans for Middle and High School

Lesson Plan 1 - Debates & Controversies

TOPIC: Controversial issues in sports

CORE QUESTION: What are the controversial issues surrounding your favorite sport or team, and what can be done to make progress?

MISSION: Propose a solution to a controversial issue that exists in your sport or team.

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Lesson Plan 2 - Fields of Glory

TOPIC: Sports/Facilities

CORE QUESTION: What is involved in the design of a sports facility or field?

MISSION: Propose a design for a new addition or improvement to a local sports facility, and present your ideas to relevant groups.

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Lesson Plan 3 - Tastes of the Game

TOPIC: Food culture

CORE QUESTION: What is the food culture surrounding your favorite sport or team?

MISSION: Design a new food item to be part of the experience of a favorite sport or team, and propose it to the appropriate groups to obtain the resources needed to produce it

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Lesson Plan 4 - Team America

TOPIC: Evolution of sports in a community or region

CORE QUESTION: What is the history of sports in my community, and how has it changed over time?

MISSION: Create a campaign to convince sports commentators that your local team should be considered America’s team—that it best represents America and sports in America.

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Lesson Plan 5 - Traditions & Rituals

TOPIC: Team/sport traditions

CORE QUESTION: What are the traditions that surround a sport or sports team, and how do they develop?

MISSION: Develop a new tradition to be integrated into your favorite sports team, and create a campaign to convince your school/ community that it should become part of the experience of that team..

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Lesson Plan 6 - Wide World of Sports

TOPIC: Sport/game design and origins

CORE QUESTION: What is a sport, what are the different aspects that make up a sport?

MISSION: Design a brand new sport that represents your community, and present to relevant groups to see if you can get the resources you need to make it real.

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