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March Madness in the Classroom

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 9, 2020, 10:05 a.m.

Written by Randi Anderson


I've always been a sucker for a good theme. Every March, there is always buzz around the men's NCAA basketball tournament. Educators can tap into that buzz and use it in the classroom to get students motivated.


Ideas for Using March Madness in Your Classroom:

1. Map it Out

Teams from all over the country travel to the tournament to compete. Have students locate where each team is from. Read and discuss locations/colleges that are in each bracket.

Have students calculate miles traveled by each team. Also take time to discuss the importance of using a map and how it can help readers learn new information. 


2. Make it a Game

Turn simple review tasks into games in your classroom. Take shots and earn points as individuals or in teams. Create math word problems for students to solve using the analysis of points scored.


3. Follow a Team

Choose a team to follow and give daily updates on games and players. Have students read player bios, listen to interviews, study stats, and write their own word problems about that team or player.


4. Create Your Own Tournament

Create a tournament of books for students to vote on and see which book wins overall! Each day of March (or everyday of the year) read aloud a different text, #classroombookaday Students listen and discuss each book. Add books read in March up to the outside of the bracket. Have students vote as to which book from each bracket should move forward in the tournament. In the championship game, the winning book will be chosen.


















Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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