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Sports and Sports History Resource Pack

Mapping to MN State Standards


The resources on this page have been selected by eLibraryMN and Minnesota Digital Library librarians and curators to support the MN English Language Arts and the Social Studies standards, both current and pending, specifically related to the history of sports that are relevant to younger students. Resources in eLibraryMN and EbooksMN have unlimited simultaneous user access and are freely available to anyone geolocated in Minnesota. The primary source resources detailed are available to all, regardless of location.

Please reach out with questions or suggestions about linking to, using, or sharing these resources.  

Academic Research

Below is a collection of available topic overviews that link to many related articles and resources within ELM.

Britannica: Sports A-Z 
Use this collection of Britannica entries on 105 unique sports as a 'choice board' for students to find and research a sport of their choosing. Remember to show the ability to adjust the reading level as well!

Pebble Go: Athlete biographies
Use this collection of biographies of athletes to spark students' interest in sporting role models.

Explora: Sports and Hobbies topic
Are your students ready to dive in to more complex aspects of sports? Use Explora's entry on Sports and Hobbies to expand inquiry into Sports Medicine, sporting events, and fitness written at the Elementary level.

Gale Middle: Sports 
Middle schoolers will be able to use Gale's Middle School curated collection of sports content to access magazines, news articles, video, audio, primary sources, reference sources, and biographies covering a wide variety of sports content.



This is a curated group of fiction and nonfiction ebooks, Grade Interest Level K-8. All titles are available to students geolocated in MN without login. Linking directly to chapters is also possible. To link directly to the titles and share in your LMS or libguides, copy the link to the title(s) you want from our persistent link spreadsheet (if you are not accessing through the MackinVia app). Reach out to us with questions about linking. 

Dodger dreams: the courage of Jackie Robinson
A graphic novel in which baseball fan Max Owens receives World Series tickets for his birthday from his grandpa. During the game he observes his favorite player, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, compete against the New York Yankees and his team loses the game.

Drop in to the deep end : skateboarding with the Z-Boys
A graphic novel in which fifteen-year-old Skip Jenson moves to a new town in the late 1970s and he doesn't gain many new friends at first. But one day he demonstrates his skateboarding skills to them and discovers he isn't ready for their old-fashioned ways. Now he must teach them a new way to go.

Sasha Cohen
Presents the life of the United States sports hero and figure skating champion Sasha Cohen. Describes her training, injuries, performances, and winning a silver medal at the Olympics.

Wilma Rudolph
Provides a comprehensive biography of African American Olympian Wilma Rudolph describing her personal life and track career.

Real Madrid
Explores the history and success of the Real Madrid soccer club, examining some of the club's best players, coaches, and games.

Miracle on ice: how a stunning upset united a country
Highlights the journey of the American Olympic hockey team to defeat the Soviet team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Highlights the effect of the Cold War on international sports and the lasting effects of the powerful upset on the ice that day. Includes a glossary, resources for further information, and color photographs.

Primary Sources

MDL logoResources below are recommended by MDL curators from partners in primary source history.

Ojibwe Double Ball

Ojibwe Double Ball PlayersThese women are holding sticks to play double ball, a traditional Ojibwe game, around 1885.

Ladies Baseball Team

Ladies baseball teamThe Thief River Falls ladies baseball team was the champion of northern Minnesota in 1893.

Boys Hockey Team

Boys hockey teamThese high school players lived in Virginia (on Minnesota's Iron Range) in the 1920s.

Bearman Fruit Co. Baseball Team

Bearman Fruit Co. baseball teamThe Bearman Fruit Company sponsored a team for the municipal league, including an African American player.

Rondo Neighborhood Bowling Team

Rondo bowling teamThese women from St. Paul's main African American neighborhood participated in a 1950s bowling league.

St. Cloud State Homecoming Football Program

SCSU Homecoming GameThis program came from the homecoming game between St. Cloud State Teachers College and Bemidji State on October 17, 1953.

Bethel Women's Basketball Game

Bethel Basketball GameThis action shot shows women playing in a Bethel University women's basketball game in the 1960s.

Citywide Track Meet

Citywide track meetThis meet was held at a park in Minneapolis in the 1970s, sponsored by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Photo Collections:

Interlibrary Loan/Resource Sharing

For in depth research into these topics, sometimes you need to request materials from other libraries. These can be digital or they can sometimes be printed books. There are two main options for requesting these materials. One, MNLINK, allows you to search all Minnesota libraries for the requires the use of a public library card and PIN. While many educators use their own library card to help students, it is recommended that students use their own. However, this is not always possible, so there is a second option: Minitex Resource sharing for schools. This allows one staff member per school to request items on behalf of students and have the items sent directly to the school building. If you have questions about which option is better for you and your students, reach out to us and we can help.