The Sandlot - A Social Skills Lesson on Baseball

01
of 03

"The Sandlot" - a Lesson in Making Friends

The movie, the Sandlot. Twentieth Century Fox

Day One

Introduction:

As spring comes around, the baseball season is beginning and our students may be interested in what's happening at the local stadium. If they are not, then maybe they should, since professional baseball is a significant part of American popular culture. This lesson uses an excellent movie about friendship to help students talk about making friends and developing character.

As the season opener falls in the first or second week of April, this is a good opportunity to use a common interest with review of the social skills that you have been teaching, especially making requests,  and initiating interactions with groups. The first two days will include Social Skills Cartoon Strips to use as part of the lesson.

WARNING: Some of the language may be offensive, though certainly not "authentic" for the 60's (I may have a romanticized notion, but still . . . ) Be sure that your families or students are not easily offended, or this might not be a good choice. I made sure my students know which words I do not want to hear repeated.

Purpose

The purpose of this particular lesson is to:

  • Discuss the meaning of friendship.
  • Discuss initiating conversations and joining play with peers.
  • Practice in approaching and initiating interaction with a group of age peers.

Age Group:

Intermediate grades to middle school (9 to 14)

Objectives

  • Students will identify traits of friends.
  • Students will identify the feelings of the protagonist (Scotty Small)
  • Students will evaluate how peers treat each other

Standards

Social Studies Kindergarten 1.

History 1.0 - People, Cultures, and Civilizations - Students understand the development, characteristics, and interaction of people, cultures, societies, religion, and ideas.

  • First Grade: H1.1.2 Listen to stories that reflect the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, and traditions of the varied cultures in the neighborhood.
  • Second Grade: H1.2.2 Use artifacts to understand how people lived their daily lives.

Materials

Procedure

  1. View the first 20 minutes of the movie. The movie introduces 10-year-old Scotty, who has moved to a community in the Central Valley of California with his stepfather and mother. He is a "geeky brainiac" who is trying not only to make friends but also find his place in the world. He is invited by his neighbor Ben to join his sandlot baseball team, despite the fact that Scotty definitely does not have the skills he needs. He meets the other members of the team, is successful at his first attempt and begins to learn not only to play baseball but to share the rituals of this small clan of pre-teen boys.
  2. Stop the DVD occasionally to ask your students why the boys do certain things.
  3. Make predictions as a group: Will Scotty learn to play better? Will Ben continue to be Scotty's friend? Will the other boys accept Scotty?
  4. Hand out the Social Skills Cartoon Strip for initiating entering a baseball game. Model how to initiate with the model Cartoon, and then solicit responses for the balloons.

Evaluation

Have your students role play their Social Skills Cartoon Strip interaction.

02
of 03

"The Sandlot" and Growing Up

Play ball!. Websterlearning

Day Two

Purpose

The purpose of this particular lesson is to use the typical peer group that is both the baseball team and a circle of friends to discuss typical issues surrounding growing up, specifically interacting with girls and bad choices (in this case, chewing tobacco.) Like the other ​social skills cartoon strips, this lesson provides a cartoon strip that you can use in a variety of ways.

Age Group:

Intermediate grades to middle school (9 to 14)

Objectives

  • Students will identify appropriate and inappropriate ways to approach the opposite sex.
  • Students will identify peer pressure and poor choices friends sometimes encourage us to make.
  • Students will write and roleplay approaching and interacting appropriately with a peer of the opposite sex.

Standards

Social Studies Kindergarten 1.

History 1.0 - People, Cultures, and Civilizations Students understand the development, characteristics, and interaction of people, cultures, societies, religion, and ideas.

  • First Grade: H1.1.2 Listen to stories that reflect the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, and traditions of the varied cultures in the neighborhood.
  • Second Grade: H1.2.2 Use artifacts to understand how people lived their daily lives.

Materials

Procedure

  1. Review the story line so far. Who are the characters? How did the other boys first accept Scotty? How does Scotty feel about his stepfather?
  2. View the next 30 minutes of the film. Stop frequently. Do you think "the beast" is really as dangerous as you thought?
  3. Stop the movie after "Squints" jumps into the pool and is rescued by the lifeguard. Was there a better way to get her attention? How do you let a girl you like know that you like her?
  4. Stop the movie after the chewing tobacco episode: Why did they chew the chewing tobacco? What kinds of bad choices do our friends try to get us to try? What is "peer pressure?"
  5. Walk through the model Social Skills Cartoon Strip Interaction for interacting with the opposite sex. Model a conversation, and have your students write their own dialog in the bubbles: Try several purposes, i.e. 1) getting acquainted, 2) asking her to do something to build a relationship, such as go for an ice cream cone or walk to school or 3) go "out," either with a group of friends or together to a movie.

