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BLAST Elementary
TIME for Kids Biographies: Jackie Robinson

TIME for Kids Biographies: Jackie Robinson

TIME for Kids Biographies: Jackie Robinson
by the Editors of TIME for Kids with Denise Lewis Patrick


Open-Ended Questions

When working with an informational text in the classroom, it's helpful to use a KWL chart to introduce the topic, access students' prior knowledge, and review what they have learned.

Begin by asking the students what they already know about Jackie Robinson. Record this information in the "K" section of the chart.

Discuss with the students what types of things they want to learn about him. Record this in the "W" section of the chart. Knowing what the students want to learn can help you guide them through the book and focus on the information they will find most interesting.

At the very end, come back to the KWL chart. Give each student a post-it note and encourage them to write down at least one fact they learned by reading the book. When they are finished, the students can share their fact and stick the post-it in the "L" section of the chart.


Vocabulary Words

  • Integrity
  • Persistence


Baseball and Geometry

Using baseball to discuss geometry is a great way to make a connection between geometric shapes and real world examples. Start out by showing the students a photograph of PNC Park (aerial view). Challenge them to name all of the shapes they see. Examples: bases form a diamond, tops of the lights are square, pitchers mound is a circle, etc. As the students name a shape, use a large sheet of paper to create a class diagram. Along one side of the paper, make a list of all the shapes that have been said. You can then use the diagram and four magnets to play a game. Start with the first shape on the list. Challenge the students to think of the properties of that shape. Go around the room and ask each student to give you one property. If the student does, they come up to the diagram and move their magnet from home base to first, then stay at the front of the room. If the next student can name a different property, student one moves the magnet to second base, and student two moves to first. If the student can’t name a property it counts as an out. Once one magnet reaches home, that student sits down and the team gets a point. See how many points the class can get for each shape!

Robinson Stands For...

Jackie Robinson had a very strong character. Get your students thinking about words to describe the way he acted and the things he did. Prepare large letters that spell out “ROBINSON.” Let the students work in groups of 3-4. Each group will get a letter and it will be their job to think of one good word that starts with that letter to describe Jackie Robinson. Example: S—Strong. They will write that word at the top of their letter. Using the rest of the space in their letter, the students can draw pictures or write words and sentences to explain why they chose that word. Why does that word describe Jackie Robinson? Once all of the letters are finished, the students can share with the class and the letters can be hung in the classroom.


Journal Questions

  • What are some things you learned about Jackie Robinson that you didn't know before?
  • Imagine you had a chance to meet Jackie Robinson. What would you tell him? What questions would you ask him?

Extending Books

I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography

I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography
Jackie Robinson as told to Alfred Duckett




Jackie's Bat

Jackie's Bat
Written by Marybeth Lorbiecki
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Joey, the batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, learns a hard lesson about respect for people of different races after Jackie Robinson joins the team.

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America
Written by Sharon Rosinson

A biography of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, as told by his daughter.