Springfield, Massachusetts, is the home of The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. I lived in Northern New England on and off for years, and I went to college in Amherst, Massachusetts, so I passed through Springfield many times in my travels. Each time, I noticed the Basketball Hall of Fame and wondered how it ended up in Springfield–of all places–and not in one of the bigger cities on the East Coast.
As it happens, the game was invented in Springfield by a man named James Naismith. Most of the young men I teach are interested in basketball, so your students may be as well. In any case, this week’s Text is a reading on James Naismith along with this comprehension worksheet to complement it. You might also find useful this Everday Edit worksheet on Basketball’s Beginnings (courtesy of the good people at Education World). Finally, and to risk making this whole post ephemeral by its tangents, here is a Culture Literacy exercise on the noun expletive, because it is used in the third Additional Fact in the reading.
Incidentally (and as the reading will explain to you and your students), the game of basketball in its original form prescribed 13 rules. A couple of years ago, I noticed that Sotheby’s had auctioned off James Naismith’s holograph manuscript of those original 13 rules for $4.3 million.
If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.