the only tool you have is a hammer.....
everything around you looks like a nail."
With five months til the summer games in Athens, teachers looking for curricular tie-ins are already rearing to go. The XXVIII Olympiad returns the games to its home of Athens, and it's a great chance to energize your classroom with all the possibilities for Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Health and Science.There are several popular approaches teachers take in presenting a unit that prepares students for the summer games:
- Have students research the history of the games, its traditions, past memorable moments and significant athletes
- Have students research the city in which the games take place, give them each a travel budget, and have them develop individual itineraries to attend the games based on the budget they have
- Have students research the events of the games, their nation's athletes participating in each event, and create a medals tracking sheet they can use to track their athletes while following the games over the summer
- Develop Olympic events and ceremonies at school in place of a field day and have students participate for sportsmanship, excellence and medals
- Study the Olympics as an extension of a curricular focus on ancient Greece
One great approach to studying ancient Greece is through its architecture. What better time to consider having your class to participate in the Art & Architecture Project? Now with a rolling, open registration policy, you can have your students study your local architecture and create a virtual tour of your home town's homes and public buildings! See http://surfaquarium.com/A&A/ for details and registration!
The resources below are offered to provide the backdrop and current events materials you will need to plan and prepare an awesome Olympics unit. Enjoy!
- AIMS Classroom Olympics - http://www.aimsedu.org/Activities/cOlympics/colympics.pdf
Excellent set of Math-based activities on the Olympics in .pdf format. For further extension see A Measure of Greatness at http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/00-2/lp2148.shtml
- AIMS Water Olympics - http://www.aimsedu.org/Activities/cOlympics/colympics.pdf
- All Info About Ancient Geography - http://classics.allinfoabout.com/articles/anctgeo.html
Another great connection to Greece and the Olympics - geography! This site covers Italy, Greece and the eastern Mediterranean; nice look at the Phoenicians too.
- All Recipes: Greek Food - http://allrecipes.com/directory/898.asp
More than five dozen recipes you can share with your students as part of a study of Greek culture; each recipe includes ingredients, directions and nutrition information for a tie-in to Health.
- Amarandi Barrett's Greece 4 Kids - http://www.greece4kids.com/
An online picture book that covers everyday life in Greece through the eyes of this eleven year old young lady; charming and high-interest for kids.
- Ancient Greece - http://home.freeuk.net/elloughton13/greece.htm
Snaith Primary School does a great job on all their themes, and Greece is no exception. This page offers a nice introduction of the city-state concept in Ancient Greece.
- Ancient Greece - http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/
History for Kids presents this look at ancient Greek society, including History, Environment, Religion, Philosophy, Government, the Economy, Language and Literature and Architecture.
- Ancient Greece in Elementary Schools - http://www.educ.uvic.ca/Faculty/sockenden/edb363/internetprojects/ancientgreece/\ index.htmlLots of lesson ideas and information from the University of Victoria, British Columbia for teachers to make the most of their study of ancient Greece, including a special section on the Olympic games.
- Ancient Olympic Games Virtual Museum - http://minbar.cs.dartmouth.edu/greecom/olympics/
Dartmouth-based web site that offers a unique slant on stories behind the ancient games, including stories, anecdotes and slide shows. You must register (free) in order to view features.
- Ancient Olympics - http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics/
Wonderful comparison of the ancient Olympics and the Centennial Modern Games in Atlanta with plenty of substance provided from the Perseus Project; this is a first rate treatment of the evolution of the Olympic tradition.
- Athens 2004 Olympic Games - http://www.athens2004.com/athens2004/
The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this is the site for watching all the news and current developments now and over the summer.
- Athens Greece Guide 2004 - http://www.athensguide.org/
All kinds of tourist-related information about the city of Athens, its history, shopping, entertainment, eateries, museums, transportation, as well as the Olympics.
- Athens or Bust? Plan Now for 2004 Olympics - http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2001344104_athens03.html
Elissa Leibowitz of the Washington Post offers this assessment of what it takes to plan a trip to Athens this coming August for the Olympic games. Must reading for itinerary makers!
- Athens Survival Guide - http://athensguide.com/
Learn the ins and outs of visiting Athens through this easy-on-the-eyes site by Matt Barrett. Lots of practical information and advice for students planning an itinerary! Also see Matt's Athens Olympics page at http://www.greecetravel.com/2004olympics/
- BBC Schools - Ancient Greece - http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ancientgreece/main_menu.shtml
Covers Athens, Olympia and Corinth, as well as a timeline and a section on the Olympic games. Formatted in a cartoon-like style with information presented in concise chunks.