Evaluation

Have students role play the Social Skill Cartoon Strip interaction they have written.

03
of 03

The Sandlot and Problem Solving.

The "gang" from the "Sandlot". Twentieth Century Fox

Day 3

The movie "The Sandlot" comes in three parts: One where Scotty Smalls successfully enters the peer group of the Sandlot baseball team, the second where the boys learn and share some experiences of growing up, such as "Squints" kissing Wendy, the lifeguard, chewing tobacco and taking on the challenge of a "better funded" baseball team. This lesson will focus on the issue presented by the third part of the movie, which focuses on the fact that Scotty appropriated his stepfather's Babe Ruth ball to play baseball, which ends up in the possession of "the beast." As well as dealing with the theme "You can't judge a book by its cover" this section also displays problem-solving strategies, strategies that students with disabilities (and many typical children) fail to develop on their own. "Problem Solving" is an important social skill, especially collaborative problem solving

Purpose

The purpose of this particular lesson is to model a problem-solving strategy and have students use that strategy together in a "mock" situation, hoping it will help them in real problem solving situations.

Age Group:

Intermediate grades to middle school (9 to 14)

Objectives

  • Students will identify the problem solving solutions the "Sandlot" boys used to recover the Babe Ruth Baseball.
  • Students will explain the terms collaborationproblem solving, and compromise.

Standards

Social Studies Kindergarten 1.

History 1.0 - People, Cultures, and Civilizations - Students understand the development, characteristics, and interaction of people, cultures, societies, religion, and ideas.

  • First Grade: H1.1.2 Listen to stories that reflect the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, and traditions of the varied cultures in the neighborhood.
  • Second Grade: H1.2.2 Use artifacts to understand how people lived their daily lives.

Materials

  • DVD of The Sandlot
  • Television, DVD player, or computer and digital projector.
  • Chart Paper and markers.

Procedure

  1. Review what you have seen in the movie so far. Identify "roles:" Who is the leader? Who is funny? Who is the best hitter?
  2. Set up the loss of the baseball: What was Scotty's relationship with his stepfather like? How did Scotty know that baseball was important to his stepfather? (He has a lot of memorabilia in his "den.")
  3. View the movie.
  4. List the different ways that the boys attempted to get the ball back. End with the successful way (talking to the owner of Hercules.)
  5. Establish which was the easiest way to solve the problem. What were some considerations? (Was the owner mean, was Hercules really deadly? How would Scotty's stepfather feel if the ball wasn't returned?)
  6. As a class , brainstorm how to solve one of these problems:
  • The baseball team needs $120 to enter a tournament. Their parents don't have the money. How will they get it?
  • You need two more people for your baseball team. How can you find them?
  • You accidentally a really big picture window at a neighbor's house. How are you going to take care of that?
  • After ranking the solutions from best (most positive effect on the most people.) Make a list of the steps you need to finally resolve the problem.
  • Higher functioning classes: Break the class into groups of 4 to 6 and give each group to solve.

Evaluation

Have your students present the solutions they came up to the problem.

Put a problem that you didn't solve together as a group on the board and have each student write a possible way to solve the problem. Remember that brainstorming doesn't involve evaluating the solution. If a student suggests "blowing up the ball park with an atomic bomb," don't go ballistic. It may actually be a fairly creative though less desirable solution to many problems (cutting the grass, paying the maintenance staff salaries, giant tomatoes . . . )

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Your Citation
Webster, Jerry. "The Sandlot - A Social Skills Lesson on Baseball." ThoughtCo, May. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-sandlot-social-skills-lesson-baseball-3110731. Webster, Jerry. (2017, May 28). The Sandlot - A Social Skills Lesson on Baseball. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-sandlot-social-skills-lesson-baseball-3110731 Webster, Jerry. "The Sandlot - A Social Skills Lesson on Baseball." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-sandlot-social-skills-lesson-baseball-3110731 (accessed January 16, 2018).