This lesson is a 4 ½ page biography of baseball superstar, Roberto Clemente, followed by another 4 ½ pages of 20 multiple choice questions. Not only is it based on Roberto Clemente’s life, it is also based on my memories of watching Clemente play baseball. I entitled the lesson “Remembering Roberto Clemente” because I had the opportunity to go to Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium with my father and younger brother to see many Pittsburgh Pirate games in the 1960s and 1970s. I tell about the experience of watching Roberto Clemente play ball and explain how he excelled at fielding and hitting. It didn’t take long for Clemente to become my favorite baseball player.
The lesson also includes a newspaper article (my own mocked-up version of ones printed at the time of his death) to show how the world learned that Roberto Clemente’s airplane crashed. Clemente died when going on a mission to deliver food and supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. My newspaper article names some of the baseball awards Roberto Clemente achieved in both the regular major league baseball seasons and in the two World Series in which he played. I also briefly tell of my difficulty coping with the loss of my favorite baseball player, and how I came to realize he was not only a talented and famous athlete, but also a compassionate man, who died, as he lived, helping others!
I end the story describing my thoughts as I walked over the Roberto Clemente Bridge last summer and viewed his 12 foot bronze statue just outside the center-field gate of today’s Pittsburgh Pirates’ stadium, PNC Park. I acknowledged my joy in remembering how Roberto Clemente played on the Pittsburgh Pirate team many years ago.
On the first page of the lesson, there is a chart with 22 vocabulary words that I underlined in the story. The vocabulary chart will help students read the selection and better understand the questions. The twenty multiple choice questions are design to boost reading comprehension. Reading skills presented are: locating details, determining main idea, identifying character traits, relating causes to effects, sequencing events, drawing conclusions, making inferences, recognizing the author’s purpose, distinguishing facts and opinions, and finding a simile (figurative language). The tenth page is the answer key. There are also 4 photographs in the selection. One is a close-up of Roberto Clemente in his baseball uniform. One shows Roberto with his three young sons. Another photo shows the current Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, and the last one is of the 12 foot high bronze statue of Roberto Clemente outside of PNC Park.