Discover eleven fantastic cross-curricular class activities for using soccer and the World Cup to bring art, arithmetic, geography and imagination to your classroom. Interdisciplinary learning at its best!
1. Design Your Own Kit: Print off this soccer kit line drawing and hand it out to all the students along with markers and pencils for them to design their own new soccer kit for their team or a country of their choice.
2. World Cup Collage: Collect a pile of newspapers and sport magazines for the kids to cut out photos, article headlines, logos and other soccer-related material to stick on a new collage.
3. Who Wears This: Search the internet for pictures of 20 different World Cup teams and print them off for the kids to guess during a short trivia game.
4. Team of the Week: A bit like employee of the week except you can select 11 students from the class to represent the team of the week. Students earn their place on the team for a number of reasons; not just good grades. For example, if a student takes action to stop a fight or prevent bullying or pick up litter, then they deserve to be recognized for their efforts . The top 11 ‘players’ have their names and/or pictures put on a board shaped like a soccer jersey. This will encourage repeated positive actions in the future and motivate others to want to be better to get on the team.
5. Totally Ticket: Find samples of World Cup tickets online and print them off to show the class. The challenge behind this classroom game is to come up with a new ticket for the next World Cup hosted in your own home city or town. The children must use certain elements from the previous tickets such as the name and place of the event but everything else can be up to their imagination such as adding photos of landmarks and things or people that make their city famous.
6. World Cup Countries: Get a large map of the world and plot all the countries that have hosted the World Cup in red. Go round the map and point to a country with a red pin and ask the class to put their hands up to identify the country. Select a student to guess. If they guess correctly, ask the same student if that country has ever won the World Cup. If yes, place a blue pin, if not, move on to the next country.
7. Soccer Finance: On the board, list the costs of going to a World Cup final match in the country of the next host. Make up estimates of costs for things such as flights, accommodation, food, and of course, ticket prices. Give the students choices for each item with varying costs and ask each of them to work out the cheapest way to see the final of the World Cup. Then ask for the most expensive. Students must write down the final figures on a piece of paper and hold it up when they are done.
8. Design Your Own Badge: Hand out a sheet of paper to all the students along with markers and pencils for them to design their own new badge for their new school soccer team. Show a bunch of well-known soccer badges from teams and countries in Europe, America, South America, Africa and Australia for inspiration.
9. Where I Play: Another class geography challenge but this time more local. Print off a map of your city or nearest city and hand out to each student. Make a list of team names on the board, which you will invent. Simply take the name of the town within the city and add ‘United’, ‘Athletic’, ‘Rovers’, or any word that makes that team sound like a proper soccer team. The students must plot on the map where that team is based. This class activity can also be run with countries and cities.
10. World Cup Winners: Write up a list of World Cup winners on the board in order of year that they won. Ask them to write down on a piece of paper the order of World Cup winners from the most number of wins to the least. Any countries with the same number of wins will be in the order of who won it first.
11. World Cup Ads: Set up a computer or TV screen to show the best soccer and World Cup ads over the years. These should be carefully selected to prevent showing them naughty content but also be fun and inspiring to watch. After each ad, ask the class what they liked and disliked about the ads. Could they be improved?
BONUS EXTRA TIME
World Cup Trivia: The game has gone into extra time. Prepare a list of soccer-related trivia questions; not necessarily based on soccer knowledge. You can ask where the last World Cup was played and then ask for the capital city of that country. Split the class into two teams and give points for correct answers. The runner-up gets a small trophy while the winning team get to hoist the World Cup.