One of the most important members of the Toronto Raptors basketball team is injured and won’t be participating this season.
It’s the “Raptor,” the team’s mascot.
Many people think the Raptor–with his athletic moves, edgy attitude and fun-loving spirit–is one of the best mascots in the NBA. Perhaps even professional sports.
Right before the season started, the mascot tore his Achilles tendon doing a backflip during a school visit.
He (or she) is recovering now, but will be on the sidelines for the whole season.
People have an emotional reaction to the Raptor mascot.
The coach’s daughter cried when she heard the news of his/her injury (almost no one knows whether the human inside the mascot is a him or a her).
The Toronto Star newspaper reported that one young person was inspired by the Raptor mascot to become a performer and is planning to audition to attend a school for the arts.
Many fans have similar stories about their love of the Raptor.
Because he is such a unique and well-loved character, the Raptors basketball team decided not to simply replace the human inside him with someone else.
One website said, they didn’t want “some novice to (have to) don the outfit of a living legend.”
Instead, they created a new mascot, named Stripes. He has a slightly calmer attitude than the Raptor.
He will still be charged with whipping up the crowd and mingling with the fans, but he won’t be doing the kind of acrobatic moves the Raptor always did.
Meanwhile, the team will be paying close attention to the Raptor’s rehabilitation.
They’ll even be filming some of it, to let the fans get a glimpse of their beloved mascot getting well again.
By Kathleen Tilly
If you had to create a mascot for your school, what would you pick? Would you choose an animal, an imaginary creature or something else?
Create a mascot for your school – sketch what it would look like and describe what the mascot would do to inspire you, your classmates and teachers.
Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
Why do you think people responded to the Raptors mascot’s injury so emotionally?
Based on your own experiences and those that you read about in the article, why do you think sports teams have mascots? How do they affect the players and the fans?
Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Make judgments and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).
Grammar Feature: Personal Pronoun
A pronoun takes the place of a noun in a sentence. For example, instead of writing “Raptor mascot” over and over, the journalist used the personal pronouns “he” and “she”.
Insert a personal pronoun to complete the following sentence.
1. _____ wanted to walk to school at 8 a.m. today.
2. _____ fed the cat and walked the dog before going to bed.
3. I want to tell ____ to wear a hat because it is cold outside.
4. ____ and my sister went to the park to play on the swings.
5. ____ are excited to go trick-or-treating on Hallowe’en.