Coach is a short, bur meaningful book about high school athletics written by Michael Lewis. It is a great introduction to a unit on high school sports. My class reads the book quietly in class. It usually takes 2 – 3 class periods. If you have a large enough library, you might consider bringing your students to read in this environment.
Since my class consists of students with a wide-range of reading abilities, I couple this activity with selecting an “outside reading book.” So if an advanced reader completes the book quickly, the student can spend some time selecting a book of personal interest from the school library. Once the book is selected the student can start reading.
With seniors, several times during the year, I try to incorporate writing personal letters. (You can click here to see some additional letter writing activities.)
Over the years, I have complied a list of quotations and writing prompts. (Even if students do not read book, there are many interesting writing prompts that can serve as the starting point for class discussion.)
Here is the first and most important writing prompt.
1. “There are teachers with the rare ability to enter a child’s mind. It’s as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever. I’d once had such a teacher. His name was Billy Fitzgerald” (page 12) Write the underlined words as the first sentence to your letter. Write a letter to a teacher / coach who has had the biggest impact on your life. Tell them what is going on in your life today, plans for next year, etc. Explain the activity and explain the influence the person has had on you. Describe the lessons you learned, the characteristics you like about the person, and the life long lessons you will take with you. TARGET GOAL: 1.25 – 2 pages. Show the teacher your finished letter (15 points)
After the students complete the letter, I have them include the following in an envelope. (The information for the envelope is saved in a word document – 4 to a page)
Letters of Appreciation
In my sports in society class, we read a book called Coach by Michael Lewis. In the early pages Lewis writes: “There are teachers with the rare ability to enter a child’s mind. It’s as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever.” I was asked to select a person who had such an impact on me. You are that person.
This is the first time my teacher completed this activity and we are looking for your feedback. We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and comments. Below is our contact information:
Teacher’s name Class
Town, State zip code
email: your email@example.com
In a future post I will share some of the feedback the class received from the recipients.