Is Baseball Really Cricket?

Is Baseball Really Cricket?
Martha Jefferson: Sports and Popular Culture

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: One or two class periods


Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 1
Culture
NCTE Standard 1
Students read fiction, nonfiction, classic, and contemporary works to acquire information for various purposes.
NCTE Standard 4
Students adjust the use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate with different audiences and purposes.
NCTE Standard 7
Students conduct research by generating ideas, questions, and problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data.
NCTE Standard 8
Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.
ISTE Standard 5
Technology research tools

Introduction:

Many sports and games are clearly identified with a particular social class.  However, in the case of cricket in England and baseball in the United States, nothing could be further from the truth!  Each sport is the national pastime of its respective country, enjoyed by all classes, and the two sports are often compared.  But is that “cricket?”  Is baseball “just like cricket?”  The popularity of this sport in England is attested to by the creation of the first and most influential cricket club in the 1760s, during the lifetime of Martha Jefferson.

Objectives:

The purpose of this lesson is the development of both research skills and the skills of research presentation.  The sports related topic is one of interest to many students.  Students can study baseball, softball, and cricket and try their hands at all three sports.  However, the comparison of the three will call for careful planning on their part as will the explanation of the game, rules, and roles of players in each individual game.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet.  Access to print reference materials.

Procedures:

1.  Begin the lesson by ascertaining the number of students who are familiar with Cricket as a game.  If you are able to secure video/film of a cricket match, you might play it without commenting on the sport.
 
2.  Ask students to describe what they have seen or know about the game of cricket.  Note that it is often compared with baseball and softball.Divide the students into 4 groups and assign the following topics for research:
  • History of cricket and the cricket clubs
  • Rules of the game of cricket including roles of players
  • Rules of baseball including roles of players
  • Rules of softball including roles of players

3.  Each group prepares their presentation of the findings and presents to the whole class.  Then each group leads the class in the enactment of a cricket match, a softball game, and a baseball game.

Extending the Lesson:

It is possible that you would prefer to have each group write a report rather than have a full presentation; however, some “sharing out” is recommended so that all students have the benefit of each group’s research, especially the group working with the history of the game and the growth of cricket clubs.

Sources & Resources:

Websites:    

         History of Cricket 

         More History of Cricket  

         History of Baseball

         History of Softball

Credits:

This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.