Homeschool Share: an online homeschool curriculum cooperative hosting over 500 unit studies, lapbooks, printables, and other resources.

Soccer Lapbook & Unit Study

Soccer Unit and Lapbook
created by Kristy Seaman



Suggested Books:

The Illustrated Laws of Soccer by George Fischer

My Soccer Book by Gail Gibbons

Young Pele, Soccer’s First Star by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Lapbook Templates

World Cup Timeline
Trading Cards & Pocket
World Map
Vocabulary Flap
Playing Soccer Tab
Bucky Ball Facts Pocket
Sportsmanship Tri-fold
Game Cards
Soccer Field Math
Traction Action World Cup Trophy Shape


Social Studies

History of the Soccer Ball
The official ball used today is the Buckminster ball, 27 to 28 inches in circumference.  Early balls were made of animal bladders inflated and knotted.  Later the bladders were covered with animal skin cured to turn into leather.  Early soccer balls were dangerous as they absorbed great amounts of water and were very heavy.  Heading the ball could be extremely dangerous.  Today balls are made of an outer synthetic waterproof coating covering a latex bladder and polyester skin. 


Origins of the Game
Also known as football in other parts of the world, soccer was developed officially in England and Scotland in the 19th century. The first set of written rules was in 1863 written by14 graduates of English private schools who were looking for official rules of “mob football”.  The players disagreed on 3 points:  tripping, shin kicking and carrying the ball. As a result those who wanted those points banished created soccer, and the others who kept the tripping, shin kicking and ball carrying created rugby.  Soccer has its roots in harrow ball, ashbourne ball, calcio and other early street games—all games that involved kicking a ball.  Some of these early games were from as early as 3 B.C.  The first international match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England.  Women’s soccer began around the end of the 19th century.  Soccer’s popularity has grown worldwide and now has more fans than basketball, baseball and football all together.  At one time it was a male-dominated sport, but women’s soccer has grown in popularity over the last 2 decades.  The United States is a top contender in women’s soccer winning the 1991 and 1999 World Cup.


Have your student locate on a world map the current top soccer playing countries: Uruguay, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina, France, Holland, and England.  (You may want to check this information to make sure it is current.)


Soccer Athletes

Even though soccer is a team sport, there are many great individual players that have made their mark in soccer’s history.  You may choose to have your student research a soccer athlete.

~Garrincha had polio as a child but overcame this and became one of the quickest wingers ever.

~Pele was king of the Brazilian soccer team in the late 1950’s to early 1970’s and scored 1,283 goals in his career.

            ~Marco Van Basten scored one of the greatest goals in 1988 at the European championship.

~Mia Hamm, author of Winners Never Quit, was the youngest woman ever to play with the U.S. National Team in the Olympics at the age of 15.

            ~John Cruyff signed at 10yo as a youth player for the Dutch team.  He went on to become an international soccer star.


Rules of Soccer
In The Illustrated Laws of Soccer  the 17 rules of soccer include field of play, the ball, number of players, players equipment, referee, linesman, time of game, start of play, ball in play, method of scoring, off-side, fouls and misconduct, free-kicks, penalty-kick, throw-in, goal-kick, and corner-kick.   You may want to have your student pick several rules to learn from memory.


World Cup

The most important prize in soccer held every four years in different countries.  The first World Cup game was held in Uruguay in 1930.  French sculptor Abel Lafleur designed the first World Cup stolen twice in 1966 and 1983 and has never been recovered.  The present day World Cup originally made in 1974 is 20 inches high and weighs 20lbs, made of 18-carat gold designed by Italian Silvio Gazzaniga.  The top of the trophy is a golden globe.  Your student may choose to draw a timeline of the World Cup winners.  To gain perspective, have him include when he was born and important events in his life.

World Cup winners:

2006:  Italy

2002:  Brazil

1998:  France

1994:  Brazil

1990:  Germany

1986:  Argentina

1982:  Italy

1978:  Argentina

1974:  Germany

1970:  Brazil

1966:  England

1962:  Brazil

1958:  Brazil

1954:  Germany

1950:  Uruguay

1938:  Italy

1934:  Italy

1930:  Uruguay


The first women’s World Cup game was played in China in 1991 and again in Guangzhou, U.S versus Norway.  The women’s U.S team won 2-1.  The U.S team won again in 1999 against China.



Soccer shoes are designed to provide traction for the athlete in order to avoid slipping during a game.  Cleats on the sole grip the field and provide the player with more stability while running and changing directions quickly.


A simple experiment to feel what traction is: 

Have your student put on  a pair of tennis shoes and practice some soccer moves on a smooth wood or tile floor.  The shoes shouldn’t slide.  Now, place the tennis shoes in a large plastic bag and place in the freezer.  Leave the shoes in the freezer for several hours.  Once the shoes are taken out of the freezer, have your student put them on as quickly as possible (with socks of course).  Now carefully try the same soccer moves.  Ask your student if they can feel a difference.  The cold shoes should cause some unintentional slipping and sliding. 


