Three months ago we reviewed Maestro Classic’s Casey at The Bat. My children really enjoyed this album and are still listening to it. I thought that I would share with you some of the things that we did along with the album to enhance the children’s learning and understanding of the story and music.
Baseball really isn’t popular here in Northern Ireland at all. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it played whereas in Canada there we learned to play it in elementary school and I could watch recreational baseball games on any weekend from May to September within a 10 minute walk from home. It’s also very popular in Japan, though I didn’t go to any games as I was working during game hours.
Thus, our first challenge was to introduce the sport to the children.
We tried to watch a game on-line but between the time differences and black-out zones we weren’t successful seeing a full game, but we were able to watch some good highlights of the Toronto Blue Jays.
To get a better feel for the game I ordered a beginners bat and ball set for the children to use in the back garden. I thought it might be easier for Tristan and Kallista if they had the gizmo that pops a ball up for them to hit – but because they haven’t been used to this type of eye-hand coordination before it didn’t work so well. Now that a few weeks have passed and they’ve both improved, I’ve managed to get a wooden bat for £1, and Tristan is doing well with it.
I then had what I thought was a great idea and set the ball on top of a long cardboard tube for them to hit it off of….Just as I thought I was being clever I received an email from Carolyn of Wise Owl Factory . She had seen my Facebook message about teaching the kids baseball and she sent a very useful link on how to play T-Ball, which it turned out is what we were doing! The kids like to go out in nice weather and practice. Tristan more than Kallista, at the moment she prefers to either be a spectator or to retrieve the ball for Tristan to bat again. Unfortunately, that Youtube video has been removed, so we’re learning the rules here.
Kallista is learning her phonics so we printed out a baseball phonics slider from Kizclub and she enjoys using the slider to learn some “_all” words.
Before receiving the album to review we ordered Casey at The Bat to read on our tablet. We wanted to familiarise ourselves with it, and the photos were helpful to set the mood of the story. Some of the words are not used in modern everyday language anymore (the poem was written in 1888), so this gave us the opportunity to discuss new vocabulary.
Carolyn also shared this Casey At The Bat Disney video with us so the kids could listen to the poem and see some basic animation to go with it.
Tristan has been using a Base Word Pack from This Reading Mama. Though some of it is still a little difficult for him he’s certainly giving it a good try. We’ll bring this unit out again next June and by then he shouldn’t have any trouble with it. Living Montessori Now also has a round up of great baseball-themed ideas for kids’ learning.
We have had a couple of baseball days when we’ve immersed ourselves in all things baseball. We’ve played the game in the garden, had hot dogs for lunch and pretzels and popcorn for our snacks.
The kids have named their teams and designed shirts on paper for themselves. You can download your own uniforms to design from our ‘Design your own baseball uniform post”.
The children have really been having lots of fun learning about Casey at The Bat, Baseball, and other learning activities as well. Does your family enjoy baseball? If not, what is your sport of choice?
Why not have a look through our page of sports-themed activities?