Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, was a Black man who converted to Islam. He changed his name to no longer represent the name given to him through the enslavement of his ancestors. He also lost many of the prime years of his sporting life for his stance on refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. Discuss with students Ali’s actions and what they feel about his actions. What value or values do students have that they might similarly defend, regardless of the pressure to concede? Do students think Ali is a role model, and if so, why?
National Geographic Videos
Two National Geographic videos are highlighted in this GeoJournal, but there are many more in Maps101, including others about sports. Given their short length, they are ideal to show in the classroom—either at the start of class to get students settled in and grab their attention, or at the end of the day's lesson to help them transition. To encourage active watching, ask students to write 3-5 facts they learned from the video. Students could also write short summaries. If you are able to devote an entire period to several videos, have students vote on which they preferred and why. One of the videos can also serve as an example for students to then create their own script for a similar video. Advanced or interested students may even want to film their video!
Geography News Network
This week’s GeoJournal includes two GNN articles. There are several more biographies on sports figures and of course, these articles are released weekly, so there is always new content to bring to students’ attention. At the end of each article, scroll to the bottom to find the Supporting Materials and Resources. These materials provide critical-thinking skills questions that make effective prompts for discussion. The resources include the sources used for the data for the article. These can be used for students to cite text evidence and as models for their own research. There are also additional vetted, age-appropriate resources students can use to extend the content.
And of course, we have maps! Geographic and mapping skills lag in most school districts. Our maps, such as “The Ten Largest U.S. Football Stadiums in the U.S.” are ideal for quickly providing opportunities for increasing these skills. They can also be a springboard for multiple educational opportunities. For example, any map with numbers, such as this one, can be used for creating easy equations, calculations, and comparisons. Maps with multiple points of interest, such as different stadiums, lend themselves to be used as points of research. Depending on your subject area, you may have students focus on the population and demographics of the area surrounding the stadium and how this city can support an NFL team; the economics of football in the city, such as support businesses like restaurants and hotels that rely on games for income; a timeline of the team in the city; biographies of players; stadium design comparisons or designs that take weather and climate into account; etc. Any map with multiple points of interest lends itself to further exploration in this way.