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Home » Blog » Special Events » Classroom Transformations » Books and Basketball Classroom Transformation

Books and Basketball Classroom Transformation

Classroom Transformations, Special Events

Written by: Katie Palmer

March is right around the corner, bringing with it March Madness. Even if you're not a basketball fan, there are sure to be young sports enthusiasts in your classroom. As March Madness approaches, so does Read Across America Week. While we're gearing up for basketball excitement, let's use that energy to promote reading in the classroom! Why not pair their sports enthusiasm and reading with a themed basketball classroom transformation, complete with a book championship bracket! Ready to transform your classroom? Read on to learn how to bring the basketball court to life!

This basketball classroom transformation has all of the resources you need to plan an exciting basketball transformation. Glance at the schedule below, then use the links to head directly to each section.

a basketball classroom transformation sample schedule
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Plan & Prep

Decoration Ideas

Snack Ideas

Morning Work

Literacy

Brain Break

Math

Science & Social Studies

Writing

Behavior Management


Plan & Prep

To get your basketball transformation off to a stunning start, prep and/or send home some materials a week or so before hand.

1. Home Note

Letting families know about the upcoming sporty fun can help them prepare their child for the special day. Perhaps some students will want to wear a jersey or the colors of their favorite team. Asking families for snack item donations can lower the cost and simplify your prep.

a basketball classroom transformation editable home note
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2. Basketball Themed Signs & Checklist

One of the easiest ways to manage a classroom transformation is through the use of centers. Allowing students to rotate through activities eliminates the rushing towards or worrying about being able to partake in a favorite activity…everyone gets a turn to complete each center!

banners and station signs for a basketball classroom transformation
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Center Signs Download

Download Checklist

Download Banners

  • Use the signs to signify different center areas around the room. Assign a different sign to each of these activities: Literacy Center, Math Center, Directed Draw Center, Writing Center, Reading Center (put out some basketball or sport themed books OR the basketball QR codes), etc..If you use your signs this way, students can use the provided checklist and check off each station as they finish.
  • Use the signs for student group names.

3. Certificate & Brag Tags

Wrap up the day with a certificate and brag tag that will make every student feel like an MVP.

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Decoration Ideas

Although not necessary, adding a few decorations to your classroom transformation can make it a fully immersive, core memory-making type of a day! Our basketball transformation pack includes tons of printable decor ideas! Here are a few printable and purchase-able ideas!

1. Ready to Print on All Access

Book Madness Bracket

The focal point of your basketball classroom transformation will probably be your Book Madness bracket. A few tips on a successful Book Madness tournament:

  • Start the tournament of books a couple of weeks before your party. This allows flexibility in fitting in all sixteen of the books into your schedule.
  • Have students vote on which book they liked with a paper or digital ballot. (Try Google forms!)
  • Students can write our bracket predictions ahead of reading any of the books for extra fun!
A March Madness book championship bracket for the classroom
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Need book recommendations? Our list of recommendations are part of the bracket download!

  • Basketball placemat: Set out this basketball themed placemat for easy morning work and a cute decorative touch.
A basketball themed activity placemat, perfect for morning work.
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  • Autofill jerseys: Students will love these personalized basketball jerseys! String them across the classroom for an extra special touch.

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  • Banners: Hang one of these banners across your classroom door or on a bulletin board.
A March Madness book championship bracket for the classroom
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2. Crafted or Brought from Home

  • Basketballs- Set a few basketballs out around the classroom, preferably in places students can't reach. (Or you may be faced with pickup games popping up throughout the school day.)
  • Mini Basketball Hoop- Add a mini basketball and hoop for a fun brain break option.
  • Butcher Paper Basketballs- use for wall hangings or table covers
  • Netting and Inflatable Basketballs-Hang netting from the ceiling with inflated basketballs
  • Scoreboard: Create a large scoreboard on your whiteboard for games or a behavior incentive

3. Optional Purchases

  • Tablecloths- Cover tables or clusters of desks with orange and black tablecloths. Or, get white or brown and draw basketball court lines to make your students feel like they are front and center for the big game.
  • Orange paper plates- Add sharpie lines to make the plates look like basketballs!
  • Orange & Black Balloons– Add orange and black balloons to truly make your decor pop! (See what I did there?!)
  • Pennants & Foam Fingers- These could be from any team!

