Matthew R. Stover
Bracket Your Classroom with March Madness Competition
Time for some bracketology with an old-school spin!
March Madness approaches, with its baller hype and court-side mentality. Brackets flutter through the hallways, with fierce competition and team swag coloring your classrooms. Instead of rolling your eyes at the distraction, jump on this annual trend with a tournament mentality in your classroom. What can you bracket?
Printing out a blank bracket can easily provide your classroom with endless possibilities for a faceoff mentality, especially when you combine your curriculum and source your students for a fierce defense. Try these ideas on for size:
History teachers can slot out faceoffs between the historical GOATs (Greatest Of All Time) and have kids defend the winners.
English teachers can put novels or characters into the mix, having kids defend their favorites or approach it from a literary criticism perspective.
Math teachers can give challenging problems, having the students able to solve each advance to the next round.
Art & Music teachers can slot in works by the same artist, or use different prints deemed as the prized pieces of the artistic canon.
Piggyback the actual March Madness bracket by pairing teams with elements of your curriculum to see which comes out on top.
You can also do an in-depth study of the inner-workings of bracketology, having teams look at the mathematical powers needed for an even competition. Then have your Seeding Committee look at the initial pairings and the regions in which they compete, studying the logic behind the regions and the initial placement and starting rankings.
Debate can come into play as well, with teams defending the works in the initial slots. Everyone could start defending one option, and then continually join forces with other members until we have a full-on class battle when you make it to the Elite 8 and Final Four.
If you’re looking for a whole-school activity, there are companies like LightSail Education that allows schools to take their platform for a test drive during their March Reading Madness. Roster your entire school and have them compete in their reading competition with kids from around the world!
No matter which way you use the March Madness mentality, you’re sure to catch your students’ interests and create a positive atmosphere for healthy competition