Are you looking for free resources and ideas to incorporate the Super Bowl into your math instruction? Here are some of the best I’ve found.
Updated 1/24/24 to fix links!
Measurement and Graphing Activities
Use geometry and spatial skills to fold paper footballs (watch linked video for instructions) and then throw them. Practice measuring skills by measuring how far they went and graph the results.
Have students take a survey on which team will win the Super Bowl and graph the results. You could also research the teams and graph information such as wins to losses, player weights and heights, ages of players, etc.
Using Statistics to Construct Arguments in Lower Grades: In an article from the New York Times, Caroline Doughty, a second grade teacher in Alexandria City, Virginia, tells about how she’s teaching the Super Bowl:
This year, I am integrating Super Bowl statistics into my math and writing blocks. In math, we are comparing numbers (touchdowns, yardage, years of experience) and adding together scores. After analyzing the statistics, students are creating arguments for who they think will win and providing evidence to back up their opinions. Then, students will try to persuade others. Lastly, each student will vote on who they think will win and we will graph the results.
I try to incorporate sports into my instruction as much as I can. Especially in math, it provides real life data to work with and the kids love it.
Free Super Bowl graphing worksheets from KidZone for grades 1-3
Katie at I Want To Be a Super Teacher, writes this:
During the playoff weeks, use the game scores as number talks. Introduce the different ways to score points in a football game:
Touchdown = 6 points
Extra point kick (after a touchdown only) = 1 point
2 point conversion (after a touchdown only) = 2 points
Field goal = 3 points
Safety = 2 points
Give students the results of this weekend’s games and see how many combinations of point-scoring opportunities they can find that would equal the same score(s).
Read Katie’s full post and get a free football themed review of all operations here
Idea from Scholastic: Assign to small groups either of the teams represented in the Super Bowl. Pass out large sheets of poster paper and have students create a menu board of popular items found at their featured stadium’s concession stand. Hand out play money to one group, and a “register” to the other where change is to be made
Super Bowl Math Printables
Printable Math Bowl File Folder Game (adaptable for preschool-elementary)
Super Bowl Math Activity Packet (PDF). This is old but has many possible research questions and activities for students to work on independently or with a partner!
Critical Thinking/Logic Puzzles
Football Brainteaser (free printable to be used with toothpicks)
Try these NFL themed puzzles from Mash Up Math.
Review Games and Activities
Make a review day for any standards students need more practice with. (see my section Engaging Ways to Review and Practice for many ideas for fun review games and activities using task cards.) You can use small football themed prizes for each game if you want to, but tally team points in some way throughout the day. At halftime serve football themed snacks, The team that has the most points at the end of the day is declared Super Bowl champions, and each child receives a ring pop.
Mr. Nussbaum Tackle Math Ball game practices addition, subtraction, and multiplication
Power Football for grades 4-6 on Funbrain. Solve the math problem correctly to move the ball towards the goalpost.
Super Bowl Math Challenge/Enrichment Questions
Challenge Question: The question is: What’s the highest score that can’t be achieved with only 3-point field goals and 7-point touchdowns? (see The Super Bowl Math Problem for more info and solution)
Word Problems for Super Bowl Math for upper elementary
Super Bowl Math For Middle School
Teaching Absolute Value With Football hands on lesson plan
Expensive Super Bowl Ads. Students plot the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad over the past 53 Super Bowls. How has the cost of a NFL Super Bowl ad changed over time? Has it grown linearly? Exponentially? or what?Students create a curve or line to model the data and predict future Super Bowl commercial costs.
One Step Equation and Coordinate Plane Super Bowl themed activities from PreAlgebra Teachers
Put Me In, Coach- Getting in the Quantitative Game With Fantasy Football is a free lesson plan from the New York Times