Even the Super Bowl can be a learning opportunity

January 29, 2013 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years | with 0 Comments

By the time our children are in high school, opportunities for parent involvement in the classroom fade to a distant memory. That doesn’t mean we can’t still be involved in their education. With a little creativity, you can turn any experience into a learning event.

Take the Super Bowl, for example. There is plenty of opportunity in every aspect of the big game to reinforce learning. Here are just a few examples:

Science

Football provides an opportunity to review basic physics concepts and formulas. Think momentum, projectile, velocity and Newton’s law of gravity, for example. Physics can explain the flight of the ball, the motion of players and the force of tackles. Check out this link for physics of football information. There are some interesting videos at this link, and even the NFL gets into the education game with science of football videos at www.nflrush.com

Psychology

Super Bowl commercials provide a great opportunity to consider the human mind and behavior. Talk about which commercial was best, which one made everyone laugh, which one tugged at our heartstrings – and why, for each of these questions. Psychology Today features this interesting piece , which discusses commercials in 2012’s Super Bowl

English and more

Foster creative writing and multimedia skills by making a Super Bowl commercial. Choose a product and create a 30-second spot. Post it on YouTube or share it with friends on Facebook.

Math

Football is perfect for geometry review – the study of angles and triangles, perimeter, area and volume. Check out www.nflrush.com for a “Geometry of Footballs” video.

History

Dallas businessman Lamar Hunt called for the formation of the American Football League in August 1959, after he was unsuccessful at launching a team in the National Football League. The AFL began play in 1960, merging with the NFL in 1966. The first Super Bowl was played on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League. (The Packers prevailed, taking the title with an impressive 35-10 victory.)

More Super Bowl history

The Super Bowl owes its name to a bouncy ball popular at the time – the Super Ball. According to history.com, game organizers tossed about a number of names for the big game before Hunt “blurted out an alternative with staying power: the ‘Super Bowl.’ He soon admitted that his two children’s latest obsession, an ultra-bouncy orb called the ‘Super Ball,’ had likely inspired his flash of brilliance.” (Read more about Super Bowl history at history.com).

Bonus

If your student isn’t in the mood for Super Bowl academics, share some fun trivia. Check out these sites:

NFL 2-minute Trivia

The Chicago Tribune features a bit of light-hearted (though not necessarily true!) trivia.

Or, check out Sports Illustrated’s Trivia Throwdown

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