Popular Culture: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Baseball was part of popular culture as early as the 1850s, celebrated in song, story, and art. Today, baseball images and references are often a part of our everyday lives. In this unit, students analyze a variety of different types of popular culture from food to poetry to film. Each of these types of popular culture has been heavily influenced by baseball. Students will also be challenged to look at examples of popular culture from the past to determine what can be learned about baseball’s effect on everyday life during other time periods.

Thematic Unit Objective

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Recognize that the experience of a baseball game involves many aspects of popular culture including entertainment and food.

Understand descriptive language through analysis of film reviews and poetry.

Critically observe and describe objects.

Draw conclusions about the past through exploration of objects.

Baseball is our game, the American game. I connect it to our national character.

Walt Whitman, 1888

Rookie (Grades 3-5)

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Lesson 1: (Pre-Visit) Pop Culture of the Ballpark: Food

In this lesson, students will explore different regions of the United States and learn about how the culture of different regions is expressed through ballpark food.

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Lesson 2: (Pre-Visit) Step Up to the Plate for Ballpark Idioms

Students learn about idioms as they discover how different words and phrases related to baseball are also used in everyday English.

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Lesson 3: (Pre-Visit) “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” The Baseball Anthem

After listening to the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” students identify narrative elements (characters, setting, etc.) and re-tell the song’s plot sequence.

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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) Pop Culture of the Past

In this lesson, students will discover how museum curators use everyday objects to gather information.

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Intermediate (Grades 6-8)

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Lesson 1: (Pre-Visit) Pop Culture of the Ballpark: Food

Students learn about how the culture of different regions is expressed through ballpark food, and how the perception of ballpark food has changed over time.

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Lesson 2: (Pre-Visit) Step Up to the Plate for Ballpark Idioms

In this lesson, students will analyze several baseball poems, including “Casey at the Bat,” looking specifically for examples of poetic devices.

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Lesson 3: (Pre-Visit) “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” The Baseball Anthem

Baseball frequently appears in all kinds of movies. In this lesson, students will read and analyze movie reviews written by professional critics.

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Lesson 4: On-Site Visit

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

Book your field trip


Lesson 5: (Post-Visit) Pop Culture of the Past

In this lesson, students create an imaginary time capsule as they learn about the role of material culture in preserving history.

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Advanced (Grades 9-12)

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Lesson 1: (Pre-Visit) Pop Culture of the Ballpark: Food

In this lesson, students examine primary sources to learn more about conflicting opinions surrounding the use of Native American names and mascots in Major League Baseball.

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Lesson 2: (Pre-Visit) Step Up to the Plate for Ballpark Idioms

Popular music speaks volumes about baseball! In this lesson, students analyze music for such qualities as tone and mood.

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Lesson 3: (Pre-Visit) “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” The Baseball Anthem

In this lesson, students create an imaginary time capsule as they learn about the role of material culture in preserving history.

Download Full Lesson Plan


Lesson 4: On-Site Visit

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

Book your field trip


Lesson 5: (Post-Visit) Pop Culture of the Past

In this lesson, students examine baseball poems as they review the effective use of descriptive language.

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Common Core Standards

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Grades 6-8

CCSS ELA CONTENT: SL.6.1/7.1/8.1, SL.6.2/7.2/8.2,SL.6.4/7.4/8.4