My teaching partner is the quintessential guy. He loves sports and he had March Madness as bad as anyone could have it. His brilliant idea was to have his students fill out a 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket for fun. And, since I get all my best ideas from someone else, I copied this idea.
I filled out my own bracket first, then explained everything the students needed to know about college hoops (regions, seeds, wins-losses) so they could fill out their own brackets with some degree of authority and accuracy even though they are only 8-10 years old. And to provide an academic connection to this "class project" (because what kind of teacher would I be if I didn't connect it to the curriculum, right??!!), at the end of the tournament there was an assignment in which students had to solve mathematical problems based on the tournament results.
The kids loved this! They ate it up! They filled out those brackets with enthusiasm and excitedly anticipated the tournament updates to see who picked the winners for each round. Every morning they reviewed and compared their brackets. Recess talk included going over who picked what team to go all the way in the tourney. I was so delighted to see how much they were enjoying this. Perhaps I made some college hoops fans out of them yet? Or, maybe all that enthusiasm and excitement was for the extra credit points they received for each correct pick on their bracket....Who's to say?