Sportsmanship Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

In this lesson, students will view examples and discuss the elements of sportsmanship. They will analyze a text about sportsmanship which will aide them in creating their own skit, newsletter or song describing the topic.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe sportsmanship
  • Evaluate a real-world situation's level of sportsmanship
  • Create a skit, newsletter, or song about sportsmanship


This lesson will take approximately 60 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

This lesson is aligned to the following Common Core standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.d

Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1.b

Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.


Students will need to understand the meaning of following words to be able to do this activity:

  • sportsmanship
  • opponent
  • gloat


  • Situational cards - create cards that depict different situations where good sportsmanship was not employed. Each group will receive at least 1 situational card.
  • Find an online video that offers good examples of sportsmanship.
  • Computer with projector and speakers
  • Copies of the text lesson: Sportsmanship Definition & Examples: Lesson for Kids
  • Dos and Don'ts T-Chart on the board or paper copies to pass out to partner groups.

Lesson Instructions

  • Ask the students to think about a time that they won a game or a competition.
  • How did this make them feel?
  • Now, ask them to think about a time that they lost a game or competition.
  • How did this make them feel?
  • Ask the students to share their responses with a buddy.
  • Tell the students that it is only natural to be happy when you win and disappointed when you lose, but there are appropriate ways to handle those feelings. This is known as sportsmanship. *Tell them that they are going to watch a video of sportsmanship in action.
  • You can find an example video with a simple online search.
  • While they are watching the video, they need to look for how the athletes showed sportsmanship.
  • After the video, discuss as a class what they saw.
  • Tell the students that now that they have seen an example of sportsmanship, they are going to read more about it as a class.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson: Sportsmanship Definition & Examples: Lesson for Kids.
  • Depending on the age and reading ability of your students, you may choose to read the lesson to them or have them read it with partners.
  • If you choose to read it aloud, draw a T-chart on the board. Label one column with 'Do' and the other column with 'Don't'.
  • If you choose to have the students read it in partners, give them a copy of the T-chart for them to complete independently.
  • As you read the related reading, take note of the dos and don'ts of sportsmanship and write them in the T-chart. Below are some items that should appear in each list.

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