Introduce your students to the incredible life and legacy of Jackie Robinson with our collection of 22 inspiring activities. We’ve dived into the world of this trailblazing sports legend and explored his impact on civil rights and baseball. Get ready for an exciting journey filled with interactive and engaging experiences that are sure to inspire your students. From creative projects to thought-provoking discussions, these activities will bring Jackie Robinson’s story to life and foster important lessons about courage, perseverance, and equality.
1. Breaking Barriers Collage
Start your Jackie Robinson adventure with a creative collage activity! Prompt your students to gather images, quotes, and symbols that represent the barriers Jackie Robinson broke throughout his life and career. They can arrange and glue them onto a poster board; capturing the essence of his achievements and the challenges he overcame.
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2. Game Changer Timeline
Bring history to life with a dynamic timeline activity! Get your learners to research key events in Jackie Robinson’s life and create a timeline that showcases his accomplishments. They can use drawings, captions, or even small sketches to highlight important moments. Encourage them to then discuss the significance of each event and its impact on sports and civil rights.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
3. In Their Shoes
Let’s develop empathy and perspective-taking skills with this engaging activity! Prompt your learners to imagine themselves in Jackie Robinson’s shoes during his pioneering days in baseball. They can write journal entries or create short skits that express Jackie’s thoughts, emotions, and challenges.
Learn More: Society for American Baseball Research
4. Courageous Quotes
Inspire your students with powerful words! Provide a selection of quotes from Jackie Robinson and other civil rights leaders. Students will choose a quote that resonates with them and create artwork or posters to showcase the quote’s meaning. Encourage them to discuss the relevance of the quote in their own lives and society today.
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5. Field of Dreams
Let’s bring the spirit shared in the beloved game of baseball into the classroom! Using art supplies or a digital design tool, learners can create their own mini baseball fields. They can incorporate elements that represent Jackie Robinson’s impact on the game such as his jersey number or team logos. This activity combines art and sports to celebrate Jackie’s contributions to baseball history.
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6. Legends of Equality
Encourage teamwork and collaboration with this group activity! Divide students into small groups and assign each group a civil rights leader, including Jackie Robinson. They’ll research the assigned leader’s achievements and create a presentation or skit to showcase their impact. Students will learn about different leaders and recognize the collective effort in advancing equality.
Learn More: Slide Player
7. Breaking News Report
Let’s ignite the journalist within your students! They’ll imagine they are reporters covering Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier in baseball. They can either create news reports, newspaper articles, or video broadcasts capturing the significance of this historic event. Encourage them to explore different angles and perspectives to present a well-rounded account.
Learn More: Rare News Paper
8. Character Collage
Through this activity, students will learn about the importance of integrity, resilience, and determination. Students will identify and discuss the qualities that made Jackie Robinson an influential figure. In doing so, they’ll create collages using images and words that represent those traits.
Learn More: Sports Museum
9. Jackie’s Jersey Design
Let’s unleash creativity with a design activity inspired by Jackie Robinson’s jersey! Get your students to imagine that they’re designers tasked with creating a new jersey honoring Jackie Robinson. They’ll need to sketch and color their own jersey design and incorporate symbols and elements that represent his legacy. Students can discuss their design choices and explain the meaning behind their artwork.
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10. Courageous Conversations
Engage your students in meaningful discussions about racial equality and social justice. Create a safe space for open dialogue where they can share their thoughts and reflections on Jackie Robinson’s experiences and the broader context of civil rights. Encourage them to express their opinions, ask questions, and listen to different perspectives.
Learn More: Access EAP
11. Baseball Card Showcase
Let’s combine sports and creativity with a baseball card activity! Give your learners a chance to design their own baseball cards that feature Jackie Robinson as the star player. They can include his statistics, achievements, and personal information. Encourage them to conduct research and include lesser-known facts about Jackie’s life to make their cards more interesting.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
12. Storytelling Time
Ignite the storyteller within your students by encouraging them to create narratives inspired by Jackie Robinson’s life. Students can write fictional stories, poems, or even songs that highlight the themes of courage, resilience, and breaking barriers. They can then share their creations with their peers; fostering creativity and appreciation for storytelling as a powerful tool for conveying messages of equality.
Learn More: Jackie Robinson Museum
13. Analysing a Jackie Robinson Letter
Promote empathy and understanding with a letter analysis activity. Students will need to analyze a letter written by Jackie about fair play and justice. They’ll reflect on the challenges he faced, the emotions he experienced, and the lessons he learned. This activity encourages students to connect with Jackie’s journey and gain a deeper understanding of the impact of his actions.
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14. Artistic Tribute
Unleash students’ artistic talents with an artistic tribute to Jackie Robinson. They can create portraits, sculptures, or mixed-media artwork that captures his spirit and legacy. Encourage them to use different art techniques and materials to express their creativity. Display their artwork in the classroom or organize an exhibition to showcase their incredible tributes to Jackie Robinson.
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15. Trivia Challenge
Test your students’ knowledge of Jackie Robinson with a fun and interactive trivia challenge. Create a list of questions about his life, achievements, and impact. Learners can participate individually or in teams; competing to see who can answer the most questions correctly.
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16. Community Project
This activity encourages students to connect Jackie’s legacy with tangible actions that promote positive change. Inspire your learners to make a difference in their community by organizing a community project in honor of Jackie Robinson. They can participate in a neighborhood cleanup, create care packages for local shelters, or organize a fundraising event for a cause related to equality and social justice.
Learn More: The New York Times
17. Film Screening and Discussion
Host a screening of a Jackie Robinson documentary or biographical film, followed by a guided discussion. Encourage students to share their thoughts, emotions, and reflections on Jackie’s story. Discuss the significance of his achievements and the ongoing relevance of his legacy.
Learn More: PBS
18. Sportsmanship Pledge
Emphasize the values of sportsmanship and fair play through a pledge inspired by Jackie Robinson. Students can create their own sportsmanship pledge, outlining the principles they will uphold in sports and in life. They can decorate their pledges and display them in the classroom as a reminder of the importance of integrity and respect in all aspects of their lives.
Learn More: Studocu
19. Team Spirit Day
Create a team spirit day dedicated to Jackie Robinson and his legacy. Encourage students to dress up in their favorite sports team’s attire or wear clothing inspired by Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Organize fun sports-related games and activities that promote teamwork and inclusivity. This activity celebrates Jackie’s impact on sports and encourages students to embrace the values of unity and diversity.
Learn More: MLB
20. Living Legends Panel
Invite guest speakers who have personally experienced or worked in the field of civil rights and equality to participate in a panel discussion with your students. Students can prepare questions to ask the panelists about their perspectives on Jackie Robinson’s impact and the ongoing fight for equality. This provides a platform for students to engage with real-life role models and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of social activism.
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21. The Power of Words
And this poem was written by Skyla Davis for the 7th-9th grade poetry contest. It's title: “Determination” pic.twitter.com/JOk8SeyURj— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 15, 2020
Explore the power of words with a poetry or spoken word activity inspired by Jackie Robinson’s story. Students can write and perform their own poems, using vivid imagery and powerful language to convey the impact of his journey. Encourage them to explore themes of equality, justice, and breaking barriers.
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22. Community Exhibition
Organize a community exhibition where students can showcase their projects, artwork, and writings inspired by Jackie Robinson. Invite parents, fellow students, and community members to attend the exhibition and celebrate the students’ accomplishments. This activity provides an opportunity for students to share their understanding of Jackie Robinson’s legacy and the lessons they have learned from his life.
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