Every two years the Olympic Games provides people around the world with the opportunity to engage in a shared celebration. Not just a celebration of sport, but one of multiculturalism, teamwork and dedication. On Friday 9 February the 2018 Winter Olympics will begin in PyeongChang, South Korea. Across 15 sports, thousands of competitors across the world will come together for 19 days of competition. While the Winter Olympic Games aren’t quite as big as the Summer Olympics, they give us a chance to engage our students in a real-time experience shared by kids just like them all around the world. Here are some of the wonderful things kids can learn from the Olympics, as well as Winter Olympics activities for your classroom.
2018 Winter Olympic Games Classroom Activities
What Students Can Learn from the Olympic Games
Stepping outside of medal tally mathematics and the symbolism of the Olympic rings, what can kids learn from the Olympics? We say, lots! Here are just a few things you can explore with your students during the 2018 Winter Olympics:
(1) Exposure to Niche Sports
Both the Summer and Winter Olympics highlight many sports that aren’t as highly visible as sports like football, soccer and cricket. During the games, your students have the opportunity to watch professionals athletes in sports they might participate in themselves but rarely see in focus like Figure Skating and Snowboarding.
WINTER SPORTS COMPREHENSION ACTIVITY
This set of seven Winter Olympic Sports information posters introduce some of the sports played at the Winter Olympics. Use these posters in conjunction with comprehension resources to create Winter Olympics themed learning experiences for your students.
(2) That the World is REALLY Big!
Telecasts, news stories, photos shared on social media – all of these bring a visibility to the amazing diversity of our planet. Looking at the concept of the Olympic Games Host City is a great way to expand your students’ understanding of the many languages, cultures and lifestyles of the world.
2018 WINTER OLYMPICS MAPPING TASK AND
OLYMPIC MEDAL DESIGN TASK
These printable Winter Olympics resources are free to download and will help you explore some of what is celebrated culturally and geographically during the Olympic Games.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games Mapping Task helps students to identify where this year’s games are being held, in relation to where their home country is.
You could compare the colours and symbols used in medal designs from previous Olympic Games before students complete the Olympic Medal Design Task.
OLYMPIC HOST CITY INQUIRY RESEARCH TASK
Middle and upper years students can work through this free Olympic Host City Inquiry Research Task and present their findings in a speech to their classmates.
(3) The “Boys Sport/Girls Sport” Misnomer
The Olympics also bring visibility to the genderless truth of sport. To see both women and men competing in sports at the highest level is fantastic for all kids to see.
ATHLETE PROFILE ACTIVITY
Here’s a simple activity idea to learn about some of the athletes competing in the Winter Olympic sports:
- Ask students to brainstorm a list of the sports they believe are a part of the Winter Olympics. Make a list on the board.
- Use the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics website to check the class’ list against the competition schedule.
- Have students select one of the sports on the list and research an athlete who is competing at the Games in that sport.
- Students complete an Athlete Profile, summarising their research.
- Create a display that highlights the variety in age, nationality and gender amongst competitors at the Olympic Games.
FREE WINTER OLYMPICS POWERPOINT
One of our awesome teachers has also created a FREE Winter Olympics PowerPoint that you can use to provide your students with the background information they need for each of the activities above.
These three concepts…
- exposure to niche sports
- that the world is really big
- the “boys/girls sports” misnomer
…are ones that are translatable both to the Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games too. But, there really are so many more wonderful concepts and values students can learn when engaging with international sporting events.
Stay tuned for a list of more when we explore Commonwealth Games Activities for the classroom very soon!
Until then, enjoy the cold!