Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football

1st and 10: Top 10 Lists of Everything in Football
written by Gary Gramling, Christina M. Tapper, and Paul Ulane
2016 (Liberty Street)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Interestingly, cheeseheads didn't always wear green. Blue and yellow were the Packers' colors until 1950. 

Are you ready for some football? If not, you need to run a wide sweep to the right with this book under your arm. Junior sportos will be enthralled with this latest offering from Sports Illustrated for Kids. There are the fabulous photographs that you would expect from SI. Steeler’s linebacker Jack Lambert with his missing teeth is worth the price of admission alone.  Each photograph is part of a list that highlights an interesting facet of the most popular sport in America. There are thirty-six different top ten lists. Who are the top ten quarterbacks? That’s an instant discussion starter and entry to writing an opinion paper. I agree with the writers about their selection of Joe Montana. He won four Super Bowls and didn’t lose one. My friends in New England would argue that Tom Brady has also won four Super Bowls and appeared in an extra two. That’s one of the reasons why this book is such a fun read. What might be underrated about First and Ten are the learning opportunities that can come about from using this book.

I’ve already mentioned how you can this can jump start an opinion writing unit. How about boosting discussion skills? Even if you don’t care a bit about the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, you can still chime in on lists featuring nicknames, helmets, and wacky weather games. Speaking of weather, use the photograph of the infamous Fog Bowl to enhance your teaching of condensation. Visibility on the field was only about 10 to 15 yards during this game. Ask students to put on their cause and effect helmets to figure out how this figurative pea soup would have altered the game. The possibilities are endless for skill lessons in reading and writing workshops. When readers see that Jim Brown tops the list of best running backs, they will probably say “Who?”. That opens the door for research! Don’t get penalized by passing on First and Ten. Upon further review, find a copy for your classroom.

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