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Compiled By: shazam

Here are some activities to incorporate the Olympics into the classroom.

Posted by: RebeccaH

We did thinks like make our own tee shirts - uniform. Look at flags, countries involved. As it is the Winter Olympics look at how countries like Australia who have so little snow can send a team. eg Movie, Cool Runnings about the Jamican team. Maths graph the medals as they are won. Have your own mini olympics giving out medals. Current events can be so well done. Is there a mascot for the games eg we had some Australian animals for the Sydney ones so we learnt about them. On the day of the opening ceremony we had an athletes breakfast. Made our own. Because of the build up everyone of my 6 year olds watched the opening ceremony because they felt they owned it. (We are Australians.) I have never done the winter ones but I will be as it is great to even look at which countries are going and which aren't.

Posted by: Patrice

I was also going to tie in this theme for Back-To School. BB Title-"Going For the Gold in 5th Grade" or "in Reading" Use red/wh/blue ribbons for border. Put students names on gold circle.
Post the subject areas as the events..or strategies, like, Making Text Connections
Asking Questions
Using the 6 Traits of Writing
Incredible Inferencing

Olympic idea
Posted by: Joell


I'm also in Salt Lake City (wave to Julianne). This is something I actually did for the Sydney Olympics that my students really loved--we had a torch relay.

I made a torch using brown butcher paper that was rolled up in the shape of a cone, taped together, and stuffed with old newspaper. Then I stapled in some red, yellow, and orange strips of crepe paper which came out of the top of the torch to represent the fire.

We discussed what a relay was and I positioned my students around the field. They loved having a chance to carry the torch and watch the "flames" fly out behind it. We had a raffle drawing after the Olympics were over and the winner got to take the torch home.

The websites that Julianne listed have several useful ideas for teaching about the Olympics, too.


speech bubbles
Posted by: Tounces

What is your book? When I use speech bubbles, I like to use pictures of my students (sometimes we get those small sticky-backed photos after picture day). Then I think of a theme for one of my bulletin boards. One year I did Olympics. We studied all of the different sports. The kids chose their favorite sport. Then with their help I changed the bulletin board into a large scene of the Olympics. Kids drew and cut out pictures like big hockey rinks or the ski jump. Then the kids drew themselves doing their favorite sport. They used the photo for their head. Out of their mouths they had drawn speech bubbles. They used a small white piece of construction paper and wrote down what they were saying to someone else at the Olympics. They put these next to their person. Then the whole board ended up with speech bubbles all over it. Kids used quotation marks around the actual words they said. They got to take turns pointing to their person and said what was in their speech bubble.
So you could do the same with any theme. One year they were presidents, another they were astronaunts in space. They liked the picture part of their heads too. That way there was no question about who was who. :s)

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Wilma Rudolph
Posted by: Lori

Another one I have used is doing glyphs and graphs with the story Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull. This lesson came from a book called Feisty Females.

Anyway, we made a glyph of pertinant facts in Wilma Rudolph's life -- birthdate, death date, Dream -- win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics, birth order in family -- 20 of 22 children, childhood diseases -- chicken pox, polio, measles, etc., birth city and state -- Clarksville, TN. , etc. Then the students collected the same sorts of data on themselves. We used a running shoe template from Printmaster and glued pictographs depicting the data we collected on the shoes. We did one for Wilma also. We hung the shoes around the top of the room where they looked like they were running around the room. We used the data we collected to do graphing activities -- birthdates, # of children in family, # of childhood illnesses, etc.

It might make a cute display especially with the Olympics at the beginning of the year. It is also a fun way to get to know the students in your class. Some of my students even did glyphs for their parents and sibs.

Posted by: Susan

We did that last Fri. (from the website you're referring to) and it was great! We did 7 of the events, had parents come in to help, etc... We had done activities that led up to it all week (studying Greece, eating Greek salad, talking about sportsmanship, reading Hour of the Olympics from Magic Tree House, etc...). The principal came running in to "light" the torch (colored in one), played music to start it, etc... It was a fun week, and the kids learned a lot of measuring with the events on Friday. They also have been watching the Olympics because they got so pumped up about it!

Posted by: Jane

We have studied measurement with cubes and then measured how far our "bobsleds" scooters, can go. We made figure skaters out of tongue depressors, froze in paper cups, then tested how fast they go on a flat surface/incline. I am comparing and contrasting the weather here and in Utah using the internet. Lots of fun and educational things!

Olympics Idea
Posted by: Julie

For the summer Olympics last year I cut out of the Ellison the symbol for "NO" (circle with a line through it) in the 5 olympic colors and cut the line out of the middle. Then the students drew what event they would participate in and glued the circles together at the top to form the Olympic symbol. Usually Sports Illustrated does a big issue describing every single event-this is a great resource. Also, the colors in the Olympic rings represent a color from a every countries flag that participates. Hope that helps!

