Using My Books
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Using My Books In The Classroom

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Black Jack

  • Have students write out some of the things Jack did outside the ring.

Dance With Me

  • Put on some music and have students create their own signature dance move.

Diamond Life

  • Create a poem made up of just sounds.  

Hoop Kings & Hoop Queens

  • Memorize a poem from either book.

I Am America

  • Create a poem describing yourself by repeating the phrase “I Am...”


  • Create a story as if you are the person in one of the photos.

Let’s Play Baseball & Let’s Play Basketball

  • Tell a story from the point of view of something other than a person. For example: a basketball, a pencil, a pair of socks, etc.

My People

  • Pair students up. One student writes a poem about their friends and the other draws pictures or takes photographs for the poem.

Pick-Up Game

  • Have one student write an opening sentence for a story on a sheet of paper. Pass the paper around and each student adds a sentence to create a story.


  • Write a list of excuses for not doing your homework.

Short Takes

  • Write haikus inspired by the book.

Stars in The Shadows

  • Have the classroom perform the whole book as a play. One or more students can read the play-by-play. A group of students can perform the commercials. One student can perform each “Fan in the Stands” monologue.

The Mighty 12

  • Have students write what they learned about a particular god or goddess.

Twelve Rounds to Glory

  • Have students write out Muhammad Ali’s life story as simply as possible.

Winning Words

  • Students can select their own favorite quote, or one from the book and write a story based around the quote.

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All photographs on this site copyright © Charles R. Smith, Jr., 2003