The movie "The Sandlot" comes in three parts: One where Scotty Smalls successfully enters the peer group of the Sandlot baseball team, the second where the boys learn and share some experiences of growing up, such as "Squints" kissing Wendy, the lifeguard, chewing tobacco and taking on the challenge of a "better funded" baseball team. This lesson will focus on the issue presented by the third part of the movie, which focuses on the fact that Scotty appropriated his step bather's Babe Ruth ball to play baseball, which ends up in the possession of "the beast." As well as dealing with the theme "You can't judge a book by it's cover" this section also displays problem solving strategies, strategies that students with disabilities (and many typical children) fail to develop on their own. "Problem Solving" is an important social skills, especially collaborative problem solving
The purpose of this particular lesson is to model a problem solving strategy and have students use that strategy together in a "mock" situation, hoping it will help them in real problem solving situations.
Intermediate grades to middle school (9 to 14)
- Students will identify the problem solving solutions the "Sandlot" boys used to recover the Babe Ruth Baseball.
- Students will explain the terms "collaboration,"problem solving" and "compromise."
Social Studies Kindergarten 1.
History 1.0 - People, Cultures, and Civilizations - Students understand the development, characteristics, and interaction of people, cultures, societies, religion, and ideas.
- First Grade: H1.1.2 Listen to stories that reflect the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, and traditions of the varied cultures in the neighborhood.
- Second Grade: H1.2.2 Use artifacts to understand how people lived their daily lives.
- DVD of The Sandlot
- Television, dvd player, or computer and digital projector.
- Chart Paper and markers.
- Review what you have seen in the movie so far. Identify "roles:" Who is the leader? Who is funny? Who is the best hitter?
- Set up the loss of the baseball: What was Scotty's relationship with his stepfather like? How did Scotty know that baseball was important to his stepfather? (He has a lot of memorabilia in his "den.")
- View the movie.
- List the different ways that the boys attempted to get the ball back. End with the successful way (talking to the owner of Hercules.)
- Establish which was the easiest way to solve the problem. What were some considerations? (Was the owner mean, was Hercules really deadly? How would Scotty's stepfather feel if the ball wasn't returned?)
- As a class brainstorm how to solve one of these problems:
- The baseball team needs $120 to enter a tournament. Their parents don't have the money. How will they get it?
- You need two more people for your baseball team. How can you find them?
- You accidently broke a really big picture window at a neighbor's house. How are you going to take care of that?
Have your students present the solutions they came up to the problem.
Put a problem that you didn't solve together as a group on the board and have each student write a possible way to solve the problem. Remember that brainstorming doesn't involve evaluating the solution. If a student suggests "blowing up the ball park with an atomic bomb," don't go ballistic. It may actually be a fairly creative though less desirable solution to many problems (cutting the grass, paying the maintenance staff salaries, giant tomatoes . . . )