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Unforgivable Blackness: A Film Directed by Ken Burns

About the Film Rebel of the Progressive Era Sparring The Fight of the Century Knockout Ghost in the House For Teachers
For TeachersPhysiological Effects of Boxing
Introduction

Lesson Plans

Resources
Download the Educator's Guide (PDF)



For additional classroom content, please visit PBS TeacherSource.

Estimated Time for Completion:

1-4 class periods to view the video; one class period for discussion; one class period for researching; one class period of group work for their presentations; one class period for the presentations.

Objectives:

Students will:
  • work cooperatively in small groups.

  • practice research techniques.

  • demonstrate presentation skills.

  • investigate the possible injuries that may be sustained during boxing, and the effects of these injuries.

Materials:

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Episode one of Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (available from ShopPBS)

  • TV/VCR

  • Chalkboard/whiteboard with writing implement.

  • Posterboard, paper, MicroSoft PowerPoint, markers, pencils, pens, etc. (for presentations).

  • Access to a library with books and magazines on this topic.

  • The article Endurance Conditioning for Boxing by Grant Kerr.

  • Procedure:

    Introduce the video Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson by asking students if anyone knows who the first African-American heavyweight champion was. Ask students if they know of any boxers who have sustained injuries due to boxing. Ask the students if they know if any boxing rules or regulations have been added, changed, or altered over the past century due to injuries sustained during a boxing bout.

    Use the article Endurance Conditioning for Boxing written by Grant Kerr to discuss the following topics:

    • Physiological characteristics of boxing which include short duration, high intensity bursts of activity, anaerobic fitness, and sustaining power at a high percentage of V02 max.

    • Conditioning should focus on delaying the onset of fatigue, include information about lactic acid build-up; phospho-creatine which produces ATP; delaying pre-mature use of the lactic acid system; improving oxygen use; and improving recovery between intense bursts of activity.

    • Energy Systems: The aerobic system, the lactic acid system (anaerobic glycolysis), and the ATP-PC system [ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and ADP (adenosine diphosphate)].

    • Aerobic System: Include the three primary stages:
      1. Glycolysis (lipolysis)
      2. The Krebs Cycle
      3. The Electron Transfer Chain
      4. Methods for anaerobic and aerobic training
      5. Specific conditioning programs: interval training, steady state running endurance training, continuous training, sport specific aerobic training, anaerobic training, strength training.


    • View segments of the video. (1st 11 minutes; 37-52 minutes; 63-65 minutes; 1 hour, 10 minutes-1 hour, 15 minutes; 1 hour, 22 minutes-1 hour, 25 minutes). Ask students if they can name any training Jack Johnson did to prepare for his fights. Was there a protocol he had to follow prior to getting into the professional arena? Did he sustain any injuries during his boxing career and if so, what were they and what were their effects?

    • Place students in their small groups (pre-arranged by the teacher). Tell students that they will be working in small groups to find information about their topics. Inform students that they will be writing an outline and presenting their research to the entire class. Topics should include, but are not limited to:
      1. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI), also called "Post-Concussion Syndrome"
      2. Second Impact Syndrome
      3. Eye Injuries: detached retina, scrapes and cuts of the cornea, fractured orbit
      4. Broken bones and separated joints, such as shoulders
      5. Ear Injuries: cauliflower ear, punctured eardrum
      6. Internal Bodily Injuries: ruptured spleen, damaged liver, other internal organ injuries
      7. Cervical Spine Injuries
      8. Nerve Damage: facial, thoracic nerve of Bell

    • Ask the students to assign each group member a task (or tasks), write them down, and submit to the teacher.

    • Set-up times to visit the computer lab and library for students to do their research.

    • Plan time in class to allow students to prepare their presentations.

    • Plan time in class for student presentations.

    Assessment:

    Assessing student group work:
    (4 point Rubric Scale)
    Mastery (4): Group Member's Assignments indicate each member and the specific responsibilities; Outline of Presentation follows the American Standard English recommendations; Presentation covers the key points, is well organized, all members take an active role, and exceeds teacher's criteria/expectations.
    Proficient (3): Group Member's Assignments indicate each member and the specific responsibilities; Outline of Presentation should follow the American Standard English recommendations but may vary minimally; Presentation covers most of the key points, is organized, most members take an active role, and meets or exceeds teacher's criteria/expectations.
    Developing (2): Group Member's Assignments indicate each member and their responsibilities but may or may not be specific; Outline of Presentation may or may not follow the American Standard English recommendations but may varies considerably; Presentation covers some of the key points, may or may not be organized, some members take an active role, some are not involved, and minimally meets teacher's criteria/expectations.
    Needs Improvement (1): Group Member's Assignments do not indicate each member and their responsibilities; Outline of Presentation does not follow the American Standard English recommendations; Presentation does not cover the key points, is not organized, some members take an active role, some are not involved, and does not meet teacher's criteria/expectations.


