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Teacher: Crystal Gorwitz who teaches at Hortonville Middle School in Hortonville, WI. Crystal Gorwitz can be contacted at crystalgorwitz@HASD.org.

Name of Best Practice: Millennium Home Run Contest

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To have students learn a little about the history of baseball and Babe Ruth. At the same time they get to work on their hitting skills a bit.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-8

Materials Needed: Batting tees, plastic/foam bats, whiffle balls, cones, measuring devices

Millennium Home Run Contest

Our whole school integration project this year is the millennium. On the second Wednesday of the month the whole school participates in a project of their choosing in their own subject area. Each month is dedicated to a decade. In October 1999 we are covering the 1920's. In our physical education classes we have chosen to focus on Babe Ruth and therefore are having a home run contest.

The class starts with a brief description of who Babe Ruth was and why we are covering him for the 1920's (his power hitting prowess is stressed). We also review the cues for successfully hitting a ball off a tee into the air. Batting tees (or cones) are set up in a line in a safe manner either in the gym or outside. Equal numbers of students are positioned at the batting tees. The students get three swings of the bat and their longest hit is measured (measure to where the ball lands on the fly). (The number of swings you give the students can vary depending on the size of your classes). We have the students who are waiting to bat do the measuring and the retrieving of the balls. Record each students longest hit and add up the length. This is the group home run feet that they hit. Students can then figure out how far their group and class hit that day. You can then compare this total to the next time you do this activity and try to beat it.

We also play music from the 1920's (check out Billboard Pop Memories: The 1920's from Amazon.com) in the background. On the back wall of the gym we have put up the phrase "Babe Ruth's Wall". Digital pictures are taken during each class and they are posted in the gym along with pictures of "The Babe" and his biography.

Helpful Babe Ruth Web Sites:

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 53 votes.

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