There are several sports that are popular in many areas of the world.
Football is not one of them. Still, with Super Bowl Sunday coming up your students will still have fun with these fun activities that get them thinking and talking about the big game!
Try These 10 ESL Activities for the Super Bowl
Explain the Game
Since most of your students, if not all, have not grown up in the USA, they probably do not understand the game of football. Bringing in a guest speaker is a perfect way to challenge your students’ listening skills as well as give them information about the less than familiar game. Ask a local student who also plays football or a football coach from your school or a nearby school to come and explain the game to your class, and then give your students a chance to ask questions. You may want to have some game clips ready to play for illustration as well!
Ride the Road
Each year, the NFL puts together a documentary, which usually airs just before the Super Bowl, called “The Road to the Super Bowl.” It explains how each of the teams came through their seasons to reach the big game. Why not give your students a treat by showing them the documentary? If you can, watch it live. If you cannot, just show the program for a previous year. Then ask your students if they can explain how a team makes it to the Super Bowl and how they progress through the football season.
Take a Trip to Canton
If you are lucky enough to teach near Canton, OH brave the crowds with a field trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Since most classes would not be able to take such a trip, travel through cyber space :) and explore the museum’s web site. Allow your students to explore and then ask them to share some interesting facts they learned and what they enjoyed most about the “trip.”
Play Some Paper Football
You may not want to bring your class out into the chilly weather with an oblong ball they may never have held before, but that does not mean that you cannot play football with your class. Have them read the instructions for playing paper football, a favorite past time of many students in study hall. This web site explains how to fold the ball and how to score points. After everyone has read the information and folded their balls, let pairs of students play the game on their desks. You may even want to hold a tournament and see which of your students has the best paper ball skill.
Create Your Own Fantasy Team
A popular hobby among sports fans today is to create fantasy football teams. To create a fantasy team, a person chooses players from many different teams and uses their real game statistics to put together a fantasy game score. Have your students put together their own fantasy teams. They can be in football, for a business or company, for a dinner party or any other group activity. Your students can have members that are both living and dead for their fantasy event. Then have each person share with another student what his fantasy team is like and why he chose the people that he did.
Take a Survey
Just how many people know the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl? Are most people in your city sports fans? Which team is most popular in your area? For the answers to these and other questions that your class writes, create a Super Survey and ask people in public to take the survey. This will give your students conversation practice as well as educate them on America’s sport and its popularity in their area.
Play Your Own Game
With football as inspiration, have groups of students work together to create their own games. Challenge the groups to include one element of football – the ball, the field or the goal posts – and come up with a unique way to play. Then have each team present their game to the rest of the class, explaining the rules and how they integrated the piece of football’s equipment.
NFL Play 60
The NFL is encouraging kids to play sixty minutes each day with their NFL Play 60 advertising campaign in hopes of improving the general health of America. Have a little brainstorming fun with your class and think up all the ways you could play or exercise for 60 minutes. Challenge yourselves to come up with at least 60 ways to get your 60 in each day.
Cheer On the Team
What better way is there to support your team than to cheer? Your students can view some popular football cheers at teamcheers.com. Play some of the cheers for your class so they can get a general feel for cheers and how they are performed. Then challenge groups of students to write and perform their own cheers in front of the class. Your students will have to focus on rhythm and rhyme, and the rest of the class is sure to get a kick out of each performance!
And Now a Word From Our Sponsor
Even if viewers are not interested in the game on Super Bowl Sunday, they just might be watching for the commercials. The Super Bowl attracts some of the highest quality commercials that also have great entertainment value. You can watch last year’s commercials as well as those from previous years online. You may want to watch these commercials in your class for listening practice or just for fun. Even if you don’t watch the game, these mini films just might make your day!
You do not have to know a lot about football to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.
The near holiday status of the day in the United States affords many activities you can do with your ESL class, both for language development and for fun. So pick a team this year and cheer them on, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself in the process!