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The 2018 Winter Olympics are officially underway. My class has spent the last week absorbed in the Games: watching clips, competing in our own events, walking in a “parade of athletes.”
It’s been a fun week of teaching. One of my favorites in my short time as a teacher.
The Olympics provide so many learning opportunities. Students learn that the world is much bigger than their hometown. They learn about competition, collaboration and relationships between countries around the globe. Students learn what it means to take pride in themselves, their ability and the country they are a part of.
Honestly it’s a very cool thing.
I worked alongside my other first grade teachers and we developed a fantastic study about the Winter Games.
To set the mood I hung a world map and Olympic flag I created so students remember what we are learning about.
We began with an introduction of the games and the various winter sports using a PowerPoint I created:
Throughout the week we wrote all about the Olympics. Here are some of my favorite student writings:
In the middle of the week we hosted four different events:
- The Olympic Ring Toss
- Olympic Torch Art Contest
- Freeze Dance Contest
- Speed Math Drills
Students from the four different classes would rotate with different teachers to complete the events. The top three students from all four classes received their medals.
The next day we paraded around the school and the cafeteria, holding our classroom flags and torches, blaring the Olympic Anthem from YouTube.
The students were gleaming. They loved going around the school and pretending to be like the athletes we had been learning about.
We concluded in the gym. Gathered in a circle, we took photos taking photos and announced the event winners. Students would stand on our risers instead of a podium and listen as their classmates applauded their efforts.
Once everyone had their medals and photos taken, we sang the national anthem together.
That was a moment for the books I must say.
I collected their torches and we “extinguished” the flame and thus our games were brought to an end.
In a world that focuses so much on itself and pushes the idea that you have to look out for number one, I love the opportunity to teach students to consider the world around them. I love showing students the athletes that have spent hours working hard and striving to be their best, not for their own glory, but for the country they call home.
It’s an inspiring topic of study for everyone in the classroom.
If you need some resources, I have created a Teachers Pay Teachers packet that includes informational passages, writing prompts (like the ones you saw above), graphic organizers and math worksheets that will complement any WInter Olympic unit.
Have you incorporated the Olympics in your curriculum? Share your ideas, photos and comments below!