When I picked this book for our book club last August I didn’t realize that it was the day after Jackie Robinson Day. It worked out great! Also, some of the kids had learned about Jackie Robinson in school that day so there was a lot of discussion about him.
In A Big Day for Baseball Jack and Annie travel back to Brooklyn, New York in 1947 to be ball boys at a baseball game. The only thing they can’t figure out is why they were sent to this particular game and why it is such an important day.
15 – 20 minutes – book reading and discussion
I decided to read Chapter 4, “Foul Ball!” because it’s the chapter that mostly deals with the anger and hate that people felt towards Jackie Robinson. It was a good opportunity to talk to the kids about treating other people the way that they would want to be treated. Also, we were able to talk about resilience and overcoming difficulties. I found a couple of videos about Jackie Robinson and what kind of a person he was. One of my favorites was when one of his teammates talked about how much Jackie wasn’t accepted as a part of the team at first but after Jackie was turned away at a hotel it made a lot of them think differently about him.
15 – 20 minutes – activities
I had a little bit of a hard time coming up with some activities to go with the book. I usually like to have something where the kids have to work in teams to create something or something that gets them moving. I really wanted to focus on Jackie Robinson but I kept hitting a wall. So, I ended up purchasing some inflatable baseballs and put the kids in teams of 3. they had to keep the baseball in the air while I played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” when the music stopped they dropped the ball and had to run to the nearest base that I had set up around the room. For the most part they thought that it was a fun game. I did have one girl come up to me and tell me, “This game is weird.”
I found this really cute craft idea over on The Exhausted Mom and decided that we should make it. These were perfect. The supplies needed were minimal and the kids had fun making them. The only problem that I had was with the spray paint. For some reason, probably because it was cheap, the paint came out in big clumps (you know like that fake snow that you spray on the window during the winter), so they weren’t smooth. Lesson learned: Don’t buy cheap spray paint.
We ended with a drawing for next month’s book: High Tide in Hawaii