Sports Month in Genius Words: Meet Baseball Star Jackie Robinson and Try Curling in Your Kitchen
Genius content refreshes every month! This month, it’s “game on” as we learn about amazing athletes, Olympic traditions, and exciting international sports.
We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids’ learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:
In Osmo Words, waltz through a dance party at the Sports Museum, tapping on each object to learn more. Only available this month!
Genius Spotlight: Jackie Robinson
In 1947, baseball player Jackie Robinson got called up to play for the major league (known as the MLB). He played so well, he was chosen as the MLB’s best new player.
More famously, Jackie also broke baseball’s “color line” that year.
For decades, Black baseball players had been excluded from the MLB. The separation of players based on their skin tone was called a color line. Everything started to change once the Brooklyn Dodgers asked Jackie to be on their team.
In Jackie’s ten years playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the team made it to the World Series five times. Jackie played in six All-Star Games and was named Most Valuable Player.
Despite his talent, Jackie faced extreme difficulties being a Black player in the MLB. Players and fans would yell and throw things at him during games. It took great courage for Jackie to remain focused on the game, which is exactly what he did.
Jackie’s success led to greater diversity in sports and beyond. He proved that skin color shouldn’t be a reason to exclude anyone from anything. His career helped create a country with more equality and fewer color lines all around.
Real-World Activity: Kitchen Curling
Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!
Curling is one of the sports featured in Words this month. In this Olympic sport, players slide big stones across a long, narrow sheet of ice. The goal is to get closest to a target on the other side.
Set up a mini version in your kitchen using these materials:
- Paper target (cut out from next page)
- Clear tape
- Sheet pan (or large baking dish)
- 10 coins
- Tape the target down inside the pan, closer to one edge.
- With a grownup’s help, find a spot in the freezer where your pan can lay completely flat.
- Once the pan’s in place, use a cup to pour some water (1 centimeter deep) into the pan. Make sure the paper target is submerged.
- While that’s freezing, gather your coins. Decide which player will play with heads up; the other will play with tails.
- Once your “rink” is frozen, you’re ready to play! Remove the pan from freezer and place on a table.
- Take turns sliding your coins (AKA “curling stones”) toward the target. The round is over once all 10 coins have been slid. Any coin touching the target at the end of the round receives 1 point. Play as many rounds as you want!