World Cup Lesson Plans
Here are a few lesson ideas from teachers that will harness World Cup enthusiasm, and could be used for other events, too.
Traditionally geography has used global sporting events to look at medal tables and distribution of winners, as well as exploring questions about origin of competing nations, or qualification regions.
Furthermore, lessons have included the planning, building of necessary facilities, and changes to urban areas, as seen with London’s 2012 Olympic Park, and its subsequent conversion to housing, public space. This continues to offer a model for looking at changing urban land uses.
Brazil 2014 and 2016, alongside Qatar 2022, have raised many concerns. These include looking at the decisions for awarding events to competing countries. This year’s World Cup in Brazil has well documented evidence of the nature of contrast between life in the favelas (slums), with that of wealthier areas of the city. Students could do a research project into the social issues that exist in the favelas, and even create ideas to solve them. Exercises such as designing inexpensive, but practical housing, or discussions of how money generated from this type of event should be invested locally are great lessons for all global-thinking classrooms.
Social, Political Education – Noeleen Leahy – St Wolstan’s Community School, Celbridge, Co Kildare, Ireland
The World Cup fits nicely with development education and Citizenship Social Political Education (CSPE). The story of football, fair trade, interdependence, poverty, are just a few of the possible lesson topics.
As an example of a lesson starter, let’s begin with Pakistan. The majority of the world footballs are made in Pakistan. Workers get paid 20 cents for hand stitching each football, but 40 cents for a fair trade football. A fair trade football costs more to buy in the developed world than the named footballs, but most people will buy Nike/Adidas footballs though because of the label.
This can start a class research project around where the footballs being used in Brazil have been made, what raw materials were used, how much they cost to make, and how the profits have been divided up. Further research can reveal the impact a fair wage can make on a workers life.
Health and Well-being – Alison Lydon – Head of Year, Stewart’s Melville College, Scotland
My class are looking at health and well-being surrounding such a global, high profile sporting event. Specific focus is on the footballers, coaches and managers and thinking of the qualities and values, which are important for each, and why they are important. For display purposes we have used hexagons to record this information.
Once all the data is collected, and the hexagons created, the children will rank them on what they think is the most important. For example, is being good at football, being able to manage money, integrity, common sense, or generosity most important?
In mixed pair groupings the children will then decide which one they think the football manager needs most for the team, who would be second best, and on until all are ranked. Finally two pairs will be grouped together and through discussion need to debate their answers and persuade the other two to reorder their suggestions. Our next step will then be to link individual hexagons together, which should spark further discussion.
Computing – Isabella Lieghio – ICT specialist teacher in Millbank Academy, England
The obvious subject could be an Excel lesson focusing on the stats generated throughout the tournament and the World Cup fixtures. I did quite a nice Excel lesson on the Olympic medals, totalling numbers of gold, silver, bronze won, and then calculating averages. The World Cup would be a great opportunity to do something similar.
Another idea would be to create a database of players, like the old style cards but in a database, which could then be interrogated.
In addition, you could have learners locate the different countries on Google Maps, and find out key information about each. Once students have gathered this for a number of, or in fact all 32, participating countries, they could then use available resources to present the information in the best form for an identified audience.
Coding skills could be used to create their own football games using a program such as Scratch or Mindcraft.
Maths – Godfrey Almeida – Secondary Maths Consultant for the Harris Foundation, England
Large sporting events such as the World Cup lend themselves to so many great maths lesson ideas. One great idea would be a stats investigation based on the group stages. For example:
1) Calculating the mean, median and mode for the number of goals per game for each team.
2) Calculating the mean number of points per game.
3) Goals scored/conceded per game.
4) The above could be encompassed in one question, “Which group was the most exciting group?”
5) Students could then start to look at the probabilities that a team will win in the next round given their performance so far.
There could even be a homework assignment to record the number of free kicks, corner kicks and goal kicks in each match. Students could also decide which was the dullest game on that night and why?
I hope you agree that these are some excellent, creative ideas which use the World Cup as a context for learning within the classroom. They are versatile enough that many of the ideas would fit other big sporting events like Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games.
I’d like to thank the Promethean Advocates for sharing. The Advocate Group is a collection of education professionals who are acknowledged by Promethean as skilled, enthusiastic users of the Promethean Solutions and Education Technologies in general. If you are an Educator in the UK or Ireland and want to find out more about membership in the group please email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author: Janice Prandstatter is a Teaching and Learning Consultant (TLC) for Promethean in the UK and Ireland. Janice’s education career includes a background in Early Childhood Education and Primary Teaching qualifications. After teaching at a Primary school in a socially deprived area of Edinburgh, Janice was seconded to the local authority as a Primary ICT Development officer. Within her role at Promethean Janice is able to use her knowledge of child development, experience in the classroom, understanding of the everyday pressures of teaching and expertise in education technology to design, implement and lead a variety of CPD opportunities for educators. She has a keen interest in social media and can be found in the Twittersphere both at @JanP65 and @PrometheanUKI.