Olympic Theme Bulletin Board
Posted by: Lucia Wheeler

At the end of the year, I integrated a Summer Olympic theme. We read, watched past Olympics, and researched specific gold medal winners. We gave gold medals for character education. Students were awarded for exhibiting character traits. We planned an "Olympic Day" for the students to participate in Academic Olympics (math and spelling games). I made a bulletin board with gold medal Olympians; stars with our student names and the character trait they were being rewarded for. They were given "medals" to wear home. It was worth the time!!
Best wishes for a great year! Second grade is my favorite grade. I have taught all grades 1-8, except for 3rd grade. This is my first year to teach it!

Greece and Olympics
Posted by: Lori

Mary Pope Osborne's Hour of the Olympics, one of her Magic Tree House books makes a great tie in with some ancient Greek history and mythology. There is also a non-fiction guide to the book that is just right for the primary level. While neither focus's on the Olympics in Athens today, they make a wonderful basis for an Olympic unit that can be reused no matter where the games are held. Also, the children love Magic Tree House books -- they are great read alouds.


Posted by: tk

I had each student choose a country to follow, or group of students, you may want to choose countries ahead of time so they actually pick ones that are doing well. They had to research the countries flag, and the most popular athletes. We also made a bulletin board with all the sports on it, using a graphics program.
I had the students follow their country, keeping track of medals and using newspaper clippings of their athletes. They had to check the paper daily and report on how the country had done.
I also recorded a swimming race, then showed it to them they had to write a newspaper article on it.
I hope this helps.

olympic Day
Posted by: Debbie

During the Summer Olympics the all the third grade classes at our school held an Olympic Day. Each teacher was responsible for setting up 2 PE type activities (individual and team relays, jump for height, etc. Email me if you want the specifics.) We let the kids pick which 2 events they wanted to do. (There were only 4 slots per class for each event, so that way the teams would be made from some kids from each class.) Earlier in the week we practiced the events so they knew what to do. On Olympic Day we ran 2 sessions of before recess and one after recess. At the end of the day we had our closing/awards ceremony where we gave out "medals" (made of cardboard). For me the best part was our opening ceremony. Each class had made a class flag (taped to a yard stick). We lined up by our rooms and processed into the courtyard with the Olympic Fanfare playing. It was so cool to look at the pride on the kids' faces as they ceremoniously marched into the courtyard! The Vice Principal administerd the oath to the athletes (a little diddy about good sportsmanship and having fun). The custodian ran up carrying our "torch" (a flashlight with tissue paper taped to it) and announced "Let the games begin!" The kids (and teachers) had a blast. We are hoping to do it again, but we will have to make some adjustments for the weather.

Olympic Day
Posted by: M.

Olympic day! Divide each grade up into groups depending on how many people are each grade, and assign each group a color. Each group for each grade has a different color. They are expected to wear that color somewhere on the day of the olympics. Depending on how big the school is, they might just have to compete against the grade, but if the school is smaller they can compete against the whole school. If you are just competing against grades, every group for every grade doesn't need different colors, but every group competing against each other needs a different color. To explain the rest, I am going to use an examle for the rest of the explanations. These are the colors I am using in the explanation: Blue, Red, Black, Green.

1)In each color group give them numbers. Ex)Divide the blues so a group of blues gets the number 1, a group gets 2, etc. Do that with all of the groups. It works best if 4 or 5 people from each color have the same number.
2)Start off with the star spangled Banner.
3)Explain the first event. Call of numbers Ex) Would the ones from each group come down? All 1 Blues stand here, etc.
4)Say go and have them compete. The winning team gets a point.
5)The team with the most points wins. 14 or 15 events are a good number.

Events could be anything. They don't have to focus on sports just fun little things! We did this when I was in 7th and 8th grade (my school only had 7th and 8th, and it was smaller so 8th graders were divided up and so were 7th graders, but we competed against each other- even though each grade had two colors, it was still which grade won the most events combined! It was a lot of fun!

Posted by: Pam

My class is doing snowball Olympics. We made white bean bags and snowmen to thow the snowballs out. Also I got some of those white packaging peanuts and we will have relays on picking it up and carrying it in a bucket the first team to get done wins. We have snowman bowling ball where you roll the white bowling ball and knock over the snowmen bowling pins I made them out of plastic jugs. We are also making gold medals and my wonderful husband made us a torch for our torch relay.

