The Home Team: Baseball, Teamwork, and Community (Grades K-3)
The history of baseball―with its traditions, values, and associated memories that are passed down from generation to generation―is a powerful way to tell the stories of various communities in America.
As America’s national game, baseball inspires intergenerational bonding, brings neighbors together, and nurtures communities. At the same time, players in the major and minor leagues identify family and their surrounding community as especially influential in their careers. Both the star players and the fans are needed to tell the complete history of baseball and our society. Baseball also teaches us an important lesson about diversity. Just as a baseball team cannot win with 40 pitchers and each player has to bring unique qualities to the game, our community is stronger because of its diversity.
This program introduces the many meanings of the word “community” and asks questions such as: What makes us members of different communities? What role do communities play in our lives? How can we learn about a community through personal stories? Through pictures, stories, and songs, students learn how baseball connects people, and how a baseball team or any group of people can promote ideals of playing fair, treating others with respect, and acting thoughtfully. The program concludes with a discussion about role models in the students’ families and communities and an activity in which students create individual baseball cards that represent them. Older students (grades 2-3) are challenged by the question: How can you become a role model?
- Understand the meanings of the word “community”
- Identify communities to which students belong
- Describe the different roles people play in their families, schools, and communities
- Recognize the similarities between teams and communities
- Understand of the concept of role models, and the importance of having positive role models in our lives
- Understand the diverse backgrounds of Americans
- Recognize diversity as a source of strength on a sports team as well as in community
- Participate effectively in conversations and group interactions
Classroom Baseball Experience: These lessons, downloadable via the link below, are designed to support a visit to Chasing Dreams, but can also stand alone as independent units of study. They include images of objects, photos, and documents from the exhibition as well as discussion questions to help you explore these resources with your students. Relevant Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Common Core Standards are included as well. If you are planning to visit the exhibition, the introductory lesson will serve as a useful pre-visit experience; the other lessons can be taught either before or after your visit.
Click here to download The Home Team teacher kit
Click here to download The Home Team worksheet