Lesson Plans Based on Movies & Film Clips!                                         

Terms of Use  TWM Blog 



    LEARNING GUIDE TO:

    BASEBALL


    SUBJECTS — Baseball; U.S./ All periods 1840 to present & Diversity;
    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Sportsmanship;
    MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Fairness.

    Age: 10+; No MPAA Rating; Documentary; 1994, 9 volumes; Color; Available from Amazon.com.

    Description:     Ken Burns' nine part documentary on baseball examines the players, the games, and the baseball business. It also provides revealing insights into U.S. social history by showing how the development of baseball followed, and in some cases led, changes in U.S. society as a whole. The series is divided into the following parts:

    Inning 1. Our Game: the 1840's - 1900
    Inning 2. Something Like War: 1900 - 1910
    Inning 3. The Faith of Fifty Million People: 1910 - 1920
    Inning 4. A National Heirloom: 1920 - 1930
    Inning 5. The Shadow Ball: 1930 - 1940
    Inning 6. The National Pastime: 1940 - 1950
    Inning 7. The Capital of Baseball: 1950 - 1960
    Inning 8. A Whole New Ball Game: 1960 - 1970
    Inning 9. Home: 1970 - 1994.


    Benefits of the Movie and Parenting Points:     "Baseball" is an excellent way to spark an interest in U.S. history classes among kids who are focused on sports. Some of the changes in society and in baseball examined by this series include: racial integration; the widening disparity between the lives of common people and the lives of celebrities; the increasing freedom allowed to women; increased violence; the immigration melting pot; labor/management relations; and the advent of radio and television. The series includes many original film clips of historical value.

    This movie is an excellent resource for filling up rainy days in physical education classes.

    Possible Problems:    None.
 









LEARNING GUIDE MENU
Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)
Bridges to Reading
Links to the Internet
Assignments, Projects & Activities
Bibliography


    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:  1995 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Informational Series; Outstanding Individual Achievement Informational Programming.

      Featured Actors:  None.

      Director:  Ken Burns.




 

QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION:   What is the most pressing problem for baseball today and how does that relate to sportsmanship? Suggested Response: There is no one right answer. Possibilities include: (1) the high salaries of the stars that dwarf what normal people make and separate them from their fans; (2) ski high ticket prices; and (3) competition from other, faster paced sports.





For a movie worksheet for this film, see Film Study Worksheet for a Documentary.










    Helpful Background:

    This is a documentary of massive scope. It provides its own historical background information.

    Perhaps the most pressing problem in professional baseball today is to reconcile the multi-million dollar salaries with the idea of sportsmanship. Another big problem is the use of steriods and other performance enhancing drugs.
 

Click here for TWM's lesson plans to introduce cinematic and theatrical technique.




    Discussion Questions:

    1.  See Discussion Questions and Projects for Use With Any Documentary.

    2.  There is something unique about baseball and its relationship with the U.S. and its people. What is it?

    3.  Ask your child if he or she knows some expressions which come from baseball. See who can name the most. [Examples: "play hard ball," "strike out," "get to first base," "get to second base," "get home," "home run," "hit that one out of the park," "grand slam," "it's in the ballpark," "rain check."

    4.  Why was baseball one of the first institutions in the United States to become racially integrated?

    5.  Why did Branch Ricki make Jackie Robinson promise not to fight back for two years?



 

Select questions that are appropriate for your students.


Become a TWM Fan on

BUILDING VOCABULARY: None.


Click on the link for a discussion of Segregation and Its Corrosive Effects in the Learning Guide to "A Force More Powerful".


PHOTOGRAPHS, DIAGRAMS AND OTHER VISUALS:   Photographs of Signs Enforcing Racial Discrimination: Documentation by Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Photographers from the Library of Congress.


    Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:

    SPORTSMANSHIP

    1.  What is the most pressing problem for baseball today and how does that relate to sportsmanship? Suggested Response: Perhaps the most pressing problem in professional baseball today is to reconcile the multi-million dollar salaries with the idea of sportsmanship. Another big problem is the use of steriods and other performance enhancing drugs.

    For additional questions on Sportsmanship, see questions under the heading "Fairness" below.
 

Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before !


    Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)

    Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.

    FAIRNESS

    (Play by the rules; Take turns and share; Be open-minded; listen to others; Don't take advantage of others; Don't blame others carelessly)


    1.  Why is it necessary for baseball as a sport to be uncompromising in its punishment of athletes who "throw" games? Is this a moral decision or an economic decision or both?

    2.  Why does baseball severely punish and will ultimately expel any baseball player, even a great star, who gambles? Is this a moral decision or an economic decision or both?
 


Teachwithmovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner" and uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.

Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character are marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.


    Bridges to Reading: Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward, have written a book called Baseball: An Illustrated History based on their painstaking research for the documentary series. The book includes photographs from the series.
 



MOVIES ON RELATED TOPICS: See all movies in the Movie List relating to Baseball.


    Links to the Internet: None.
 



 



 

© 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by TeachWithMovies.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Note that unless otherwise indicated any quotations attributed to a source, photographs, illustrations, maps, diagrams or paintings were copied from public domain sources or are included based upon the "fair use" doctrine. No claim to copyright is made as to those items. DVD or VHS covers are in the public domain. TeachWithMovies.org®, TeachWithMovies.com®, Talking and Playing with Movies™, and the pencil and filmstrip logo are trademarks of TeachWithMovies.com, Inc.

TWM grants free limited licenses to copy TWM curriculum materials only to educators in public or non-profit schools and to parents trying to help educate their children. See TWM's Terms of Use for a full description of the free licenses and limits on the rights of others to copy TWM.