written by John Coy
illustrated by Joe Morse
Carolrhoda Books, 2013
Isn’t that a brilliant title??Because who’s not going to identify with a desperate teacher or a rowdy gym class?
I worked with a latchkey before/after-school program for a year or two, and I remember gym time well. It was the kids’ favorite time–they could MOVE! But it was also a challenge to come up with games we could play that the kids loved but that wouldn’t end with broken bones. This was James Naismith’s dilemma, as well.
This brief picture book tells the cool story of one teacher determined to create a game that’s a good fit for the high school gym class nobody wants to teach. As Naismith tries different sports, the expressions on the kids’ faces are priceless, and the increasing number of bandages and slings will catch the eye of your students.
Based solely on the cover, I thought it was a longer picture book, and I kept putting it aside (well, virtually speaking, since I had an electronic review copy) for when I had more time. But it’s not long at all. It’s a fast read that will keep even your athletes engrossed for storytime.??It’s a great story, simply and effectively told.
Possible extension activities include:
- Write a poem about your favorite sport
- Write a how-to paragraph describing how to dribble a basketball to someone who has never done that–bring a basketball to class and follow each student’s directions very literally to see what happens
- Work in groups to create a new game and then teach it to the class
Roberta at Wrapped in Foil has the Nonfiction Monday roundup! Go learn something cool!
[electronic review copy of Hoop Genius provided by the publisher]