This collection of lessons and commentaries--from established teachers, teacher educators, scholars, and authors--and its companion website provide numerous resources that support teachers in developing students’ contemporary literacies through sports.

Companion Website

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Love them or loathe them, the prominence of sports in schools and society is undeniable. The emphasis on sports culture presents teachers with countless possibilities for engaging students in the English language arts. Whether appealing to students’ passion for sports to advance literacy practices or inviting students to reconsider normalized views by examining sports culture through a critical lens, teachers can make sports a pedagogical ally.

This book, a collection of lessons and commentaries from established teachers, teacher educators, scholars, and authors, will support teachers in turning students’ extracurricular interests into legitimate options for academic study. With seven interrelated sections—facilitating literature study, providing alternatives to traditional novels, teaching writing, engaging students in inquiry and research, fostering media and digital literacies, promoting social justice, and developing out-of-school literacies—this collection and its companion website provide numerous resources that support teachers in developing students’ contemporary literacies through sports.

Each section includes (1) four lesson plans written by practicing English teachers and teacher educators that focus on a specific topic and/or method of instruction; (2) a brief introduction from a leading scholar in the field of English education, including Wendy Glenn, Chris Crowe, Joan F. Mitchell, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Carl A. Young, Lisa Scherff, and Thomas Newkirk; and (3) a closing “author connection” in which contemporary authors of sports-related young adult literature—Alan Lawrence Sitomer, Ann E. Burg, Chris Lynch, Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace, Lisa Luedeke, Bill Konigsberg, and Chris Crutcher—offer reflections on and connections to the ongoing conversations.

In giving voice to so many literacy educators and authors, including forewords by English teacher educator Peter Smagorinsky and acclaimed sports journalist and fiction and nonfiction writer Robert Lipsyte, as well as an afterword by professor emeritus Joseph O. Milner, editors Alan Brown and Luke Rodesiler have made a giant first step in their call to make public the practice of promoting critical sports literacy as a way of reaching all students in the middle and high school classroom.

253 pp. 2016. Grades 6–12.