Sunday, February 3, 2013

Library Football

 Give me an "R"! Give me an "E"! Give me an "A"! Give me a "D"! What's it spell?
Have your kids ever played library football? It's kind of like real football, except no tackling is allowed, and the Dewey Decimal System is an important part of the game! The week before the Super Bowl is when my 1st-5th graders play this totally loud but very fun game. Students are immediately greeted by marching band music and this guy when they come to the library for their lesson:

I have this awesome football field rug that comes out each year for the big event:

The kids get suited up in red and blue jerseys (courtesy of our P.E. coach) and the ref (yours truly) goes over the rules of the game, the most important of which is to quickly find a book that matches the Dewey Decimal number on a card.
Here's a sampling of the cards that students use during the game:

And here is a student finding a book to match his card. 

Once a match is made it has to be verified by the ref, and then a real football is moved down the field by the classroom teacher. 

A touchdown is worth 6 points, and the scoring team answers a question about something we've learned in the library to get the extra point.
When the game is over, students shake hands with the other team:

The kids LOVE this game--probably because it's the one time I tell them to be loud and run in the library! Something else they love is discovering books from the nonfiction section, especially sports books!

I am not brave enough (or crazy enough) to do this with kindergarten. Instead, I take this opportunity to compare nonfiction and fiction books. First I read them a simple nonfiction book about football and then we read "Little Granny Quarterback" by Bill Martin Jr.
Have you heard of this story? It's one of my favorites, and they really enjoy holding the story clues from this book!
After reading the books, we play a quick game of library football, kindergarten style. Basically the kids toss the ball to each other down the field until everyone has had a turn. Each catch counts as a point for the whole class, and we clap and cheer at the end. Believe it or not, they love it!


Oops--looks like my inner cheerleader has been unleashed!


  1. Seriously. Are there any other librarians out there as amazing as you?!?

  2. If you weren't my librarian I would be sooooooo jealous!!!!

  3. I am jealous!! You are amazing! Is your school hiring?!? I want to work with you and Reagan!

  4. I love your page.
    Question: Each of our elementary grades come once each week for classes/story time. Do you have the same situation. If so, I was wondering what you do for your older students?

  5. Another great idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. I love this idea and definitely want to give it a try! Can you clarify how you do the scoring and moving of the ball? Thanks!

  7. I can't wait to do this with my classes. Can you clarify how you do the scoring? Is it like in football where they each have touchdown end?