The tendency for two objects to adhere is traction.  The rubber soles on the shoes grip other surfaces.  The uneven surface and softness of the rubber encourages the rough edges of the shoe to mold with the rough edges of the floor surface.  Traction is what you need to stop and go quickly.  When the shoes were frozen, the rubber lost its softness.  As a result, the shoes lost their grip.


Pressure and Inflation
A ball that is well inflated will perform better.  Pressure is a measure of force pressing on an area.  The air molecules pumped into a ball supply the force that presses against the inside of the ball.  That is why a flat ball begins to take shape as air is added.  The more air molecules there are, the more force they exert.  Because a ball is elastic, when it hits something it changes shape for a moment but springs back to its original shape.  A ball with higher pressure will travel farther and bounce higher because all those molecules inside are pushing the ball back into its round shape.  Try this:


Using a ball (basket ball, soccer ball, or volleyball), deflate as much of the ball using an air pump.  Drop the ball at chest height.  How high did it bounce?  Put the needle back into the ball and pump in 3 strokes of air.  Drop the ball at chest height again.  How did it bounce this time?  Repeat 3 or 4 more times until the ball is firm to touch.  How did the bounce change each time the ball was inflated?  You may even want to try this experiment with kicking into a goal.  Compare the force needed to kick the ball a certain distance.


Language Arts

Cleat: a piece of rubber or metal attached to the bottom of a shoe for better traction

Defense: working to prevent goals

Dribble:  running with the ball while keeping it under close control

Foul:  doing something against the rules

Goal:  the net or space the ball must go in to score a point

Offense: working to score a goal

Referee:  the person who has authority to enforce the rules during a particular match


Young Pele, Soccer’s First Star  is a biography, a story describing someone’s life.  An autobiography is a story about the author written by the author.  Have your student choose a soccer athlete, or their favorite athlete, and write a short biography of their life.



Perimeter and Area
What is the perimeter of a soccer field 110 yards long by 70 yards wide? 

Add all four sides together (110+110+70+70)
What is the area? (multiply length and width – 110 x 70)



The field of play and official rules refer to distances in yards rather than feet.  One yard is equivalent to 3 feet.  Have your student measure various things around your home and yard in feet and convert into yards.  


Advanced Geometry- Polyhedra
The current soccer ball, “Bucky Ball”, is a pattern comprised of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons that form a near perfect sphere.  A hexagon is a 6-sided shape that can tesselate.  Pentagons are 5-sided shapes. A polyhedron is a three-dimensional figure constructed with polygons. A truncated icosahedron is a three-dimensional shape made up of hexagons and pentagons (a soccer ball).  A truncated octahedron is a three-dimensional shape made up of hexagons and squares.  Use paper pattern block shapes and scotch tape and try to assemble your very own truncated icosahedron.


Word Problems

11 players maximum are to be on each team, how many players would be playing altogether in two teams?

There are 4 positions in soccer, using all 11 players how many different players can you think up in each position? (one player must be a goalie)


In the World Cup Soccer game there are two 45 minute halves and five minutes between the halves, how long is a game altogether? 

Youth games have shortened play times, such as four 12-minute intervals with a 5-minute halfbreak and 2-minute breaks between quarters, how long is a game altogether?


Coin Value
In My Soccer Book:  the referee tosses a coin.  Learn the heads and tails of coins.  Learn the value of a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. 


Graph a Soccer Field
Using graph paper and the illustration in the Illustrated Laws of Soccer measure and draw out a soccer field.  Don’t forget to center the circle, mark the halfway line.  The field of play must be rectangular, 110 to 120 yds long by 70 to 80 yds wide.  We used our soccer field and made a board game.


Face Painting
Face painting has been around for centuries often used in times of battle or during religious celebrations.  It has become commonplace at many major sporting events as a way to show support for a favorite team.  Try some face painting of your own using the folowing recipe or one of your own:

            For each color, mix in a small container:

            1 tsp cornstarch

            ½ tsp cold cream

            ½ tsp water

            a few drops of your choice of food coloring


Design and sculpt your own trophy

Recipe for sculpting medium:

            Combine in a saucepan:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 cups water

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp cream of tartar


Heat mixture over low heat until it looks like mashed potatoes.  Remove pan from heat and let cool.  Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and pliable.  Dough may air dry for a few days or baked at 300-degrees F until dry (check every half hour for larger sculptures)



There are nine fouls listed in The Illustrated Laws of Soccer .  Discuss with your student each one and why these would be considered misconduct.  Although winning is part of competing and playing sports, following the rules of the game, playing fairly, and having fun are more important.  Enjoying a game no matter who wins is what sportsmanship is about. 


Just for Fun

Practice some soccer skills of your own


Play Soccer Guys by Kaskey Kids


Watch a soccer game live or on T.V.