Posted by : Karen Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yes, it's time for another something that involves the whole world! I'm prepping early this year, because events like this always catch me by surprise and leave me frustrated that I didn't make the most of a natural teaching opportunity! (Ahem, this post has been sitting around for over a month now!). As of today, it's officially 78 days to go till they start!

So here are some of my favorites that I've rounded up so far:

It's always good to set the scene and lay a foundation, not only about the history of the Olympic Games, but also about their location this year: London. (Oh I love that we're studying Ancient civilizations this year! Our studies on Greece just happen to fall right around this time!).

  • This little Brain Pop movie gives some history and background - my kids love Tim and and Moby! They've got quite a few on Ancient Greece, Greek Gods, Nutrition etc. You do have to register to watch them - it's free for the first 5 days, so watch them all quick!
  • I love the BBC's kids history pages, and this is a lovely intro for the Olympics.
  • The symbols of the Olympic Games including the rings, the flag, the torch/flame and motto.
  • Project Britain also lists the venues and their corresponding sports - older children might like to place these on a map of the Greater London area.
  • This link to's Planet Sport page has some lovely geography resources - photos of each of the venues; photos of venues before and after building; great studies for KS3 of East London and whether or not Project Britain will regenerate this area with the Olympic games. Love it - the geography teacher in me loves this site!
  • Ever wondered what the difference is between Great Britain, the British Isles, and the United Kingdom? Me too. Well, Teacher Vision has made many helpful pdfs for this season, but this one tries to explain it all.
  • I loved this Olympic Power timeline too - you can see who the superpowers are in terms of medals won throughout the history of the Olympics.
  • I loved all the info here on the Olympic Torch - the relay and the history.
  • And no link here, but it would be great to find iconic London monuments - I'm thinking Big Ben, the Tower Bridge etc etc.
And now for some fun with activities, art, experiments and just more learning through these great links:
  • if you're only going to click on one of these links, then do o do click on this one from the Guardian Teacher Network - it's just a treasure trove of all things - great stuff for junior primary, senior primary and even high school (the link between sport and peace, the health risks of mass sporting events, the Olympics and Fair trade - o the debates one could have :)). I think this is my favorite link so far! It's very teacher orientated, but just take away the ideas!
  • This is a great collection of FREE printables for the Olympics - there are some one can buy on this site, but the free ones seemed great too.
  • There's an official London 2012 Olympic Education program called Get Set, and for us folk living outside of the UK, one needs to enter the international part of the site - Get Set International part of the site. Once you've registered which is pretty simple, there  is a wealth of information (mostly PDF's) under some very broad categories. I learnt today that the two mascots for these Olympic Games grew from two lumps of steel left over from building the large stadium, and are called Wenlock and Mandeville, named after two British towns! Well I never! (I've seen many lessons comparing how the Olympic mascots have changed over the years - would be interesting for high school students to look at the mascots over the years and try and put them in chronological order without knowing their dates - what can the mascots tell us about society?)
  • Nice Olympic torch craft for preschoolers and these lovely songs you might want to belt out?
  • Love the idea of this living math graph - get your kids to plot some/all of the countries participating, and then daily add how many gold, silver and bronze medals have been won.
  • Liked this fun activity of matching the correct sport jargon to the right sport - a worksheet from Teacher Vision.
  • Activity Village Summer Olympic page - puzzles, worksheets, printable coloring in pages - galore! Be sure to check out "All About the Games" and the Olympic Crafts.
  • Teacher Planet also has a long list of links  - something for everyone!Teacher Vision - oh, what a  delight! So much to feast upon! Some of the links are free, and some you can only use if you're a subscriber. Although I'm not subscribed, I still liked looking at the previews of the things they've made. Their categories include England: Culture and Geography, Lesson Plans, Olympic Politics and scandal and Olympic History and References.
  • If you're wondering how to go about planning this into the next few weeks, I noticed the Australians have created this Olympic Education Resource (pdf, give it time to load) to help teachers to plan their units of work - might be worth just browsing through it. There's a lot of very teacher orientated jargon, like learning objectives and specific outcomes, but hopefully it will help your planning!

And I really like the idea of making special mention of the amazing  men and women at the Special Olympics  (for people with intellectual disabilities) and the Paralympics (for physically disabled athletes). Such incredible stories can be found of real bravery, courage, determination and perseverance. I loved this assembly idea I found on Jemma, a down syndrome gymnast, and this record set by Hannah Cockroft : (she's only 19!!). These stories take my breath away.

Now look here. Let's have a bit of honesty before I sign off shall we? I don't want anyone reading this feeling overwhelmed at the thought of having to *do* the Olympics, or cover all this material. I'm not doing this to burden you in any way :). And lest you think I'm super woman let me assure you not even I will do all the things suggested here on this page of mine. It's all here as a resource - to inspire us, and to enable us to have FUN. Simply that. No more.


One Response so far.

  1. Jenni C's says:

    Thanks Karen, going to enjoy looking at the resources you have put together...

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