Winter Olympics
Posted by: Debbie

Hi Rebecca,
Is that 2nd grade (approx. 7-8 year olds)? I was thinking about doing the same thing.
Of course, you've probably already thought about keeping track of the medals each country wins (could be made into a graph using the country flags). Going out on the playground and measuring some of the distances of the events, then marking records, etc. is another possibility. The kids might want to pull out the Guiness Book of World Records for comparison. I was planning to ask my kids to modify some of the events for their kindergarten buddies and hold a mini-Olympics here (they'll have to be doing some creative thinking for this, as we have no snow in Phoenix, AZ!). Please post some of the ideas you're thinking of and perhaps others will add to the list. Should be fun! ;-D

Posted by: rita

I have been doing a unit on this with my 4th graders for about a week and they are loving it. today we made Olympic torches from rolled paper with tissue paper flames(red, yellow, orange) they designed their own emblem for their torch. We will be doing a reading olympics where they need to read so many minutes for each day of the olympics. I put together a packet of info and everyday we do a little bit of reading in this. I have 50% of my class goes to ESL and Sp. Ed. so I am doing this when all the kids are in the room. It is wonderful to see my lower kids so excited and into learning about this. Oh,yes I almost forgot My kids put together a survery which they did with some of the other classes about favorite sports to watch in the olympics and they are going to graph that data, so many fun ideas....hope you have as much fun as we are!

Olympics survey & graphing project
Posted by: Lisa/5th/FL

Our class also used the Olympics. My kids each surveyed 50 people to see which was their favorite of four Olympic sports. Then the students made a tally chart, a bar graph, and a circle graph displaying their data, and wrote four real-life questions that could be answered with the data. Then they put all of it on a poster. They really enjoyed it, and they have gotten good at constructing their own graphs.

They needed the most help with the circle graph, but surveying 50 people made it easy to change their numbers to percents (just multiply by two). Some of them had trouble visualizing how much, say, 38% would be on a circle graph, so we did a lot of work with that.

Overall, they really impressed me!

For line graphs, try taking 5 minutes out of each day to add data to a graph over a few weeks. We kept track of tardies and absences (double line graph) for two weeks. I had the graph posted in the front of the room, and after we added the new data, we talked about overall trends, predictions, etc.


Posted by: Cheryl

AIMS has great activities called "Mini Metric Olympics". I use it every time there is an Olympics - summer or winter. Included are the paper plate discus, straw javelin throw, left handed sponge squeeze, right handed marble grab, cotton ball toss, and big foot (trace foot on centimeter paper) and figure out sq cm. THere are medals (paper). I create a bulletin board and put pictures of the medal winners (sometimes as many as 5 so everyone gets on the board). Kids love it. We also used it as a center during Family Math night. Look on the AIMS website. I think the activities date back to '86.

Do it differently....
Posted by: dee

Kids will pout, so reduce the "losing face" that can happen.

Make packets that children can do on their own. I adhere to the "fast isn't your best" policy since we have a problem with that throughout the grades. First usually means they have not double checked their work or reviewed their answers!

With the packet, give "medals" depending upon the % correct. Whatever you decide. Remember to let them know that even to make it to the Olympics is an honor! Even adults get caught up in the medal count and forget that to even make the Olympic teams, the athletes have already been the best many times.

You can do one packet with % correct, or do a Bronze level packet, a Silver level packet, and a Gold level packet that they can work towards as they complete each one.

You can also differentiate the packets so that the math geniuses are on the same playing field as those students who are not as advanced in their skills.

Good Luck!

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Olympic Theme Ideas...
Posted by: Krissy

I don't know what grade level you have, but what a neat theme! This would be great for those sports minded kids, too. Here are a few ideas that I came up with...

WELCOME BOARD: "Welcome to ____ grade. Go for the gold!" Put gold foil medals with the students names all around with red, white and blue colors and stars; or an American Flag background

COUNTRIES: Line your room with pictures of flags from other countries. Carson Dellosa makes some neat 3ft multicultural bulletin board people from around the world. Or start a postcard exchange. Penpals could send information about how the Olympics is celebrated in their country.

BULLETIN BOARD: Make a welcome board with the word "WELCOME" written in several different languages.

STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Call them the "Gold Medal Student!"

RESEARCH: Have each student/group choose a country to research and report on. That could be their country to represent for Field Day. Use a torch and have a real ceremony to simulate the games.

RULES: Write your classroom rules inside the Olympic Rings of the logo. Post on the wall.

ATHLETES: Find a local olympic athlete to come and talk to your students. It could even be someone from the past olympics.

CLASSROOM REWARDS: Give out "Gold Medal" "Silver Medal" and "Bronze Medal" coupons. Have their values purchase various classroom priveleges.

TEAMWORK AWARDS: If your students sit in groups, have each group represent a country, hang the flag over their group and give them "Gold Medals" when they are the "neatest," "quietest," etc. The group with the most medals wins.

