The Super Bowl is watched by millions of people around the world, proving without a doubt that people of all ages and nationalities are passionate about American Football. But this fun learning game for kids isn’t about teaching kids the ins and outs of American Football.
It’s about taking advantage of all the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the Super Bowl and bringing it into the classroom to make learning fun for kids. Of course, you can use any sport for this fun classroom game and get your young students excited about education.
Themed class activities like the following one are great for generating a real buzz inside your classroom because they take seconds to set up and kids actually ask to play it even during study breaks. Here are the steps:
Part A of step one is to prepare learning material. Remember this isn’t a football class for kids; it’s an educational classroom game. The proven hallmark of the most popular TV game shows and board games – question and answer – means you can base the entire game on trivia questions from a recently-studied subject or add it to your collection of fun math games. So the first step is to create some questions around the area of study you are teaching your young students in class. The questions you come up with can vary in difficulty.
– With easy questions, you can expect lots of hands in the air.
– With tough questions, you will see some conferring, which is always welcome.
Part B of step one is to grab yourself a piece of paper or card and cut out the shape of an American football and draw in the familiar markings. This will be your ‘ball’ for the game. Here’s an example of an American football outline:
Draw an American football field on the whiteboard. Remember to draw it lengthways so that when you divide the teams into two halves (right versus left), it will be clear which goals belongs to which team.
Wondering how you’ll be able to draw all the intricacies of an American football field? Well remember that kids learning games should be simple to create and focus on the learning aspect. For that reason, the field you draw on the whiteboard should have a simple layout. And here’s how it looks:
As mentioned before, you can use any sport for this game. Plus, you might want to keep it seasonal: Soccer for the World Cup. Basketball for the NBA finals. Ice hockey during the Winter Olympics. Or a Aussie Rules field to celebrate the Grand Final.
Next, grab the paper football you prepared earlier in step 1 and stick it on the center of the field on the board using double-sided sticky tape or use blu-tack or sticky tack.
Then split the class into two teams and follow these game rules:
- Give each team a question in turn. Select a student with their hand raised to answer the question.
- When a team gets their question correct, the ball moves from the centre spot to halfway inside their opponent’s half (also known as the 20-yard line if your youngsters are knowledgeable about the game). If answered incorrectly, the ball stays where it is.
- The other team now gets a chance to move the ball back to the centre by getting their question right. Again, if they get the answer wrong, the ball stays where it is.
- If a team answers a question correctly while inside the opponent’s half, they have scored a TOUCHDOWN! Move the ball into the opponent’s end zone (or into the goal if you’re playing soccer).
Make a big fuss when a team scores. This will make the game much more fun for everyone.
Put scores on the board after a team scores and move the ball back to the centre. Teams score 1 point for every touchdown to keep the numbers easy for students to understand the score.
It’s always the team that concedes a goal that will answer the first question from the restart.
When the time’s up or when you run out of questions, tally the scores and reward the winning team.
Not A Football Fan?
In case you or your kids are not fans of football, or perhaps you’re an ESL teacher in a foreign country, then by all means adapt the game to something more popular like soccer, ice hockey, netball, volleyball, or any other sport where two teams go head to head. The great thing about this football game for kids is that the rule never change; you simply change the layout of your field and use sport-specific terms like GOAL! instead of TOUCHDOWN!