Geography: Baseball Coast to Coast

Since the days of players traveling by train to get from stadium to stadium, geography has always played an important role in professional baseball. Where are baseball teams established and why? How do people and the physical environment influence the game? In this unit, students will explore these questions and more through map work, research, and creative activities. They will work both independently and collaboratively to learn about geographical concepts such as location, population, and culture.

Thematic Unit Objective

To the top

Analyze maps to determine aspects of location and place.

Calculate population density and recognize the impact of population on an area.

Understand the concept of culture and be able to identify aspects of cultural geography.

Appreciate and understand the role of geography in professional baseball.

The major leagues "must be extended from coast to coast, from north to south."

Ford Frick, Commissioner of Baseball 1951 - 1965

Rookie (Grades 3-5)

To the top
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Safe at Home: Location and Baseball

Students will be introduced to latitude and longitude coordinates and learn how to use them to find a given location.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): If You Build It, They Will Come: Population and Baseball

Students will recognize, calculate, and understand the impact of population and population density.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): Hey Getcha…Sushi?: The Cultural Geography of Baseball

Students will explore the differences between baseball teams and stadiums in various regions to understand the concept of culture and how it influences the teams.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

Book your On-Site Field Trip or Virtual Field Trip


Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): Called Up to the Majors: Your Team!

Students will work collaboratively on a creative project to demonstrate their understanding of physical and cultural geography as it relates to baseball.

Download Full Lesson Plan

Intermediate (Grades 6-8)

To the top
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Safe at Home: Location and Baseball

Students will review the concepts of latitude, longitude, weather, and climate.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Road Trip! Baseball on the Move

Students will explore how changes in transportation technology throughout the twentieth century affected professional baseball teams.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): Hey Getcha…Sushi? The Cultural Geography of Baseball

Students will explore the differences between baseball teams and stadiums in various regions to understand the concept of culture and how it influences the teams.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

Book your On-site Field Trip or Virtual Field Trip


Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): Called Up to the Majors: Your Team!

Students will work collaboratively on a creative project to demonstrate their understanding of physical and cultural geography as it relates to baseball.

Download Full Lesson Plan

Advanced (Grades 9-12)

To the top
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Safe at Home: The Ballparks of Baseball

Ballparks are often referred to as "sacred grounds." In this lesson, students explore ballparks from all eras of baseball history looking for ways in which ballpark design has changed over time.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Road Trip! Baseball on the Move

Students will explore how changes in transportation technology throughout the twentieth century affected professional baseball teams.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): "Hey Getcha...Sushi?" The Cultural Geography of Baseball

Students will explore the idea that the food sold at a team's ballpark is an important part of cultural expression.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 4: On-Site Visit or Virtual Field Trip

Students will work with museum teachers to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the classroom.

Book your On-Site Field Trip or Virtual Field Trip


Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): The Dodger Debate

A team's re-location affects many people. In this lesson, students learn about the stakeholders involved in team re-location controversies.

Download Full Lesson Plan

Common Core Standards

To the top

CCSS ELA CONTENT: SL.3.1/4.1/5.1, SL.3.4/4.4/5.4
MCREL STANDARDS: Geography.Level 2.Standards 1,2,3,4,5,6