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Minitex staff and librarians who work with eLibraryMN, Ebooks Minnesota, Minnesota Digital Library, and Resource Sharing have come together to create Resource Packs* for Minnesota schools! This month's pack features fiction, nonfiction, and primary sources about sports and sports history.

First football team of Thief River Falls, c. 1900

First football team, Thief River Falls, c. 1900. Pennington County Historical Society, Accessed April 8, 2024.

Sports and the history of sports are topics that engage students of all ages and levels. From Ojibwe Double Ball in 1885 to Caitlin Clark in 2024, this month’s Sports and sports history resource pack guides students toward topics that spark interest and engagement in reading, research, and history through sports. Have a topic you'd like for a resource pack for the 2024-2025 school year? Share it with us and we will be in touch!

The databases in eLibraryMN have so many options for young students to engage with sports histories and stories. View a collection of Britannica encyclopedia articles that feature 105 individual sports, and encourage students to choose a sport or two to learn more about. Use PebbleGo’s athlete biographies to guide students toward authoritative and age appropriate content about their favorite sports figures, or Ebsco Explora’s Sports and Hobbies collection to find K-5 magazine and reference content about the wide world of sports.

Ebooks Minnesota has plenty of sports content to offer students of all ages, in both fiction and nonfiction. In this resource pack we have featured nonfiction titles including biographies of famous sports figures as well as titles that focus on sports history.   On the fiction side, Sports stories are a great way to motivate students to read for pleasure. Check out graphic novels about skateboarding or Jackie Robinson for the K-5 crowd, and for High School students, there are titles such as The Warriors, the story of an Iroquois lacrosse player, or Shutout, the tale of a hockey goalie who is suspended when a photo emerges of him holding a beer at a party. 

When students are ready to look deeper at the complex history and evolution of the sports landscape, Gale in Context (middle and high), Points of View Reference Center, and ProQuest Newsstream all contain copious explorations of the many relevant topics. Students can examine the issues involved with college athletes receiving compensation for their name, image, and likeness in POV reference Center or ProQuest Newstream or the complexities of adjusting Sports brands to remove outdated mascots in POV Reference center or Gale in Context.

Finally, by exploring the many sports-related primary sources in the Minnesota Digital Library, students can see the types of sports people have played in the past. They can use their critical thinking skills to analyze how sports have changed over the years, as well as how they have stayed the same. These images can lead to larger questions about what sports mean to individuals as well as to the greater society.

These items and so many more are in the Resource Pack guide, and in the e-resources themselves. Check it out and let us know what you think!

*Resource packs are theme-based and support Minnesota K12 Academic standards. We plan to release one resource pack per month during the school year, and fully review all content each summer to ensure that all resources are current and up to date. Please submit any ideas you have for resource pack topics that would be helpful for teachers and students and we will add them to the list of future topics.

Each pack will be in a Libguide format that librarians and teachers can share with colleagues. Resources will be curated around the month’s theme, and will be broken into tabs for younger and older students. Packs can be accessed by unlimited users with no login, and all links will be formatted to ensure seamless access within Minnesota borders.

Written by

Ann Kaste
Electronic Resources Librarian
Stephanie Hess
Digital Curator, Minnesota Digital Library
Beth Staats
Outreach & Instruction Librarian, Ebooks MN Coordinator
Molly Huber
Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Digital Library
K-12 School & Library Resources logo.

State-funded resources for students, teachers, and media centers

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