Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

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Casey at the Bat Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Casey at the Bat Include:

“Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, is the most famous baseball poem ever written. It depicts a team, behind in the ninth inning, watching the star player step up to bat.

Casey at the Bat Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Creating a Character Map

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In this activity, students will depict the characters of the poem, paying close attention to their character traits and identify the character’s actions that show these traits. Students will also identify the challenges these characters face.

Characters included in the character map are:

  • Casey
  • Flynn and Jimmy Blake
  • The crowd

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  1. Identify the major characters in "Casey at the Bat" and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a character to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the Textables for Character Traits, What Actions Show These Traits, and What Challenges Does this Character Face.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Identifying Theme

Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify a theme of “Casey at the Bat” and support it with evidence from the text.

One theme is “admiration”. Three examples for this theme are:

  • The crowd wishes that Casey were up next at bat.

    The text states, "They thought, 'If only Casey could but get a whack at that-"

  • The crowd roars when Casey goes up to bat.

    The text states, "For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat."

  • Casey silences the crowd by raising his hand.

    The text states, "And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.”

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Keeping Track of New Vocabulary

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In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using a Frayer Model. After choosing a word, students provide a definition, characteristics, examples (synonyms), and non-examples (antonyms) of the word. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text.

This example uses the word “tumult”.

Definition: violent, noisy commotion of a crowd

Characteristics: “With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone; He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;”

Examples: disturbance, excitement, riot, pandemonium

Non-examples: calm, agreement, harmony, peace, order

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a Frayer Model for one of the vocabulary words from Casey at the Bat.

  1. Choose a vocabulary word and type it into the center title box.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and enter it into the description box under Definition.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the Definition cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Quote the use of the word from the book, and recreate the scene.
  5. Provide written and visual examples of the word.
  6. Provide written and visual non-examples of the word.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Structural Elements of a Poem

In this activity students will identify the structural components of the poem including stanzas and lines. Students will also determine the rhyme scheme and the meaning of the stanza.

The example provided is for stanza one:

  • Lines: 4
  • Rhyme Scheme: A: “day”, A: “play”, B: “same”, B: “game”
  • Meaning: The Mudville baseball team is down two runs, and Cooney and Barrows are both out. The crowd is disappointed.
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A Quick Synopsis of "Casey at the Bat"

The Mudville baseball team is down two runs in the ninth inning, and the fans fall silent as they see the chances of winning are very slim. Some of the fans fall into despair, while the others continue to have hope that they can win - all of them wishing that Casey, the team’s star player, would be up next at bat. Unfortunately, Flynn, and Jimmy Blake would be up first, and there was no hope that they’d be able to get on base. Unexpectedly, Flynn gets on third base and Blake gets to second. Five thousand fans cheer, excited that Casey will be up next.

Casey approaches the plate with a smile and responds to all the cheers of the crowd. Ten thousand eyes eagerly watch as Casey prepares to bat. The ball is pitched, and the umpire calls a strike. The crowd is in an uproar at the call, but Casey calms them down by raising his hand. He smiles again and signals the pitcher to throw; the umpire calls another strike! Again, the crowd turns angry, but a scornful look from Casey and they all simmer down. The final pitch is thrown, and Casey swings with all his might, but strikes out and leaves all of Mudville unhappy.

Essential Questions for "Casey at the Bat"

  1. Was Casey a success, or a failure? Why?
  2. Did the people of Mudville treat the baseball players fairly? Why or why not?
  3. How does the idea of hope and despair relate to baseball and other aspects of life?

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•   (English) Casey at the Bat   •   (Español) Casey en el Palo   •   (Français) Casey à la Chauve-souris   •   (Deutsch) Casey bei der Fledermaus   •   (Italiana) Casey at the Bat   •   (Nederlands) Casey op de Bat   •   (Português) Casey no Bastão   •   (עברית) קייסי על הבת   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) كيسي في الخفاش   •   (हिन्दी) बल्लेबाजी में केसी   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Кейси в Бат   •   (Dansk) Casey på Bat   •   (Svenska) Casey at the Bat   •   (Suomi) Casey on Bat   •   (Norsk) Casey på Bat   •   (Türkçe) Casey at the Bat   •   (Polski) Casey Przy Bat   •   (Româna) Casey la Bat   •   (Ceština) Casey na Bat   •   (Slovenský) Casey pri Batovi   •   (Magyar) Casey a Bat   •   (Hrvatski) Casey na Batu   •   (български) Кейси при Прилепа   •   (Lietuvos) Casey tuo Bat   •   (Slovenščina) Casey na Bat   •   (Latvijas) Casey pie Bat   •   (eesti) Casey on Bat