Is Boxing the Cruelest Sport? Joyce Carol Oates, in reviewing several boxing books for The New York Review of Book about twenty years ago asked this question. However, in the 21st century boxing and other sports such as Mixed Martial Arts or kickboxing continue to attract participants and audiences. The students go to a link and will close-read Joyce Carol Oates’ “The Cruelest Sport.” A writing assessment follows with a suggested response key provided. The students will also read and listen to a profile of then 16 year old female boxer Claressa Shields as she prepared for qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. Also, an author is interviewed on his recent book on Ray Mancini, who once killed an opponent in the ring. The students will participate in a Socratic discussion where they will identify the three main factors that attract some to boxing. Clips from “Raging Bull” and “Million Dollar Baby” and other multimedia links are provided. Common Core standards, Essential and Key Questions are included.
In this resource there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. This unit is perfect for Language Arts class, writing courses, and physical education classes.
Key Words: boxing, ethics, race, injustice, women’s boxing, Muhammad Ali, Ray Mancini, Claressa Shields, Joyce Carol Oates, writing, Socratic Seminar, Language Arts, Physical Education