Monday, February 09, 2009

Sports Literature

With the help of my department chair, my Sports Literature proposal passed through the approval process and will be included in the classes for next year. From the standpoint of engagement, this class should capture the interest of many of our students.

From a Language Arts perspective, this class will provide opportunities to write in both the expository form and persuasive form. It will also allow for reading both fiction and non-fiction. And finally, it will provide for practice in the skills of verbal debate.

Topically, I hope to cover the connection between modern sports and ancient myth, the role of sports in society, gender in sports, and all the other interesting themes.

I still have to settle on the texts. Any suggestions?


At 3:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giving up on the reading classes?

At 1:19 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

No. This is for next school year. The district will more than likely run the reading classes differently, thus freeing me to teach what I am actually certified and interested in teaching.

At 4:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me give you a qualified “congratulations”, Mr. M. (qualified because we know that until the class actually starts there are no guarantees). It sounds like something both you and the students can enjoy and learn with. As for suggestions—there is an anthology Sports in Literature which I used to use. I don’t have it here with me but I’ll get the info for you. It has essays, poems and stories.
Basketball: Hoops by Walter Dean Myers is good. Pat Conroy also wrote a basketball book, but I can’t remember its name, something about “losing?”
Baseball: Fences by August Wilson has a baseball motif. The Natural by Bernard Malamud, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, The Celebrant by Eric Rolfe Greenberg (not well known but good—about Christy Mathewson and a young Jewish boy who idolizes him).
Football: Tennessee Titans: Season to Remember by Jeff Fisher
Tennis: On the Court with Venus and Serena Williams by Matt Christopher
Matt Christopher has a number of sports books for young adults
Dan Gutman (Honus and Me) also writes a lot of sports books; may be a bit young for your kids but I used to work with Dan and would be glad to throw some business his way (He will also do readings at schools.)
One of my favorite stories is James Thurber’s “You Could Look It Up” which always makes me laugh. (By the way Bill Veeck, who actually did send a midget to bat in a major league game wrote a wonderfully funny article about it. I’ll email you a copy.)

Anyway, I hope some of this will be helpful. Oh, if you consider fishing a sport, how about The Old Man and the Sea?

At 4:40 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Joe, Thanks. I'm certainly leaning towards The Natural and or Sholess Joe.
I like the Venus and Serena story; they are both amazing athletes and interesting people.
I hope the class stays around. I mean, there is something magical about the world of sport.


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