Innovation: Tools of the Trade

Baseball has been part of United States history for more than 150 years. Technological factors, economic resources, concern for safety and protection, and growing expectations have resulted in changes to equipment and the game. In this unit, students explore how equipment has made the game and mirrored important developments in history and industry. They will exercise their observation and reasoning skills, and put their creativity to the test as they design the next generation of baseball's tools of the trade.

Thematic Unit Objective

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Examine historical artifacts and modern-day baseball equipment.

Analyze, through dialog and discussion, the physical characteristics of equipment; compare and contrast similarities and differences.

Understand how factors of change that operate in society at large have led to advances in baseball equipment and the evolving nature of the game itself.

I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

Yogi Berra

Rookie (Grades 3-5)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Right Off the Bat: Getting to Know Baseball

Based on their prior knowledge, students will either review or be introduced to the game of baseball.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Simple Machines at the Ballgame

Students review the six different simple machines, and explain how they make work easier.

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Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit): Playing in Style: Uniforms

Students analyze the messages and symbolism of different elements of a baseball jersey.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit

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

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Lesson 5 (Post-Visit): Equipment Design Triple Play

Students will review what they learned about equipment during their experience with the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Intermediate (Grades 6-8)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Simple Machines at the Ballgame

Students identify the six different simple machines, and explain how they make work easier.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Build a Better Baseball

Students experiment to learn how design impacts performance.

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Lesson 3: (Pre-Visit): Beanball: The Value of Helmets

Students examine the design of a batting helmet and the principles of physics governing the helmet's ability to protect a player.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit

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

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Lesson 5: (Post-Visit): The Tools of Sports Safety

Students will research safety equipment used by a variety of different sports.

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Advanced (Grades 9-12)

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Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit): Design & Innovation: Green Ballparks

Ballparks are a fundamental tool for the game of baseball. Students learn about aspects of sustainable architecture as they examine case studies of two "green" stadiums.

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Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit): Build a Better Baseball

Students experiment to learn how design impacts performance.

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Lesson 3: On-Site Visit

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

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Lesson 4: (Post-Visit): The Tools of Sports Safety

Students will research safety equipment used by a variety of different sports.

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Common Core Standards

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CCSS ELA CONTENT: W.3.8/4.8/5.8, SL.3.1/4.1/5.1
MCREL STANDARDS: Technology.Level 2.Standards 3,4,6