Engagement,  Math,  Science

4 March Madness Activities for Your Classroom

March Madness Activities

March Madness – also known as a college basketball fan’s favorite time of the year! Personally, I’m not much into college sports, so March Madness doesn’t mean anything to me. However, I’m a big fan of working seasonal themes into my lessons, so of course I always add in some March Madness activities with my students!

If you’re looking to do the same, here are some ideas I’ve compiled for how you can work March Madness into your lesson plans this month.

March Madness Math Activities

Math Madness

March Madness is perhaps best known for its tournament bracket. Every year, people challenge themselves to choose the winning teams from each bracket. Why not challenge your students to do the same?

March Madness activities for math

I’ve enjoyed using this free Math Madness game with my students where they must choose the winning equation (which yields the highest answer) from a series of other equations. My challenge to them is to NOT actually solve the problem, but instead use number sense and place value to estimate which answer would be higher and fill in their bracket accordingly. Of course, use this however you want – but either way, it’s a fun challenge!

Graphing Data

If you have access to a basketball hoop, it might be fun to have a little hoops competition and track and graph the data! Each student could shoot 10 times and then graph the number they got versus missed. Or, divide into teams and graph by team. If you don’t have an actual basketball hoop to play with, you could play trashketball as an alternative.

Other March Madness School Activities

Basketball STEM Challenge

Have students get creative by designing their very own basketball hoop! Using a cup, a notecard, and popsicle sticks, challenge students to build a functioning basketball hoop. Take it a step further and have them also design a basketball launcher (using popsicle sticks, a spoon, and rubber bands). Then, they can try to shoot their “basketball” (something small and round) into their hoop! (For more March Madness themed STEM challenges, click here).

Favorite Book Brackets

Since I am a math teacher, I have not personally done this, but I have seen so many other teachers do it and love the idea! Create a March Madness style bracket for various books that you have read, and have students vote on which ones are their favorites. Each day, read the two books that are facing off aloud to the class and then have students vote for their favorite. The winning books will advance to the next round with a new opponent. Repeat until you have found the class’s favorite read aloud!

For more information about how to do a March Madness book tournament, check out this post from Rhody Girl Resources.

Don’t teach reading? Think about how else you can incorporate this idea to fit in better with what you teach. It could be as simple as doing favorite color, and showing the results on a bar graph as you go to tie it into math.

How do you incorporate March Madness Activities into your classroom? I’d love to hear your ideas – share them with me in the comments below!


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