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Teenage Golfer Already a Star



  • Physical Education
  • Social Studies
    --Current Events


Grades 2-up

News Content

Michelle Wie is well on her way to being the "female Tiger Woods."

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students to agree or disagree with each of the statements below. This will set a purpose for reading; as they read, they will confirm their assumptions or learn something new.

  • Sixteen-year-old golfer Michelle Wie is the highest-paid female golfer in history.
  • She will earn more than $10 million this year.
  • Michelle Wie even plays golf in men's tournaments.
  • A full game, or round, of golf is played for 36 holes.

News Words

Introduce and talk about the meanings of the words in the News Word box on the students' printable page: tournament, golf, stroke, professional, tour, junior, and adult.

Read the News

Click for a printable version of this week's news story Teenage Golfer Already a Star.

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

* Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

* Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.

* Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

More Facts to Share

You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • Michelle Wie was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on October 11, 1989. She was a gifted child from the start; she began learning the alphabet before her first birthday and was reading by the age of 2.
  • Michelle was four when she first began playing golf. She frequently played golf with her parents. When she was 9 years old, her parents stopped playing against her because she was too good.
  • In 2000, when she was 12 years old, Wie became the youngest player to qualify to play in a professional golf event for women.
  • As she developed her golfing skills, twice a day Wie gulped down an energy drink that her mother made from an old Korean recipe. The drink contained the juices of a goat and snake with ginseng and herbs. Michelle might have made faces at the horrible taste, but the drink gave her energy that helped her to develop her skills.
  • In 2004, Wie tied for 13th place in the U.S. Women's Open. In 2005, just before her 16th birthday, she made the decision to turn pro.
  • In spite of earning the big bucks, Wie has yet to win a professional tournament. When asked by 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft if she feels pressured to start winning, Wie responded, "I've heard a lot of people say that, but hopefully a lot of my fans will recognize that I'm still a full-time student. I still have a lot of other things that I have to do. And, hopefully, they'll be patient with me because I believe that I can do it."
  • Is Wie ready to make her own way yet? "I always fantasize with me being on my own, traveling by myself, you know, being independent," she told 60 Minutes. "But then the reality sinks in that I never booked a hotel room by myself. I've never bought a plane ticket. I barely know how to do laundry. I can't cook. I almost cannot microwave stuff. I mean it's pathetic. So basically the reality sets in I mean, I guess I just have to learn how to do laundry."
  • One of the all-time greatest golfers, Arnold Palmer, said of Wie in 2003 that "she's probably going to influence the golfing scene as much as Tiger [Woods], or more. She's going to attract people that even Tiger didn't attract, young people, both boys and girls, and families."

Comprehension Check

Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statements in it.

  • Sixteen-year-old golfer Michelle Wie is the highest-paid female golfer in history. (true)
  • She will earn more than $10 million this year. (true)
  • Michelle Wie even plays golf in men's tournaments. (true)
  • A full game, or round, of golf is played for 36 holes. (false, a round of golf is 18 holes)

You might follow-up that activity by asking some of these questions:

Recalling Detail

  • How old is Michelle Wie? (16 years old)
  • What grade is she in at school? (she is a junior, which means she is in grade 11)
  • By how many strokes did she miss qualifying in her first tournament against men? (one stroke)
  • In how many men's tournaments does Wie plan to play this summer? (two)

Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News questions that appear on the students' news page. In addition, you might pose the questions below:

  • Michelle Wie has said her goal is to play in the Masters Tournament, the top golf tournament for men. How is she preparing to achieve that goal?
  • What is a goal you have set for yourself? What are you doing to prepare for that goal?

Follow-Up Activities

Math. Write the following information on the board or a sheet of chart paper. Have students add the scores (number of strokes) in the first two columns to determine if the player met the cutoff for playing in the finals of the tournament. (Answers appear in italic type on the chart below.)

Round 1
Round 2
Did the player
make the cutoff?
68 72 139 no
71 67 140 yes
71 72 143 yes
75 66 136 no
73 64 138 yes
69 66 134 no

History. Babe Didrikson (married, Babe Didrikson Zaharias) is perhaps the most famous female golfer of all time. Print out and read aloud to students Babe's biography. Then write the following sentences on a board or chart and have students put the sentences in the correct order. (The correct sequence is indicated in italic type in parentheses.)

  • Babe earned gold medals at the 1932 Olympic Games. (4)
  • She switched her focus to track and field. (3)
  • Babe died of cancer in 1956 at the age of 42. (8)
  • She took up golf and practiced 8-10 hours a day. (5)
  • Babe Didrikson was born in South Texas. (1)
  • She helped found the Ladies' Professional Golf Association (LPGA). (7)
  • Babe married wrestler George Zaharias. (6)
  • During high school, Babe excelled at playing basketball. (2) You might also share with students that Babe was not her birth name (that was Mildred.). She earned her nickname after she hit five home runs in one baseball game; at that time, Babe Ruth was one of the biggest names in baseball.


Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

NPH.K-12.3 Physical Activity
NPH.K-12.4 Physical Fitness

See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2006 Education World