Play Ball!

It’s baseball season again! The Detroit Tigers have their opening day next week (April 6) and soon many Americans will be heading out the ballfield, eating peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and not ever wanting to come back (to paraphrase a great old tune). In honor of all this, I thought I’d go over some of my students’ favorite baseball-themed activities.

Baseball Vocabulary

First featured in my post about our summer school baseball vs. cricket unit, this vocabulary set is one that gets pulled out and dusted off more springs than not. While my focus is generally more on academic vocabulary, understanding the vocabulary of baseball is a big part of culture learning. I’ve also had several students, especially from Central America, who are quite good at the sport and want to join the school’s team, but are too scared because they don’t know the English vocabulary. Either way, this sort activity is always a great place to start.

Am/Is/Are Triple Play

This oldie but goodie is one of the first task card sets I ever created and it practices the use of present tense to be. When I named this activity, I did intentionally make a play on words with

“triple play,” because it originally had three ways to use the task cards: task cards, response cards, and slap. Since then, by student request, I’ve added a game board so students can play that way as well. Thanks to Covid, there’s now a digital version of the task cards, too.

Who’s On First Listening Practice

This free activity was first mentioned in my post about authentic listening activities. It is a relatively challenging free listening activity in which students watch Abbott and Costello perform Who’s On First and complete a graphic organizer, labeling each position with the player’s name. A digital version of this free activity also exists.

Play Ball Amelia Bedelia Idioms

This activity also had a brief mention in my baseball vs. cricket post. It is very possible that my older (middle school and adults) students’ favorite books to read are Amelia Bedelia, and Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia is perfect for this time of year. Since there are so many idioms related to sports, and baseball specifically, after we read the book and discuss it, I like to take the opportunity to practice idioms. This is a simple matching activity that allows students to practice matching the figurative/idiomatic phrase with the intended meaning.


Our spring baseball unit was always fun and provided a nice way to take a break, but still keep learning, after and in between testing sessions. Even my less athletically inclined students enjoyed different aspects of the unit! If you want to go all out with baseball vocabulary, and just have to have all of these activities, you can get my Baseball Fun Bundle at a 20% discount. Happy teaching, everyone!