Get a Kick Out of Learning With Super Bowl Lesson Plans
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The Classroom

Get a Kick Out of Learning With Super Bowl Lesson Plans

Newsela Editorial
Jan 29, 2024

Football fans wait all week for Sunday night from September to January every year. But there’s something extra special about one Sunday night in early February when the best of the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) get together and battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy. Get your students engaged in their studies by bringing game content into the classroom with Super Bowl lesson plans and Newsela’s curated subject-specific resources:


Teach science concepts through football with Newsela Science

Football is more scientific than you might think! Have students explore scientific principles and disciplines through football with these great resources: 

Football physics

Discover the science that propels Super Bowl champions to victory with this curated text set:

  • Learn about Newton’s three laws of motion and how they influence the world around us both on and off the field.

  • View datasets and decks to understand how impact location and velocity can affect the severity of collisions in football.

  • See what research has to say about the perfect way to throw a football.

Brain injuries in young athletes

Sports injuries are a common occurrence for both youth and professional athletes alike. Learn more about the science behind brain injuries in young athletes with our “Science in the News” text set:

  • Have students watch a news clip about concussions in young athletes and record their observations with a Think-Puzzle-Explore graphic organizer.

  • Read an article to discover how even seemingly harmless head hits can still cause lasting brain damage.

  • Use the engineering design process to create different football helmets or gear designs that could help prevent both minor and serious brain injuries for athletes.

Practice literacy skills with football-themed reads on Newsela ELA

Dive into fictional and nonfictional worlds that have football as a main theme with these Super Bowl ELA resources

Football novel and book studies

See how football culture influences literature by exploring these engaging novel and book studies:

“Friday Night Lights” by H.G. Bisinger

This nonfiction book study covers the tale of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team in Odessa, Texas, and their journey to the Texas state championship. Use the unit lessons to build background knowledge and dive deeper into historical and social contexts like: 

“Before the Ever After” by Jacqueline Woodson

What happens to professional football players after they retire from the NFL? Jacqueline Woodson explores one path in her novel “Before the Ever After.” Use this novel study to build background knowledge about the author and themes discussed in the book like friendship, family, and life after professional sports.

  • Watch Jacqueline Woodson’s TED Talk about how reading slowly helped her become a better writer.

  • Discover how soon experts think is too soon to play tackle football and what it means for brain injuries earlier in life.

  • Read an article about how finding and keeping close friends can have a positive impact on health.

Super Bowl essay writing

Make essay writing more exciting by including the big game. Ask students to think about the question: “What does it take to be great at football?” Use the articles included to find evidence to support a claim. Then use the explainer video to discover how to weave textual evidence into an essay. Turn students’ essays into a debate by having them present arguments and make claims in groups about why certain qualities or circumstances make someone great at football.

Get the history of the Super Bowl with Newsela Social Studies

Look back at what makes the Super Bowl one of the can’t-miss sporting events of the year and some of the most interesting moments from recent matchups:

  • Get the recaps of Super Bowl LVI and LVII and have your students make predictions about who could win Super Bowl LVIII.

  • Discover how the Super Bowl’s halftime show became just as popular as—if not more popular than—the game itself.

  • Read about the introduction of the forward pass into American football and how it transformed the game into the sport we know today.

Host a reading Super Bowl in your classroom

Bring the big game right to your classroom with the Newsela Independent Reading Challenge! This monthly, gamified event encourages students to practice literacy skills on their own by reading about topics that interest them. Students can earn badges and tokens for completing the associated quiz and Power Words activities on articles included in the challenge. 

Want to learn more about the Independent Reading Challenge and other great features debuting this winter on Newsela + Formative? Check out our blog post to get a sneak preview of all the new things you can do with our premium subject products.

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