Learning Plans & Activities
Sports News
Curriculum Connection: news reporting Rio Olympics

Using Games of Deception by Andrew Maraniss (Philomel Books 2019) as a mentor text, students will explore how sports news reports the facts and creates the legends.



Social Studies




English teacher

Social Studies teacher


Students will evaluate the "truth" of sports reporting.

Students will reflect on the role propaganda in sports.


Class copies of Games of Deception (Philomel Book 2019) by Andrew Maraniss

Internet access

ReadWriteThink Commercial Assessment Rubric (http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson1166/CommercialRubric.pdf)

Jigsaw Activity Reproducible


One week


AASL National School Library Standards

B.I.1. Using evidence to investigate questions.

D.I.3. Enacting new understanding through real-world connections.

B.IV.3. Systematically questioning and assessing the validity and accuracy of information.

A.VI.3. Evaluating information for accuracy, validity, social and cultural context, and appropriateness for need.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Instructional Procedure

Day 1:

Begin by reading Chapter 2 of Games of Deception together. Create a two-column chart on the board and list what was propaganda and what was the truth during the 1936 Olympics. Discuss the credibility of sources, especially bias.

Break students into three groups. These will be the students' "expert" groups (see notes under Differentiation below):

All groups will fill in the "expert" section of the graphic organizer.

Day 2:

Regroup students into their "home" groups, with one representative from each of the expert groups. Students share their information with this new group, completing the 'home" section of the graphic organizer.

Individually, students will analyze the information they have gained and complete an exit ticket on what is true and what is propaganda in the articles on the Rio Olympics

As a class, students will compare their Rio results with the Berlin chart. Discuss similarities and differences.

Day 3:

Students can choose a sporting event of their choice from history and create a visual representation of the propaganda and the truth around the reporting of that event. It should include one primary source, one secondary source, and at least one image.

Day 4:

Gallery walk. Students will assess three projects on completeness, clarity, and visual appeal.

Whole class discussion of how propaganda in sports and politics is different or the same.

Students will watch a campaign ad and an Olympic ad and analyze their visual and verbal messages using the ReadWriteThink Rubric.

Day 5:

Students will write a two- to three-paragraph essay on the uses of propaganda in sports and politics, referring to Games of Deception, the articles, and the videos to explain similarities and differences as well as propaganda's negative and positive effects.


Groups should be assigned to articles with consideration for their reading abilities. Each expert group should be designed to include strong readers (Kagan grouping). Home groups should be similarly heterogeneous and supportive.

Second language learners and other students, as needed, should get an outline with sentence starters for the final essay.


Students will be assessed on their exit tickets, jigsaw notes, visual for the gallery walk, and final essay.

Additional Resources

Get more ideas for teaching with this book in "Curriculum Connections for Games of Deception."

About the Author

Suzanne Libra is a teacher librarian at Silver Hills Middle School in Westminster, Colorado.

MLA Citation Libra, Suzanne. "Sports News." School Library Connection, October 2019, schoollibraryconnection.com/Home/Display/2230284?childId=2230296&topicCenterId=1955265&tab=1.

View all citation styles

Entry ID: 2230296

Back to Top