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Engage Students with Sports Through Articles on the NBA, Indy 500, and Muhammad Ali

Posted on October 30 2022

Engage Students with Sports Through Articles on the NBA, Indy 500, and Muhammad Ali


Dear Educator,

Given that many students play sports themselves or follow various sports as a hobby, providing articles on topics in sports encourages student interest in reading. Students often do not encounter enough material that is of interest to them, composed with writing geared for their skill level. In addition, many sports figures serve as role models to students. Muhammad Ali is an excellent example of a role model, and we have a biography about him that explains why. This week we also look at the NBA and the NFL—or professional basketball and American football, respectively. Lastly, we focus on math as it relates to the Indy 500, which has the largest audience for a single-day sporting event in the world. At Maps101, we provide weekly articles to enhance student engagement by featuring articles of interest to them. Without further delay, let’s wave the green flag and get going!

There is big money in professional sports, and the National Basketball Association, or NBA, is no exception. With money at play, sometimes politics are involved. In this case, a tweet from the general manager of an NBA team caught the attention of China, leading to political challenges and economic consequences. This article is a great way to illustrate how globalization affects society, through the lens of sports.

Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2020. Bryant was a star basketball player in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. This biography of Bryant delves into his career, which lasted for 20 seasons. Bryant embodied the mental and physical focus that makes a great athlete. He worked very hard at developing his skills and always strove to improve his game. Students will no doubt benefit from the primary source quotes Bryant spoke about himself.


Born as Cassius Clay, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was not only one of the greatest—if not THE greatest—boxer ever. He was also extremely charismatic and principled. He converted to Islam and changed his name. Ali refused to fight in Vietnam, due to his religious beliefs. And as a result, he was barred from fighting during the prime years of his life. Yet, he stuck to his principles. Have students learn more about one of the 20th century’s best-known, and respected, sports figures.


American football—as opposed to football in the rest of the world, which is what we call soccer—is the most popular sport in the U.S. The National Football League (NFL) turned 100 in 2020. This article discusses the history of the NFL. The accompanying map shows the 10 largest football stadiums in the U.S. Do your students follow professional football? If so, which is their favorite team?


Football quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time. Brady spent most of his career playing for the New England Patriots. Brady is still playing professional football, despite being 45 years old. Students will find out all about Brady in this exclusive GNN biography.


Professional football players often developed their skills while playing football in college. In fact, some people prefer following college football and not the NFL. At the end of the college football season, teams may earn a spot in a bowl game. This article explores more about these end-of-season games that have been around for decades and which often include pageantry or traditions people look forward to every year. For example, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, is accompanied by the Parade of Roses—a parade in which the floats are all decorated with flowers.


The Indianapolis 500, or Indy 500 for short, is held over Memorial Day weekend. Around 350,000 people attend the event, making it the largest, single-day sporting event in the world. The cars are specially designed, with an open cockpit. This article focuses on the numbers involved in the race—delving deeper into sports allows students to see how math can be applied in the real world.


We hope you have enjoyed this mini-sample of Maps101 that focuses on a variety of sports. The featured resources above will give you an idea of the type of content available with your subscription. We hope your weekly tour of topics in the GeoJournal helps not just inform you of themes you can focus on throughout the year, but that it also draws your attention to content you may not have realized is available. Happy hunting for more content that benefits your class this school year. And don’t forget to favorite to save what you use often for easy access.

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