Even More Decor…

For even more decor ideas, check out this list on All Access.

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Snack Ideas

Feed your young athletes these creative basketball themed eats. (Bonus idea: create basketball themed snack plates using orange paper plates and a sharpie!)

1. Cheese Ball Cups

Either order basketball themed cups, or create your own. Score some baskets by filling them with cheese balls!

cheese balls snack for a basketball classroom transformation

2. Referee Water Bottles

There will be no flag on the play if you dress up water bottles as referees!

themed snacks for a basketball classroom transformation

3. Basketball Peach Cups

Peach cups + a sharpie make an easy sporty and sweet snack.


Morning Work

“Tipoff” the school day with the above mentioned basketball placemat. Having a focused activity keeps your students calm and focused when they enter the classroom on basketball day!

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Literacy

The Basketball Classroom Transformation not only includes a reading lesson, but also small group plans and prepped centers. Let’s break this category down.

1. Reading Lesson

Read, “The Salt in His Shoes” by Deloris & Roslyn Jordan. With themes of basketball and perseverance, this book teaches valuable lessons and is a fun read!

Purchase on Amazon

Or, follow along on YouTube.

Follow up the book lesson with comprehension worksheets that touch on a range of skills.

basketball themed reading comprehension sheets to pair with the book, "Salt in His Shoes".
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2. Small Reading Groups

Meet with small groups for a more in depth study of basketball with one of these reading passages, each focusing on the history of the game, or a famous player. Differentiate these groups by varying the skills focused on or the level of independent work.

Basketball themed nonfiction reading passages with comprehension questions

3. Literacy Centers

While you are meeting with small groups, what is the rest of the class doing? Rotate your students through centers to keep them engaged and learning.

Center 1) Compound Words – Nine Square Puzzles

Students will enjoy putting together these nine piece picture & word puzzles with a partner.

basketball themed compound words center
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Center 2) Long U Patterns – Shooting Hoops

Students will practice the many spellings of the long U sound.

basketball themed long U pattern words center
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Center 3) Verb Tenses – Playground Ball

Practice the three tenses of verbs with a basketball twist.

basketball themed verb tenses center
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Center 4) Syllable Types – Hoops & Cubes

All six syllable types will be practiced during this engaging basketball themed center.

basketball themed syllable types center
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4. Even More Literacy Practice

Use the following activities as extra centers, early finisher packets, partner games, small group or independent work or whole group extensions. (All Access members, click on each linked resource for your free download.)

  • Playground Ball Verb Tenses
  • Grammar Grid Game
  • Sentence Scramble
  • Basketball Prepositions
  • Diphthong Slam Dunk
  • Score a Suffix
basketball themed grammar worksheets
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Ready to transform your classroom to a basketball court? Find everything you need below!

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Brain Breaks

1. Trashketball

Trashketball is a fun twist on basketball, often used as test prep or skill review. Bonus: this game can be played using materials readily available in the classroom.

Materials needed:

  • Empty trash can
  • Small ball
  • Test prep or review questions, such as these editable slides that are part of our classroom basketball transformation pack.

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Students line up (or form teams) to answer review questions. A correct answer scores them a chance at a trashketball free throw shot. Students adore this game, and will want to play all day! (They will forget they are learning!)

2. Dance Break

Put on some sporty tunes for a mid day dance break.

Math

We couldn't leave your math block out of the basketball plans! With digital and printable math resources, your math lesson will score big points with your students.

