Updated: Jul 20, 2021
As a child myself, I LOVED the Olympics. I remember creating a scrapbook all about Kieran Perkins when I was in Year 2 and taking it into my teacher (Side note: My Year 2 teacher was a real hoot and would tap dance on the desks, suffice to say, I got a tap dance for my scrapbook and OH&S wasn’t a thing back then!)
Ok, so back to what we are here for… with the Olympics looming, we thought we would put together 5 of our all time favourite activities to support the excitement of the Olympics in our classrooms.
You probably know by now that here at Rainbow Sky we aren’t about adding more to our plates as teachers. So, staying true to this mantra, we want to share ideas that will seamlessly fit into your classrooms without having to add more to the juggling act or needing to magically find more time in the day.
So, let’s dive in - 5 ideas to get your students excited about learning that involves the Olympic Games:
1. Athlete ‘Who am I?’ Maths
This is the PERFECT Maths warmup, investigation, revision or fast finisher task to complete during the Olympic Games. Your students will love solving each 'Who am I' while practising their maths skills and knowledge.
Students complete the worksheet and then match the information to the ‘Athlete Table’ in order to solve who is the athleteI. Once the athlete has been identified, students can record the athlete's name on the template and draw a picture of the athlete or the sport they participate in.
This activity could easily lead into a research task about the sport or athlete themselves.
Find the Aussie Athlete Who am I for Grades 1-2 here.
Find the Aussie Athlete Who am I for Grades 3-4 here.
Find the Aussie Athlete Who am I for Grades 5-6 here.
2. Make a Wonder Wall
What teacher doesn’t love a festive display. Set a wonder wall up that includes a medal tally, Olympic or sport themed books, any activities your students complete related to the Olympics and any additional items that sparks their interest that they want to add. Students may want to bring in a print out of a social media post, newspaper article or any memorabilia they own.
There isn’t really a formula with this idea, it is very much student led and should add to building excitement that the Olympics brings.
3. Start a Reflection Journal
Like my memories of my dancing Year 2 teacher and scrapbook, the Olympics is a great reminder of a certain time in our lives.
Why not set up a reflection journal for your students to work on for 10-15 minutes each morning or afternoon (you could even implement it instead of silent reading during the Olympic period if you are short on time).
We love this task because it builds excitement and discussion around what is happening at the Olympic Games. We love this scaffolded flipbook style, but you could set it up anyway you want (you could even go digital!)
Update: We have created a DIGITAL version of this flipbook and added into original resource now we have multiple Australian states in lockdown. Find it here.
4. Blooms / Multiple Intelligences grid
These grids are an ideal way to differentiate, while catering for a range of learners and learning styles in your classroom. They also encourage creative and critical thinking.
We love using matrix style activities such as these in our classrooms (and this Olympics one has been out to good use over the years). Not only does it allow for students to learn about their personal learning styles but it also involves student choice and voice, which is so important in the modern classroom.
When starting a grid such as this, we like to spend time talking about each task and our expectations. Then we may start on an activity as a whole group or students may go ahead and choose activities according to their interests and learning needs. The best part is that it involves flexible learning which sparks enthusiasm, excitement and engagement among students.
5. Olympic themed Stem activity
Allow opportunity for students to get creative and be problem solvers by incorporating Olympic themed STEM activities. You could substitute this activity for an Art lesson or we have been known to use a STEM task during reading rotations too!
Here are some suggestions for Olympic themed STEM tasks.
Create the Olympic Rings logo without using writing materials such as pens, pencils and paper. How many different versions can you create?
Long jump competition. Using counters students see how far they can make a counter jump using another counter (think of the game tiddlywinks). Students take 3 attempts using 3 counters to jump the furthest distance. Students measure the distance and could go further by testing different techniques or surfaces such as carpet, grass, sand.
Kids love events and the Olympics is the perfect time to relate learning to what is happening in real life. We would love to know if you use any of these ideas. Tag us in your photos on instagram and use the hashtag #rainbowskycreations.