    Assessing student individual work:
    (4 point Rubric Scale)
    Mastery (4): Notes from video are clear, legible, ordered, and contain the key points; Notes from Article are clear, legible, ordered, and contain the key points; is an active participant in the group presentation.
    Proficient (3): Notes from video are legible, fairly ordered, and contain most of the key points; Notes from Article are legible, fairly ordered, and contain most of the key points; is an active participant most of the time in the group presentation.
    Developing (2): Notes from video are may or may not be legible, may or may not be ordered, and contains some of the key points; Notes from Article are may or may not be legible, may or may not be ordered, and contain some of the key points; may or may not be an active participant in the group presentation.
    Needs Improvement (1): Notes from video are not legible, are not ordered, and do not contains the key points; Notes from Article are not legible, are not ordered, and do not contain the key points; is not be an active participant in the group presentation.


    Student self-assessment:
    (4 point Rubric Scale)
    Students should evaluate themselves based on the group and individual assessment rubric scales as listed previously.

    Extensions and Adaptations:

    • Students could write a pro/con article for their school paper.

    • Students could interview a professional boxer then share the interview with the class.

    • Students could summarize each group's presentation then write an essay including all the presentation information.

    • Students could research and write an in-depth paper about one of the topics.

    Resources:

    Death under the Spotlight: The Manuel Velazquez Boxing Fatality Collection
    This article by Joseph R. Svinth from the Journal of Combative Sport describes the collection of information about boxing-related fatalities compiled by Manuel Velazquez, an activist who attempted to ban the sport in the mid-20th century.

    Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Sports: What are the Signs?
    This article from the Centre for Neuro Skills describes the mechanism, symptoms and treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, also known as post-concussive syndrome.

    Athletes at Risk: Second Impact Syndrome in Sports
    http://www.firmani.com/SIS-case/incidents.htm

    Peak Performance: Female Training
    Training tips from Peak Performance to improve speed, strength and stamina.

    Bodybuilding.com: Training Articles
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbmaintrain.htm

    Boxing Training Tips and Advice
    This page from Ross Boxing lists a number of articles on traning, strength and conditioning, and nutrition for boxers.

    Astrand, P., and Rodahl, K., (1986): Textbook of Work Physiology. Physiological bases of Exercise. McGraw Hill Book Company. New York.

    Brooks, G., A., and Fahey, T., D., (1985): Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and its Applications. Macmillan Publishing Company. New York.

    Enamait, R., : The Importance of Periodization. RossBoxing.com.

    National Coaching Certification Programme (NCCP). (1990): Level III. Gloucester, Ontario: Canada.

    Powers, S., k., and Howley, E., T., (2000): Exercise Physiology: Theory and Application to Fitness and Performance. McGraw Hill Book Company. New York.

    National Health and Medical Research Council, Commonwealth of Australia (1994): Boxing Injuries.

    Standards:

    Health: National Health Education Standards

    • Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

    • Analyze the influence of culture, media, technology, and other factors on health.

    • Describe the interrelationships of mental, emotional, social, and physical health throughout adulthood.

    • Explain the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.

    • Analyze how the family, peers and community influence the health of individuals.

    Physical Education: National Physical Education Standards

    • Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.

    • Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

    • Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expressions and/or social interaction.

    Science: National Science Education Standards

    • As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of Motions and forces.

    Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

    • Behavioral Studies Standard 1: Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior.

    • Behavioral Studies Standard 3: Understands that interactions among learning, inheritance, and physical development affect human behavior.

    Life Skills:

    • Self regulation: Performs self-appraisal.

    • Life Work: Uses various information sources, including those of technical nature to accomplish specific tasks.

    • Working with others:
      • Contributes to the overall effort of a group.
      • Uses conflict-resolution techniques.
      • Works well with diverse individuals and in diverse situations.
      • Displays effective interpersonal communication skills.
      • Demonstrates leadership skills.
    • Applies decision-making techniques.

    • Applies basic trouble-shooting and problem-solving techniques.

    Language Arts: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

    • Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process.

    • Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.

    • Language Arts Writing Standard 1: Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process.

    • Language Arts Writing Standard 3: Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions.

    • Language Arts Writing Standard 4: Gathers and uses information for research purposes.

    • Language Arts Reading Standard 5: Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process.

    • Language Arts Reading Standard 6: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts.

    • Language Arts Reading Standard 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

    • Language Arts Listening And Speaking Standard 8: Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.

    • Language Arts Viewing Standard 9: Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media.

    • Language Arts Media Standard 10: Understands the characteristics and components of the media.

    Social Studies: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

    • Historical Understanding Standard 1: Understands and knows how to analyze chronological relationships and patterns.

    Technology: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel)

    • Technology Standard 2: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs.

    • Technology Standard 6: Understands the nature and uses of different forms of technology.

    • Technology Standard 3: Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual.

    Mathematics: NCTM Curriculum Standards and Expectations for Grades 9-12:

    • Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.

    • Approximate and interpret rates of change from graphical and numerical data.

    • Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.

    • Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.

    About the Author:

    Kelly E. Duell, M.A. wears many different hats including being a Curriculum Resource Specialist for K & S Resources, Kinesiologist, educator, State-level Webmaster, MS/HS Managing Editor for PECentral, Maui County Representative to the State of Hawaii (HAHPERD), and an inspiring writer.