Grades 3-7

Fred Bowen’s newest book, Out of Bounds, teaches readers how true athletes exemplify sportsmanship. Nate, an eighth-grade soccer player, must choose to either keep playing after an opponent has been injured or to send the ball out of bounds in an act of good sportsmanship. Much to the chagrin of some of his teammates, Nate kicks the ball out of bounds in order to give the injured player a chance to recover.

This book uses real-world events to help portray how young athletes can be sportsman-like. Throughout the book, Nate and his team must learn how to work together and how to demonstrate good character. Try this activity with your class in order to practice creative writing skills and to also prompt discussion on fairness and sportsmanship.

After the class reads Out of Bounds, discuss how the sportsmanship discussed in the book can be applied to situations that do not involve sports. Emphasize that sportsmanship is a display of fairness and of high character.

  • Ask the class to write a one to two page essay describing an instance where they witnessed excellent sportsmanship or an example of fairness.
  • These essays can be about sports, dance class, camp, extracurricular activities, or anything that the student thinks applies to the situation.
  •  This activity will help the class to practice their writing skills and to learn the importance of sportsmanship in everyday situations.


For the full discussion guides of Fred Bowen’s books, click here, and for the full summary of Out of Bounds, click here.