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Capture the Fantasy Football Excitement in Your Classroom

Football season is here! And for millions of fans around the world (including legions of educators and our very own students!!!), fantasy sports have changed the way that we consume this beloved game to make the competition even more engaging than ever before. Are you ready for some football?!

But first, if you’re new to the world of fantasy…

What makes fantasy football so appealing is its ability to transform passive spectatorship into active participation. By drafting their own teams comprised of real NFL players, once passive fans have the opportunity to become virtual team owners and general managers. And before you know it, they shift from mindlessly scarfing down Cheetos on the couch to finding themselves glued to a regular stream of sports insider blogs and late-breaking news updates in order to make all kinds of critical decisions about who to start, sit, or trade. This engagement not only deepens their understanding of the sport but also instills a sense of ownership and competitiveness. The thrill of tracking player performance, strategizing for upcoming matchups, and celebrating victories fosters a genuine emotional connection to the NFL, transcending mere fandom. In essence, fantasy football taps into the innate desire for agency and competition, offering participants the opportunity to experience the sport in an entirely new and engrossing way.

Are you following our playbook so far? Right on! Now what might happen if we captured those exact same feelings from our learners as we put them directly into the heart of a redesigned “game plan” inside the four walls of our classrooms?

Get Your Classes In the Game!

Check your big board and get ready for some serious fun, because the NFL Fantasy Draft turns any annotated bibliography into an all out blitz of creativity. With the fully editable NFL Fantasy Football Draft template activity from EMC² Learning, teachers can harness the design elements that make fantasy sports so captivating to create more engaging lesson plans for their students. Challenge your students to draft their favorites and these fully editable Google Slides are ready for prime time! 

See those real life examples of student work products in the slide carousel? That’s the work product of students coming together to add details and relevant images to a collaborative slideshow that they’ve created in real time with their peers. Notice how a bunch of those bullet point details (in white font) are underlined? That’s not just a stylistic choice — each of those items are actually working hyperlinks to the various primary and secondary sources that student teams used to obtain each of these items of information in the first place.

(In other words? That’s an annotated bibliography!)

By infusing choice and competition into the learning process, educators can empower students to take an active role in their education. With this wildly versatile activity, students can…

  • Assemble their dream team of the best Presidents in U.S. history. What did they do to earn your vote?
  • Build a roster of the most influential inventors of the 21st century. Why did you select this all-star list of individuals?
  • Select your starting lineup of the most deceptive characters in American literature. What makes them such a strong contender for this roster
  • Determine which all star squad of historical heroes (or fictional characters) they would draft to solve a problem in their community. What makes these folks uniquely suited for this job? 

Etc. Etc. Etc.

This NFL Draft inspired template is fully editable and gives students the chance to become “general managers” to draft the very best of the best — then make an argument for WHY they’ve made these selections (metacognition for the win)!

Simply give your students edit access to their own copy of the template, then sit back and watch all the great stuff that they can binge learn for any subject of your choice (or their own). Check out the tweets below for just a few examples of how other teachers and their classrooms have put this template to AMAZING use in schools around the world!

This highly imaginative activity works for any course or content area, and provides students with all sorts of agency in how they present their findings to mirror the interactive feel of their favorite fantasy sports draft. And by infusing gamification elements (such as leaderboards and rewards for achievements), teachers can transform their classrooms into dynamic arenas where students take their rightful place in the center of all the action. Game on!!

The activities featured in this blog post are just a handful of the 600+ resources available in the EMC² Learning library. This entire library is available to Engagement Engineers and members of the Creative Corps, and is included with your annual site membership. We hope you’ll consider joining us as an Engagement Engineer to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.

"This site is a total game changer for both me and my students! Thanks for all the ways you level up my learning and classroom."
Carol McLaughlin
1-8 Teacher

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