Teamwork icon

What makes your team great?

Let’s design your own pennant. A pennant is a flag that shows support for a team or represents a team’s championship. During his playing days, fans cheered for Jackie Robinson and his fellow players by waving pennants. Pennants are still used today to show team spirit.

 

Activity Section

Make your own pennant

Context and Instructions

Jackie was a star athlete in many sports, excelling in baseball, football, track, and basketball while at UCLA. A strong competitor and a skilled athlete, he was also a loyal team player and leader. In breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Jackie’s athletic talent was only part of the reason “The Great Experiment” successful. Jackie also had the discipline and mental strength to handle racial abuse and insults.

Listen to Sharon Robinson’s Jackie Robinson: American Hero. Chapters 2, 6, and 7 are especially helpful when thinking about what made Jackie a great teammate. While you listen, use our warm up activity in the Got Game? section as a guide.

For this activity, you will use Jackie as inspiration for making a pennant representing yourself or your team, family, or class. A team is more than a group of people who play a sport. It’s any group of people who work together and help each other. So, you are a teammate on many different teams, such as your family or class.

Make your own pennant:

  1. Decide what your pennant will represent. It can involve your family, your class, or a group of any kind to which you belong. It does not have to be a sports team, simply a group important to you. Check out some examples below.
  2. Make a list of words, memories, and ideas that make this group a great “team” or you a great “teammate” – inspired by what you’ve learned about Jackie Robinson.
  3. Make your pennant. Print our template or draw your pennant on a sheet of paper. To draw a pennant, use a ruler to make a triangle with two equal sides and one shorter side. Try measuring 11 inches for the long sides and 7 inches for the short side.
  4. Cut out your pennant.
  5. Collect or draw decorations. You can cut out decorations from the template or cut out pictures or words from magazines. You can also use stickers or draw and cut out your own decorations.
  6. Decorate your pennant with the cut-outs using glue or tape. Use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to add words and drawings that represent your team.
  7. Wave your pennant to show your team spirit! Use tape to secure your pennant to a broom handle or even a pencil to wave it around or just hold it up by hand.
  8. Show off your pennant as part of Jackie Robinson Day! Have an adult help you make a video about your pennant. Share it on social media using #JackieRobinsonDay, #Jackie42, #JRDayatHome or #JRFoundation and you many see it on our Instagram page!

Inspiration & Examples

Before you get started, take a look at our inspiration to help you make a great project! Some of these resources are from the Jackie Robinson Museum’s archival collection while others are from the web. What will you create?

Credits: (From left to right)

  1. Jackie Robinson's All-Star felt pennant, 1949
    Trench Manufacturing Company, Buffalo, NY
    Sports Museum of Los Angeles
  2. Jackie Robinson First Baseman Brooklyn Dodgers Pennant, 1947
    Trench Manufacturing Company, Buffalo, NY
    Jackie Robinson Museum Collection
  3. Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Steals Home Pennant, ca. 2014
    Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Collection, Philadelphia, PA
    Jackie Robinson Museum Collection
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Put me in, coach

Jackie Robinson believed in the power of young people to make positive change. This starts with being thoughtful about the things that are important to you and those you care about. These activities are designed to help you think about those things, while you also learn about the things that mattered to Jackie Robinson.