Olympic teaching

Olympic flame

So the Olympic athletes have already arrived in the UK and the country is starting to reach fever pitch ahead of the games at the end of this week. Whether you’re a sports fan, patriotic, or simply carried along by the buzz in the media, the Olympics certainly provide a lot of excitement for many Britons. They also provide learning opportunities inside the classroom!

If you’re teaching, leading youth groups or running summer camps, there is plenty of scope to incorporate the Games into fun activities for children to enjoy. We know that most UK-based teachers will be taking a well-deserved break from the classroom at the moment, but why not save some Olympic themed ideas for the start of next term?

Here are some ideas to whet your appetite:

PE lessons:

  • Create your own Mini Olympics.
  • Try a new Olympic sport.
  • Invent your own Olympic sport.

Geography lessons:

  • Look at the countries in the world where the athletes have come from.
  • Investigate the culture of the different competing nations and check out this video of interesting statistics for some comparisons of the five continents.

History lessons:

  • Find out where and how the Olympics originated?
  • Find out which countries competing in the Games were a part of the British Empire, and which still are?
  • Investigate how the Olympics changed over the years.
  • What does the medal tally over the years tell us about the history of the leading countries?

English:

  • Create an acrostic poem using the letters ‘London Olympics’.
  • Write a stream of consciousness about how an athlete feels before, during and after their event.
  • Pretend to be a reporter documenting an event, or interviewing an athlete.

Not only can the Olympics create a great theme for a lesson or activity, but they can also teach good personal learning objectives: working as part of a team, learning to set goals, coping with healthy competition, celebrating achievements and learning to deal with disappointments and losing.

There is so much room for imagination and a wealth of helpful materials available online for those who feel inspired to run Olympic themed activities.

Whether you will be glued to the Olympic coverage or avoiding it altogether, we hope you enjoy the next few weeks!

Now it just remains for us to wish Team GB all the best for their events. They’ve put in a lot of hard work during training (you could even liken it to revising for an exam!) and we hope it pays off! We’ll be watching them from the sidelines and cheering them on – just like we cheer on our students when it comes to exam time!

– Amelia

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