Dear Basketball

by Kobe Bryant

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Passion

Step 1

Start by watching the embedded video. Then ask your students to talk about the poem. Ask them, “How was his love of basketball depicted in the video? What images or scenes were shown help reinforce this love? What language was used?”

Step 2

Ask your students to take some time to think of some passions, interests, or hobbies of theirs. Then have them come up with a list of reasons as to why they love that particular thing.

Step 3

Have your students write a poem similar in sentiment to Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” in which they compose a “love letter” to a passion of theirs, whether that be a sport, hobby, interest, etc.

Step 4

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: selection of detail, figurative language, tone, and structure.

Step 2

Have your students open the following presentation and go over the introduction/directions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to have to analyze the short film adaptation of “Dear Basketball” by Kobe Bryant and determine how the visual elements work to reinforce and enhance the text of the poem.

Step 3

Give your students time to work on the assignment. As your students are working, make sure they focus on not necessarily just what’s taking place in the film, but rather on the effect of such a cinematographic choices and how they work to support the meaning of the poem. The attachment hyperlinked in the directions can give them an idea of how certain shots are implemented to create meaning.

Step 4

When your students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Death / Grief
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • History
  • Joy
  • Labor / Work
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure
  • Tone