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Posts Tagged ‘lessons’

Five Life Lessons from the Game of Baseball

5 Baseball Life Lessons

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes rising temperatures, the end of the school year, graduations, and the heart of baseball season.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess that I am a big baseball fan. The fabric of our nation’s pastime is completely woven into my life. If “my team” is playing, you can find me watching the game. As I settled in to watch “my” floundering Miami Marlins take the field, I reflected on what has kept me coming back to the game after all these years. (It certainly isn’t because my team is a winner!)

One of the things that appeal to me about baseball is how it perfectly captures the American spirit. There are lessons I have learned from watching the game that are applicable not just on the playing field, but in the classroom and in life.

Here are five baseball life lessons you can share with your students as they prepare to complete this inning of their life.

1. What happens at the beginning is not always a predictor of end results. Baseball is a long season. Over the course of 162 games, there will be ups and downs. Just like a player who needs to warm up, a student may struggle at the start of the year, only to turn things around and wind up finishing at the top of his or her class.

2. Even the best may fail sometimes. Ted Williams is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, finishing his career with a .344 batting average. That means he was successful at bat only 3 out of 10 times, or he “failed” 7 out of 10 times. Your students will also hit bumps in the road, but the one thing they can control is giving it their best effort.

3. It takes a team. Nine players take the field in every game, with more players on the bench and in the bullpen. They all must play their part to win the game. Just like baseball, education is a team sport. It requires students, teachers, administrators, counselors, parents, and others to work together to solve problems and ensure success.

4. Be bold and take risks. Baseball games can be full of risky moves: stealing a base, executing a suicide squeeze, or even leaving a fatigued pitcher in for one more batter. Sometimes those risks pay off and change the course of a game. Similarly, in life, individuals must be willing to take the occasional risk in order to reach their full potential.

5. Sometimes life will throw you a curveball. The game—and life—does not always go according to plan. But what matters is how you react to the unexpected: will you swing and miss or will you make adjustments and knock one out of the park?

Are you a baseball fan? What life lessons will you pass on to your students? Comment below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

International Jazz Day: Creative Lesson Ideas

"International Jazz Day -- UN Music Ensemble 2014." Photo credit: US Mission Geneva / Foter / CC BY-ND

“International Jazz Day — UN Music Ensemble 2014.”
Photo credit: US Mission Geneva / Foter / CC BY-ND

April 30 is designated International Jazz Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the first International Jazz Day held on April 30, 2012. Because of the rich influence jazz music has had on people and events throughout history, this is a day to celebrate how jazz has strengthened cultural and historical ties all over the world. Music is often said to be a universal language, and jazz music especially speaks to audiences from all different backgrounds. To foster jazz appreciation in the classroom, consider devoting a day or more to sharing the contributions of jazz musicians, how jazz music coincided with the Civil Rights Movement, the women of jazz or create an activity that students can do together to express themselves artistically.

Here are some ideas to start customizing a lesson focused around jazz!

1. Jazz-Themed Classroom Tools: ProQuest SIRS WebSelect contains multiple resources to influence classroom instruction and guide discussion. Some websites that can be found here can help you start planning for a jazz-themed lesson:

Jazz in America — Great resource for building a lesson or curating ideas for projects.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns — This PBS documentary transports viewers to earlier jazz days.

Smithsonian Jazz — Educational ideas for bringing jazz to the classroom. 112 Ways to Celebrate Jazz is a fun compilation of ideas to spread jazz appreciation.

NPR: Jazz — Packed with videos, interviews, sound clips, webcasts and more all about jazz.

2. Adventure: The International Jazz Day website suggests organizing a field trip to a local record store and then having students design their own jazz album covers or having the class create a jazz wall mural together.

3. Investigate: Maybe you live in a place where jazz has made a major impact on the community. Turn your students into investigative reporters and have them find out what jazz accomplishments make their hometown special. Older students can decipher public records to back their research. Share as a class.

4. Concert: If you’re a music teacher or librarian, encourage students to add some new jazz songs to their repertoire or organize a jazz concert. Any ticket sales can be donated to a charity of their choice.

5. Documentary Show & Share: Since jazz is such an interactive form of expression, share a jazz documentary with your students and challenge them to express how it made them feel. Let them show or tell their classmates through words, pictures or their own creative project. Ask them why it’s important to continue teaching and learning about it.

How do you support jazz appreciation? Tweet us at #ProQuest or let us know in the comments below!