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The Team at Home


Subject: Geography
Grades: 6-8, 9-12


Brief Description

Students locate an NCAA basketball tournament team on a map, research the relationship of the team's name and mascot to the history and geography of the college, and cheer the team to victory!


Students learn about the geography of a variety of areas as they research how team names and mascots are related to history and/or geography.


basketball, geography

Materials Needed

  • large paper and markers
  • college guides, catalogs, sports directories, etc.
  • self-adhesive colored dots
  • laminated U.S. map, preferably an outline map
  • tournament pairings for men and/or women, copied from local newspaper
  • index cards
  • The Geography of Team Names handout, one for each student

    NOTE: The link to the handout is located within the lesson "NCAA Geography Activity" (registration required). The lesson plan-specific URL can only be accessed by those who have registered on the site and are currently logged in.

Lesson Plan

  • Create an NCAA pairings chart that includes the names of the teams.
  • Write each team's name on a piece of scrap paper and have each student draw a team name.
  • Provide students with index cards and have them locate and record the following information about their assigned teams: college name, location, enrollment, team name and/or mascot, team colors, athletic conference, special features.
  • Have students locate and mark their colleges on the U.S. map.
  • As the NCAA games proceed, record the game scores and winners on the pairings chart.
  • Continue filling in the pairings chart until the National Champion is determined. Hold a celebration for the wining team.

NOTE: Find many additional lesson plans perfect for "March Madness" at the NCAA Web site. In order to access lesson plan resources, requires registration, which is limited to those with an official e-mail address from a member school or conference.


Evaluate students on the accuracy of their research.

Submitted By

Marsha Yoder


Last updated 03/17/2017