With football season heading into the playoffs, now is your chance to take advantage of this football-themed interactive bulletin board idea provided by Shaunna from the Kutztown University R.S. Schaeffer Math Department! Kill two birds with one stone with a bulletin board decoration AND a clever game to play with students to review important concepts you've been working on in class.
Are You Ready for Some MATHball? Bulletin Board
- Background: Green bulletin board paper
- Title: "Are You Ready for Some MATHball?"
- Border: Sports-themed border; or keep it clean like the example and leave the border out
- Decoration: 1) The Field. Draw the field onto the green paper using a white paint pen. Be sure to write in the corresponding yards so students will know where they stand! Then, cut the goal posts and the words "MATHBALL?" out of white bulletin board paper. 2) Footballs and Helmets. If you're short on time, purchase a set of football accents. Or, if you prefer, you could find clipart images online, or create your own. You will need 2 footballs (one for each team) and several helmets for decoration (try decorating the helmets based on a big game that's coming up, or on two local teams). 3) Score Keeping. Use three white envelopes to "house" the game questions (or you could use white card stock to create your own). Be sure to write the number of yards on each envelop so students know how many yards they are going for (5, 10 and 15). To add a little pizazz to the envelopes, write the number of yards on a football jersey cut-out!
Playing the Game
Divide into two teams (the size of the teams can vary from one-on-one, to a few people on each team, all the way to half the class per team). After you've created teams, make sure each student gets a worksheet to complete and hand in at the end (this way every student participates and practices). A copy of the worksheet can be found here. Have students write down how many yards the question was worth and the work they did to answer it (make sure to keep the questions asked in order to correspond with their answers).
- Start the game with a traditional coin toss (both teams will begin on the field at the 50 yard line facing their goal). The team who wins the coin toss (say Team A) picks first and gets to choose how many yards they want to go for (the higher the number of yards, the tougher the question). Read the question aloud.
- If the Team A answers correctly, they get to move their football the corresponding number of yards. It's now Team B's turn.
- If Team A gets the question wrong, Team B then has a chance to "intercept" the ball by answering the question. If they get it correct, Team B gets to move their football the corresponding number of yards. If they get the question wrong, the ball is considered a dead ball. Team B gets to go again.
- Continue playing this way until the game is complete. Set a time for the game (it can be however long you'd like) and whichever team has scored the most touchdowns in the end wins the game! After each touchdown the team should begin again on the 50 yard line.
The best part about this game is that it's versatile! You can easily create the questions based on whatever concepts you have been covering in class.
Helpful Hint: Tell students a touchdown will be deducted from their score anytime a team member becomes disruptive. Losing points should be a nice motivator for behaving properly during the game!