CLASSROOM OLYMPICS: Have academic olympics with your students. A math tournament, spelling bee, etc. can take on an "Olympic" format.

START OFF THE DAY: Call your morning activity (DOL, etc.) the "Opening Ceremony"

THE GAMES: When the games get here, spend some time watching some of the various sports with your students. They can learn a lot about various countries through the stories they might hear. You can use the internet to find out scores and students could track the results on a graph. Students could also use maps to locate origins of the athletes.

Around The World
Posted by: RebeccaH

I did this unit with my year 1's last year. I thought we could do it in a term in time for the Olympics but it took us the whole year. The kids had a ball and learnt so much. We started off with a passport and they put a ticket to each country in it. They had to be able to find the country on a world map. We did art from each country. Japanese outfit using paper napkins. We cooked a dish from each country eg made our own pasta and sauce for Italy. Listened to music from the countries. Played children's games from that. Literature was important. They liked facts as well. On the computer we did the jigsaws on one of the sites of famous buildings or flowers. We looked at how the weather was different. The flag they had. I could have just kept going it was fantastic.

Posted by: Kimberly

This is on a much grander scale, but you can take any part of it and use it.

At my school, our ENTIRE school is participating ing "The Games". Each class was assigned one of the more prominate countries to make little flags.

Yesterday, we had our opening ceremonies. We had the parade of nations and every student marched around our school waving their assigned countires flag. Each class was assigned to wear either red white or blue.

We had a local celeb who carried the torch through our town come and talk. We sang the Star Spangled Banner, we heard a talk on the olympic mascots, the rings and we all cited the Olympic Oath. Our principal then shouted, "Let the Games Begin" and everyone celebrated with Red While and Blue popcycles.

For our Phy Ed class my Kindergartners' event is speed skating. For this event they are given two pieces of carpet and must 'skate' around our gym. It give them 'quite' a workout!

For the next two weeks on the announcements, the 5th grade will give the medal count. Each grade has their own event, but in the end everyone will get a certificate of completion.

We will then have a closing cermony. At the
at closeing we will all sing God Save the Queen and the Oh Canada as part of our music program.

I hope this offers you some kind of help . . .

Good Luck!

More IDEAS - BB Olympics!
Posted by: Holly

Something I did one year was Beanie Baby Olympics, LOL. Well, i had a Beanie Baby Day and we used them in every subject - wrote stories, had B.B.s "act out" important events in history, LOL.

Math was the most fun. We took class surveys and made graphs. Boy/Girl/?? BBs, BBs Favorite Food, BB Colors, etc. etc.

And then we held the Beanie Baby Olympics! My favorite was the Beanie Baby Head Jump... I made a long capital "T" on the floor with electrical tape (masking tape on carpet can become a nightmare). The student woul dsit on his knees at the the top of the T, place the BB on his face (head tilted back), then throw his head forward and see how far nthe BB "jumped" down the line. This distance was measured in inches and metrics, and graphed.

In the BB Sled Race, we used a large dry erase board as a slope. the kids made paper sleds and timed how fast their BB slid down the incline. =o)

I would let the kids brainstorm for ideas! I bet they could come up with a lot more.

Of course, don't forget to have Newspaper Reporters to do interviews with the BBs and write articles about the exciting events!

=o) Holly

National Costumes
Posted by: RebeccaH

I am getting organized to do the Olympics next term. (Australia - May - July) I would like the children to do several activities on several countries as well as looking at the Olympics. I would like to look at National Costumes. eg For Scotland - part of the UK team we could do a kilt, use check material put a pin in it and for a bowtie use pasta.I thought if we use a photocopied cut out and decorated in National Costumes. Please any ideas of what to do or a web site. Thank you.

math olympics
Posted by: billie

Last year in my Math class, I ran an olympics. The kids divided 4 to a group(country) ,named their country...designed a flag for the bulletin board. As I followed the math curriculum ,short 10 question quizes were given. The teams with the highest totals received the gold, silver, and bronze madals to stick up on their Flag. The quizes became "fun" and I could still have individual grades for my grading system, Trophies were given out when the "olympic" were over. The kids loved it and didn't want it to end!

Posted by: Krissy

I plan to use the olympics to incorporate a graphing theme with my class. We have went over the basic parts of each type of graph and as the olympic events wind down, I am going to use the internet and have the kids research the number of countries who won medals, etc. Choose five countries and make a pie chart to show how won what percentage of the total medals, choose five countries and make a bar graph to show how many medals they won, use the USA medal totals to make a line graph of medals won in each event. My kids were interested in the olympics. Maybe you could even record some events on tape and have them watch them and then make a graph of the data.