Lesson of the Day: ‘Training for Double Dutch at the Apollo’

Lesson of the Day: ‘Training for Double Dutch at the Apollo’

Featured Article: “Training for Double Dutch at the Apollo” by James Thomas

For young people in New York City who participate in competitive double Dutch — a rope-jumping sport — the annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic at the Apollo Theater is an important event. Double Dutch is played with a pair of jump ropes that are turned by two people as at least one jumper seamlessly slips in between the ropes to bounce in perfect time.

In this lesson, you will learn about two teams preparing for the Double Dutch Holiday Classic. Then, you will think about a game that you love to play and share about it in a creative project.

Have you ever done double Dutch before? Or have you ever watched people playing double Dutch, either for fun or in a competition?

To learn more about the sport, watch this three-minute video from TED about the history of the jumping rope and its evolution to present-day double Dutch.

Then answer the following questions:

Here are seven words that might be new or unfamiliar to you. Take a look at this list: What words do you know the meanings of? What words are new?

1. whirling
2. irresistible
3. percussion
4. drills
5. average
6. shift
7. represents
8. eke out

To learn and practice the meanings of each word, use this list on Vocabulary.com.

Read the article, or print out the PDF. Then answer the following questions:

1. Why do you think the Stan’s Pepper Steppers team was practicing one-leg drills? How might this help them in a competition?

2. On average, how many jumps do jumpers do in two minutes? What is your reaction to this fact? Do you think you could keep up?

3. According to Lauren Walker, president of the National Double Dutch League, what is significant about the competition taking place at the Apollo Theater?

4. Stanley Brown, head coach of the Pepper Steppers, said that there is competition, but that everyone is still family. Do you have this kind of relationship with other teams in a sport you play?

5. Why did Kimberly Prince-Sylla help start the Jump4Jerry team?

6. What did you notice about the sport when watching the videos in the article?

What is a sport or game that you love playing with friends or family members? It could be something competitive or just for fun. For example, it might be a school team sport like soccer, basketball or football, or a playground game like hand-clapping, kickball or four square.

Once you’ve selected a game, respond to the following questions:

  • Why is the game important to you?

  • When did you first learn how to play it?

  • Whom do you normally play with?

  • How do you play?

Then, choose a creative project to share the answer to one ore more of those questions. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a poem in honor of the game.

  • Create a short video, like those featured in the article, that shows what the game or sport looks like and whom you play with.

  • Make a “How to Play __” poster with instructions and visuals to teach someone how to play the game.

Want more Lessons of the Day? You can find them all here.