Football Season, Team Spirit, and Total Learning

Multi-Modal Community Building Activities

It’s football season!  How could we use the idea of football in Total Learning classrooms?  We certainly don’t want to encourage our kids to crash heads together, bully, or push and shove.  But we do want to capitalize on the characteristics of football that make it so appealing and motivating.  Here are some ideas:

  • There are football teams at each State University.  Use this opportunity to introduce the children to those universities by posting banners, and dividing students randomly into groups for team-building activities.
  • Post the University banners on a bulletin board, and follow the teams throughout the season, reading about the games in the newspaper, and posting the scores and make graphs.
  • Team members have numbers on their shirts and helmets.  Get masking tape, and have children choose a different number for themselves every day.  Have them work together to put their number on the front of their shirt.  Have them address one another by that number.  If the number is on the back, they could trace each others’ numbers.  It’s a great way to learn how numbers work!
  • Football has a scoring system that awards different numbers of points for different ways to achieve the goal.  What point system could you use to move students toward a goal in different ways?  Could they help construct the point system, and thereby understand what the goal is and ways to achieve it?
  • Write letters or send an e-mail to a team.  What will you say?  Will you let them know you’re following them, and encourage them to do well?  Will you give them advice?  Will you write a cheer for them, and make a video?  Will you ask them for advice to stay healthy and physically fit?
  • Your classroom is a team, and teams have symbols such as mascots, logos, slogans, cheers, songs, and goals.  Create a team name, set goals, and create the symbols that encourage success.
  • Football is a team sport with rules.  Everyone has to work together to succeed.  Identify the rules that are going to help everyone in your classroom succeed by working together.  Encourage children to work together and help one another. Some community/team building activities are attached.  They are also in the Start Here Additional Resources on the Total Learning Digital website.


Whatever your students are interested in, whether football or not, connecting student learning to their lives and passions makes learning more effective.  Go team!