March means March Madness (and leprechauns!). What it doesn’t mean is only watching basketball games or being a basketball fan. It is the perfect excuse to bring engagement and different activities into your classroom—for a day, a week, or even the entire month!
We’ve gathered fun and educational ideas to get your students involved in the fun and excitement of March Madness. These ideas are sure to be a slam dunk in your classroom!
Create an interactive bulletin board
All teachers love bulletin boards, but have you ever tried an interactive bulletin board? March Madness is the perfect time to get students engaged with your bulletin board. Set up a bracket on your bulletin board, and let students follow and change the bracket throughout the month. There are tons of bracket ideas you could use, but our favorite is a Battle of the Books.
The Battle of the Books bracket lets students get excited about new books and reading for pleasure through a tournament of books. Students will engage with the books all month, vote, and determine a winning book. The best part: one lucky student (or your whole class) gets a copy of the winning book! This could even be a school-wide bulletin board battle, just ask your school librarian for help.
Create brackets, brackets, and more brackets
Brackets on the brain, still? Us, too! Which made us think: what better activity for March Madness than making brackets? Instead of a bulletin board bracket, students could each receive their own bracket. As a class, or individually, students can create brackets for the teams playing and take guesses as to who will advance. Follow the brackets the entire way through the month to see who was right.
Instead of writing the actual team names in the brackets, mix it up and make the brackets by state or mascot!
Doing this individually and some students aren’t basketball fans? No problem. Basketball isn’t the only thing you can bracket. Discover what your students love, from the top toys to the best games.
Engage in steam activities
Gather random supplies—paper, tape, index cards, popsicle sticks, cups, rubber bands, pom pom balls, string, and more. Set these supplies out, and challenge your students to complete a March Madness steam activity. Challenge them weekly throughout the month using these same supplies but a different challenge each week.
Challenges can include:
- Using paper and tape, design a tower strong enough to hold a basketball without breaking.
- Design a basketball hoop and ball.
- Design something to shoot a paper ball into a trash can or hoop.
Design a mascot
Pass out blank pieces of paper and have students design their own mascot. What will it be? What colors will it be? What will its name be? Prompt them with a few of these questions, and set them free to design. Let students share their designs, and display them in the room to really set the March Madness mood!
Design a jersey
Give students a piece of paper with a blank shirt on it (Tip: You can photocopy the shirt onto the front and back of the paper, or simply have them cut out the shirt, and let students draw a front and back of their jersey). Allow students to get creative and design their own jersey. When completed, display these jerseys in your room to decorate for the March Madness month.
Play basketball bingo
B-I-N-G-O: bingo! Who doesn’t love bingo? A timeless classic, add a basketball spin to it for a fun and engaging March Madness game you can play anytime in your classroom throughout March.
Compete in a game of trashketball
Not sure what trashketball is? It is basketball, trash-can style.
Using balls of paper—or an actual ball if you have one—and a clean trash can, incorporate a game of trashketball into your plans for the month.
This can be incorporated in so many different ways, and it is sure to be a class favorite. For example, have students complete a worksheet and bring it to your desk to be checked. For each question they get right, they get a paper ball to shoot into the trash can. Or, review material by asking students questions. For each one they get right, they get a chance to shoot a basket. Not only are students answering questions, but everyone will be listening to the review material to see if the student answering is correct and gets to shoot a basket.
Take it a step further, and divide the class into teams. Each team player that makes a basket, gets a point for their team. The team with the most points wins. Students are usually competitive, so this makes lessons engaging and exciting!
Create a papier-mâché basketball
Using balloons, cover them with layers of watered-down glue and newspaper. Once dried, pop the balloon and let the students paint their newly-created basketballs. Create one with the students as an example, and then fill it with candy or little toys and use it as a pinata.
Not into papier-mâché? There are tons of basketball-themed crafts to do. Do a different craft each week, or daily if you are feeling adventurous. What students (and teachers) don’t love crafts?
Read basketball-themed books
Reading is a core in every classroom. Spend March reading basketball-themed books. There are tons to choose from, including different genres. It is a perfect idea to bring March Madness into your classroom without too much effort!
Have more fun with words by doing basketball-themed word searches, crossword puzzles, scrambles and more.
Did we miss your activity?
Have a fun March Madness classroom activity that we missed? Leave it in the comments below. We would love to hear the fun and creative ideas you have!