The Basketball Unit

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Outfits:  For the basketball unit the kids wear headbands and wristbands purchased from the oriental trading company.  They are incredibly cheap so I let the kids keep them after the unit is over.  The kids keep their outfits in their cubbies to avoid sharing.


Decorating the classroom/props

For the basketball unit I set up a basketball court in the classroom by bringing in a stand alone hoop and I put masking tape down on the ground to outline the court and make the key.  I use a UCLA rug to indicate where the kids should be shooting from at all times.  I will also paint their team logos on the wall behind the hoop and nail a small wipe board to the wall below the logo for the teams scoreboard.  I will also paint a number line (by 2’s) so that the kids can follow the number line when they are keeping score.  I also have a couple of basketball player standees in the classroom.



Field trip:

Our basketball field trip is a Saturday outing to a UCLA vs. USC Women’s Basketball game.  The tickets are $4 each (as opposed to a men's game in which the cheapest seat is $32).  It is great for all the kids to see women playing sports!



I play the Harlem Globetrotter theme song “Sweet Georgia Brown” during rotation.

Jock jams

College Anthems and fight songs


Basketball Morning Work:

Objective:  Vocabulary recognition, copying

Simply copy the basketball team name on the lines below.  The kids do this assignment first thing in the morning while everyone is arriving.


Basketball Bingo

Objective:  Reading, logo recognition

The kids play basketball bingo.  Hold up the names while the kids are looking at the pictures and vice versa.


Counting by 2’s Number Maze

Objective:  Fine motor, skip counting

The kids color their way through this maze until they reach 100.  Let them use one color the first time they do it but then make them use two colors (creating a pattern) to color their way through the maze.  


Basketball Mystery Word

Objective:  Brainstorming, copying

The kids play mystery word using basketball vocabulary (dribble, shoot, pass, or NBA teams)


Basketball Reverse Mystery Word

Objective:  Fine motor, reading

The kids play reverse mystery word using basketball vocabulary.


Basketball Action Figures on the table

Objective:  Number recognition, verbs

The students write sentences about 10 different basketball action figures.  They write “He is dribbling” or “He is shooting”.


Basketball ABC’s

Objective:  Fine motor, listening, phonics

The students write out the basketball ABC’s either at a table with an adult or at the listening center.


Basketball Team Vocabulary sheet

Objective:  Logo recognition, copying

The kids write the names of the teams next to their logos.  The words are written on the board for them to locate then copy.  As the unit progresses I have the kids spell the word phonetically on their own.


Listening Center/Reading Circle

Objective:  Reading, book skills

The NBA makes a great series of kids books including the NBA Book of Opposites.


Shooting Baskets

Objective:  Gross motor, counting by 2’s

If you have room to set up a basketball hoop in your class or on your patio, shooting baskets is a great way to teach the kids how to count by 2’s.




Basketball Cutting

Objective:  Fine motor cutting, puzzle solving

The kids cut out and reassemble the basketball team logos.


Basketball Word Search

Objective:  Fine motor, reading, matching

The students complete a word search that includes the NBA team names.  The second time they do this sheet the words are not at the bottom but the logos are at the bottom for the students to cross out when they find the words in the word search.


Basketball Jersey Bingo

Objective:  Fine motor, number recognition

The kids play basketball jersey bingo with double digit numbers up to 100.


Basketball Jersey Art

Objective:  Fine motor, number formation

The kids paint life size basketball jerseys with the name and double digit number on the back.


Basketball Art and Cutting

Objective:  Fine motor cutting and glueing

The kids cut out pictures of basketball players from either old media guides or sports magazines and glue them onto already drawn basketball court and write under them what they are doing.





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