I like this article by Jesse Greenspan for a number reasons. Not only does he provide some interesting facts about March Madness, but he also puts the competition in an historical context. That alone makes this an effective teaching tool, but I also really like the links that are made to global, moral and social issues. This is a great article to bookmark and share with students.
TeacherHub has created a great list of March Madness themed writing prompts for use with all grade levels. Organized by grade range, the prompts take March Madness beyond the usual math activities, to critical thinking, social-emotional intelligence, and (of course) encourages their writing skills.
The Byrdseed website has a slam dunk with this article detailing how bracketing can be used for a range of academic content. Indeed, using the suggestions here, teaching the states, ecosystems, and even the chemical elements can be turned into a competition of concepts.
This infographic by H&R Block not only provides some perspective on all the March Madness, but can also be used as a powerful teaching tool. From demonstrating life lessons (for example, aspiring to be a star college basketball player isn't all fun and games) to reviewing charts and graphs, this infographic is a #1 pick!
This article by Kristi Johnson-Smith adds another perspective to using March Madness in the classroom. As she explains, it can be used as a tool to connect with students and build relationships. Her description of how to set up brackets for your class is detailed and easy to follow. Another win with this article are the sidebar notes by Lindy Norman. Here excellent, practical questions related to using March Madness in the classroom, as well as relationship-building are presented.
I love the creativity in the lesson plans compiled here! But the introductory anecdote is equally amazing in that it demonstrates how a popular event can be used as a powerful teaching theme. Although Part 1 only includes 15 of the 30 lesson plans, it gives you more than enough ideas to weave March Madness throughout several content domains.
This article on the Essential Learning Products website is an excellent starting place for planning your March Madness unit. It includes great background on why using March Madness as a teaching theme is not only fun, but also effective teaching. In addition, the examples of how Lamer infused March Madness into his lessons are creative and easy to implement.