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Best Super Bowl Lessons and Activities

super bowl
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Teaching the Super Bowl can be a great way to get kids who are excited about sports – or the halftime show – to engage with classroom activities. 

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The halftime show will feature Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. The Super Bowl broadcast has traditionally been the most important advertising event of the year and this Sunday’s slate of ads will feature celebrity cameos from Seth Rogan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Trevor Noah, and many others.

Channel your students’ excitement for the big game by updating your classroom playbook with these free Super Bowl-related activities. 

Data in the Big Game (opens in new tab)

Discovery Education, Nielsen Foundation, and the National AfterSchool Association offer this resource for using the Super Bowl to teach math, science, and social studies to grades 6-12. These activities will have students investigating consumer data bytes surrounding championship football — including the fans and the food. Students will explore questions and topics such as: 

  • What Makes a Football Fan?
  • What’s In It For Me?
  • Changes Over Time
  • Collecting Data
  • Vocabulary

Explore The History of Hip Hop  (opens in new tab)

This year’s halftime show features several iconic rappers who helped bring hip-hop to the masses. You can use the upcoming performance to discuss the history of the genre with this Sampling: The Foundation of Hip Hop lesson plan from PBS. In addition, you can ask your students to explore hits from each artist performing, and/or have them explore topic songs from each decade since the birth of hip hop. How has the genre evolved over time? What are aspects that remain unchanged? 

Discuss Representation in Football’s Coaching Ranks 

The NFL’s limited head coaching diversity became a recent topic of discussion after Brian Flores, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, sued (opens in new tab) the NFL and three franchises -- the Dolphins, Denver Broncos, and New York Giants -- alleging discrimination. Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the game’s only current Black head coach among the NFL's 32 teams. Your class can read and discuss this article about how the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview diverse candidates for coaching jobs, has not worked as intended. 

Another topic to discuss is the role women play in NFL leadership positions. In 2021, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar became the first female coaches on a team to win the Super Bowl, and the numbers of women coaches are increasing, but remain limited relative to men. Your students can read and discuss this article, which explores the topic in more detail. 

The Teacher’s Corner  (opens in new tab)

From football-themed scavenger hunts to sports-related health exercises and exercises for Monday morning based off of Super Bowl ads, the various resources here will allow teachers to pick and choose from an array of Super Bowl-related class activities. 

Education World  (opens in new tab)

An excellent resource for teachers looking for pre-designed classroom exercises. From a geography lesson in which students locate the home city of each previous Super Bowl winner to having students who are already sports fans research top plays in Super Bowls past, there are many different exercises and resources. 

Coverage of the First Super Bowl in The New York Times  (opens in new tab)

History and media teachers can make use of this resource, which leads to the Times’ coverage of the very first Super Bowl. Students can compare this article to modern coverage of the big game. What are some similarities and differences? 

A Beginner’s Guide to Football from The NFL  (opens in new tab)

Not all of your students will be football fans or even familiar with the game. This short video produced by the NFL is designed to give those who are new to the game a rundown of the rules. This could be used as a primer before other football-related activities. 

Erik Ofgang
Erik Ofgang

Erik Ofgang is Tech & Learning's senior staff writer. A journalist, author (opens in new tab) and educator, his work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Associated Press. He currently teaches at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA program. While a staff writer at Connecticut Magazine he won a Society of Professional Journalism Award for his education reporting. He is interested in how humans learn and how technology can make that more effective.