1. Math Lesson

Take your pick from subtraction within 20 or 3-digit addition digital teaching slides. As your class works together to solve the word problems, they will be engaged with a step-by-step directed drawing.

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2. Math Centers

Center 1) It's Game Time-Digital & Analog Clocks

Students will practice telling time with this game winning center.

a basketball themed digital & analog clock math center
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Center 2) Sports Equipment-Build with Cubes

Students will love constructing sports themed shapes with connecting cubes and solve equations for each shape.

a basketball themed building with cubes math center
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Center 3) Number Exercises-Place Value

Tackle those place value skills with hands on practice!

a basketball themed place value math center
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Center 4) Math Worksheets

Use these extra math practice sheets as small group work or independent practice.

  • 2-Digit Addition Mystery Math: Addition practice with a mystery picture.
  • Shooting for Fact Fluency: Work on that addition fluency!
  • 2-Digit Addition with Regrouping Color by Code: Basketball themed subtraction = win!
  • Snack Time Money: Coin counting skills with a delicious twist.
basketball themed math worksheets
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Science & Social Studies

With so many activities to choose from, we know you cannot fit all this basketball fun into one day. Try spreading these Science, Social Studies and SEL activities throughout a week or two…lesson plans done!

Science

These Science lessons are all about hands-on and STEM.

Bounce Back

Time to test out your students' dribbling skills! For this experiment, you'll need to collect a few materials or surfaces to test bouncing a basketball on.

Surface ideas:

  • Carpet
  • Cardboard
  • Rug
  • Asphalt
  • Paper
  • Pillow
  • Desk
  • Grass
a basketball themed STEM experiment for elementary students
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Try doing this science lesson whole group or with the materials/surfaces spread out in stations around the classroom.

Basketball Hoop STEM

This STEM project turns your students into engineers as they build their own basketball hoops.

Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard or sturdy paper
  • Paper or plastic cups
  • Tape & glue
  • Scissors
  • Small, lightweight ball
  • Markers, stickers or other coloring supplies
  • Spoons
  • Rubber bands
a basketball themed STEM project for elementary students
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Follow the directions included in the transformation pack for a successful STEM project.

Social Studies

Tap into your students' love of sports with a study of popular sports around the world. Using digital teaching slides, this lesson will grab student attention with the vibrant images…plus the fun facts!

digital social studies lesson slides focusing on popular sports around the world
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Social Emotional Learning

Build on your classroom's teamwork vibe with the Social Emotional Learning lesson and pennant.

basketball themed social emotional learning resources
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QR Code Videos

A collection of basketball themed QR codes that lead to instructional videos and great read alouds. Put these codes up as a listening center, or have partners work through the videos & read alouds together.

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Writing & Art

Our team knows teachers love options! So, our basketball classroom transformation includes both a writing craftivity as well as easier to use writing prompts.

I am the GOAT

Have your students tap into their self confidence with the, “I am the G.O.A.T.” craftivity. These projects make an excellent hallway display, as well.

a basketball themed writing craftivity titled, "I am the GOAT".
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Writing Prompts

Use these prompts as a center, morning work or for your writing block. Added crafting materials take these prompts to the next level.

Prompts available:

  • The best athlete
  • How to play basketball
  • How to play ________
  • Athlete biography
  • Missing trophy mystery
basketball themed writing prompts
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Design Your Own Jersey

As mentioned above, these autofill jerseys will be a hit with your MVPs! All you need to do is type student names into the grid, and viola, a set of personalized jerseys for your entire class!

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

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Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

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Behavior Management

Use this basketball court scoreboard tool to reinforce positive student behaviors, and build on teamwork skills. Bonus tip: project this behavior board for even easier management.

2 Ways to Get This Resource

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Ready to transform learning?

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Read Across America Week Ideas

March is not only the time for March Madness, but also Read Across America week. Join Katie, from Team Lucky Little Learners, as she shares our team's favorite activities for this exciting week.


Interested in additional Classroom Transformations?

Check out these fun themes!

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