“The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that’s wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.” – John Williams
Students can learn about sports, current events, STEM, history, geography, and foreign policy while enjoying the Olympics. Your students will also learn about different cultures and traditions by following the Olympics online through videos, articles, images, social media and infographics. The Olympics takes place August 5th to 21st in Rio, Brazil. Below is a list of websites with information, activities and resources for teaching about the Olympics. Download a free pdf of the slides and scroll down for the bookmarks. If you like these ideas then be sure to check out my new book published this summer with more ideas, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom.
Get your copy of my books, The 30 Goals for Teachers or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
Web Resources and Activities
- Find videos of past Olympic sporting events here. One idea is to get your students to view a video of an Olympic event they have never seen and create a short presentation where they describe the event to their peers. They should provide current information about the athletes competing this year and the countries where this event is popular.
- Students can choose one of the Olympic sports they are not familiar with and create a digital poster presentation detailing the history of the sport,current competitors, and interesting facts. Find web tools for creating digital posters here.
- Host your own Olympics sports day with some of the Olympic sports and new ones invented by students.
- Students can break into small groups, invent a new Olympic sport, then teach peers how to play.
- Role-play an Olympic commentator or judge. Try the Talking Ben & Tom News iOS/Android app.
- Play Olympics bingo. Create your own for students to do while watching one of the events or use one of these templates:
- Find an Olympics bingo for adolescents to adults at Olympic Rings and Other Things
- Olympic Bingo templates for very young learners at Learning Treasures
- Create your own Olympic sports bingo with Boggles World card creator
- Have students choose an Olympic athlete who is competing in their favorite sport or represents the country to write a biography.
- Read Write Think has a bio cube interactive students can complete to help them write their biography. Download the pdf version if your students do not have access to computers.
- Students can research a favorite Olympian and present some facts, statistics, predictions and a timeline.
- They can link to videos and background information with a web tool like Thinglink. Find a Thinglink of Gabby Douglas here as an example.
- If your students need to know about some Olympic star athletes, they can view NBC’s list of athletes to watch.
- Kids to teens will enjoy creating avatars of athletic Olympic heroes with Gatorade’s Athletic Heroes creator.
- Create comics about the Olympics with ToonDoo.
- Makebeliefscomix.com has a great writing prompt for students to determine their own
- Children can learn about the history of the Olympics in Olympia with this fun interactive.
- Students can learn about the Olympics on Twitter:
- Follow these accounts and hashtags to get the latest updates and news- @Olympics, @NBCOlympics, @NPROlympics, @ESPNOlympics,#Olympics, #Rio2016, and #Olympics2016
- Check out this Twitter list of Olympic athletes. Try inviting a few to answer questions via Twitter with your class. To do this, create a Twitter hashtag for your students to tweet their questions with the athlete’s Twitter handle and the athlete can reply back with the hashtag. You can schedule a time or date and do a live event. The hashtag will make it easy for you to archive the interview on Storify or Participate.
- Have students plan the Olympics in their city with the following resources and ideas:
- Scholastic has a great site full of information on how Olympic locations are picked.
- Students break into small groups and plan the budget, accommodations, transportation, stadium, safety, and plan for potential problems.
- Students can create social media marketing campaign posters for different local businesses. Try Canva’s different graphic templates for creating these ads.
- Find photos related to the 2016 Olympics and past Olympics here. Students can chose one or two images and write a news article to support this image.
- Find web tools for kids and teens t0 create news articles here.
- Scholastic has a great news reporter activity here.
- Have students research the statistics of different Olympic sports and create infographics interpreting what these statistics mean. They can make predictions for the 2016 Olympics based on their research or predict top competitors or possible outcomes. Find over 20 web tools and apps for creating infographics here.
- Find a great interactive for teens to adults on Broadcasting the Olympic Games here.
- Students can play online Olympic games. Find a list here.
Challenge: Try one of these ideas to get your students learning by engaging with this year’s Olympics.
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.
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