Good sportsmanship in Pre-First
In our recent Pre-First classroom lessons, the students learned about and demonstrated good sportsmanship. We watched a short video/animated book on https://wedolisten.org called “Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about Sportsmanship” in which Howard initially displays terrible sportsmanship. He cheats in a card game, calls his teammates ugly names when they make mistakes, talks back to his soccer coach, and trips another runner in a relay. Yikes! Also, he thinks that winning is the most important part of the game. He’s dissatisfied with anything but a first place trophy. Howard’s negative attitude and behavior affects his teammates. The students and I agreed that we wouldn’t want to be on a team with a kid like Howard.
Howard’s soccer coach sits him out of the game, and Howard sees his teammates having a great time when he’s not playing. They treat everyone with respect, share the ball, and have fun. Finally, he realizes he has displayed bad sportsmanship and vows to turn things around. Coach allows him to rejoin the game, and Howard shares the ball and accepts the team’s second place trophy with a positive attitude. A happy ending!
After the video, we reviewed Howard’s tips for sportsmanship and what a good team player does.
To put their sportsmanship skills into action, students engaged in games during a follow-up lesson. Some of the games we played were horseshoes, block tower building, and ball relays. Students also practiced high-fiving opposing teams. For some students, it was challenging to discern how much to cheer for their own team before it sounded like bragging. “We shouldn’t say our team is the best,” offered one Pre-First girl, “because then how would the other team feel?” Sportsmanship and empathy at work!