Tag Archives: sports

The 4 Games of Ancient Greece

“Pythian * Isthmian * Nemean * Olympic

The Pythian Games were held in honour of Apollo at Delphi; the Isthmian Games, at Corinth for Poseidon; the Nemean Games, at Nemea in honour of Zeus. But the most famous in the ancient world were the Olympic Games, held in honor of Zeus at Olympia in the Peloponnese, which attracted city states from across the Greek (and later Roman) world.

Each of these PanHellenic Games were held at intervals of either two or four years and were arranged so that each year there was at least one competition open to any free-born Greek. The first recorded winner is from 776 BC though the practice was considerably more ancient. The Games seem to have been designed to select the very best in order that they could offer up a sacrifice that would be the most pleasing to the Gods. This also explains the sacred truce, the cult of heroic nudity, the simple garlands awarded to the victors and the decision of the Christian emperor Theodosius to close down the games in 394 BC.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Yankee Stadium

Alright baseball fans, this hasn’t been an exciting season, has it. With chagrin, I admit that I have barely paid attention.

It’s not much, but here is a reading on Yankee Stadium and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that have tended to be of high interest to the students I’ve taught over the years.

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.

Adapted Research Papers 6: Jesse Owens from A to Z

Here’s yet another adapted research papers, this one on legendary Olympian Jesse Owens. Mr. Owens, you may remember, was the four-time gold medalist at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. As he was of African descent, Adolf Hitler refused to shake Mr. Owens’  hand after his victories. Incidentally, that was far from the only indignity Jesse Owens endured both as an Olympian and representative of the United States.

I remember two things about preparing and using this assignment: I wrote it to follow closely and clearly the Wikipedia article on Jesse Owens, and for two students who worked on this together, I also prepared, at their request, this additional research assignment on Adolf Hitler because they wanted to understand fully Jesse Owens’ experience in the 1936 Olympics. The Hitler assignment also follows the article on Adolf Hitler on Wikipedia. Both of these assignments are titled, with the name of their subjects, “from A to Z.” You’ll notice that there are 26 vocabulary words and 26 questions, i.e. A to Z in the outline structure.

The two young women for whom I wrote this material made the connection with Joe Louis on their own, which was inspiring to watch–the kind of thing a teacher hopes to see happen, I suppose. I imagine one could put together a short but compelling cross-disciplinary unit on racial and ethnic mythologies (something badly needed, I submit to you), white supremacy, with the experiences of Jesse Owens and Joe Louis as a critical lens.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Jim Thorpe

This reading on legendary athlete Jim Thorpe and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet are a couple of things I wrote initially for one student, but have found over time that this is high-interest material for students with a deep interest in the history of sport.

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.

Vince Lombardi

Here is some relatively high-interest material, to wit a reading on Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach, and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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.

The Miracle on Ice

When I taught in Springfield, Massachusetts, (which hosts a minor league hockey team), a number of students in my literacy intervention class wanted to read about hockey. So I worked up this reading on the Miracle on Ice and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet for their consumption. If you’re not old enough to remember it, or are not a hockey or Olympics fan, the Miracle on Ice is the United States Olympic Hockey Team’s upset victory over the Russian team at the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, New York.

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.

Dale Earnhardt

Depending on where you are and whom your teaching, this reading on Dale Earnhardt may well be high-interest material. It certainly was in Vermont. Less popular perhaps, but still necessary, is the vocabulary-building and comprehension sheet, but there it is anyway.

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.

H.L. Mencken on College Football

“College football would be more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students—there would be a great increase in broken arms, legs, and necks.”

H.L. Mencken

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

Rocky Marciano

This reading on Rocky Marciano and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet were of high interest to number of my students over the years.

Do you have students who are interested in the sweet science?

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.

George Will on Football

“Football combines the two worst features of American life: violence and committee meetings.”

George Will

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.