- Classroom Clip Art: Greece -
Forty-nine pieces of free clip art for your use, including people, buildings, maps statues and actual photographs.
- CoSport: Athens 2004 - http://cosport.net/us/Athens2004Packages.asp
CoSport offers the live data students need in planning their Athens itinerary on a budget. Information includes transportation and accommodations, as well as a schedule of Olympic Events!
- Crayola: Ancient Greek Mask - http://www.crayola.com/educators/lessons/display.cfm?id=320
Step-by-step directions on how to make a Greek dramatic mask using clay; standards-based with suggestions for extension activities - great for primary students!
- Cretan or Classical Maze - http://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/maze/cretan.htm
Jo Edkins presents the background of these mazes and offers strategies for creating your own; a nice Math and Art extension on your Greek studies.
- Elysium: An Educational Project - http://library.thinkquest.org/26264/?tqskip1=1
This ThinkQuest entry examines Greek mythology for an interesting, sometimes irreverent look at the history, culture and beliefs of the Greek people.
- Gold Medal Olympics Activities! - http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson201.shtml
Education World presents these ten activities originally written for the last summer Olympics, including timelines, biographies, graphs and traditions.
- Golden Tickets: Greece 2004 - http://www.goldentickets.com/item.asp?id=32&img=
Great for planning an Athens itinerary, including not only travel and accommodations, but actual Olympics events by schedule and the opportunity to view seating at each event site.
- The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization - http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/
First rate PBS site that presents the contributions Greece has made to western civilization, including great interactive features, lessons and additional resources.
- How to Make Gold Medals - http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/goldmedal.html
Kids Domain presents this straightforward set of directions for creating paper mache and ribbon gold medals for your school's Olympics ceremonies.
- Journey through the Olympic Games - http://web54.sd54.k12.il.us/vrkit/supplements/sixth/Olympics/student.htm
Dawn Moore has crafted this WebQuest that includes an Olympic time machine for students to use; the teacher assigns student groups each a different time period to learn how the Olympics have changed.
- Kids Domain Online Sports Games - http://www.kidsdomain.com/games/sports.html
More than two dozen online interactive sport simulations that allow your students to appreciate the skill involved in completing a variety of athletic tasks. Don't miss the Olympic Challenge.
- Mr. Donn's Simulation Unit: the Ancient Greek Olympics - http://members.aol.com/MrDonnUnits/GreekOlympics.html
The high quality materials you'd expect from the Donns, offering a nicely structured set of activities to help you plan your own classroom Olympics. See the Donn's companion site on Daily Life in Ancient Greece at http://members.aol.com/Donnclass/Greeklife.html
- My Olympic Itinerary - http://salem.k12.ma.us/sps/Olympics/itinerary.htm
- Nabisco World Sports Games - http://www.nabiscoworld.com/games/cat_sports.htm
More online sports simulations, including baseball, basketball, cycling, football and soccer. NB:Files need to be downloaded onto your computer in order for these games to work.
- Nickelodeon games and Sports for Kids - http://www.nick.com/your_world/gamesandsports/play/index.jhtml
These Flash-based games include baseball, basketball, football and ice hockey. There are also garage games such as Balloon Stomp, the Hula Hoop relay and a Peanut Toss.
- Nutrition Science and the Olympics - http://btc.montana.edu/Olympics/nutrition/default.htm
Four units on nutrition including Fuel, Movement & Sport, Eat for Performance, US Olympic Athlete Profiles and Nutrition at the Olympics, as well as a nicely done Food Guide Pyramid.
- Official Web Site of the Olympic Movement - http://www.olympic.org/uk/index_uk.asp
This site represents the International Olympic Committee, Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committees, the International Federations, and the national associations.
- Olympic Games: An Historic Event - http://rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/olympic_games/
This SCORE project resembles a WebQuest in structure, challenging students to create an advertising brochure to be used by visitors to the ancient games and propose events for the 2004 games.
- Olympic Museum at Lausanne - http://www.olympic.org/UK/passion/museum/home_uk.asp
Important showcase of the Olympic movement with a number of online features on athletes, sports and the games themselves.
- Olympic Spirit in the New Millennium - http://www.olympics.org.uk/Olympic_pack.pdf.pdf
Presented by the British Olympic Association, this is a 60 page teaching guide in .pdf format including resources, teaching ideas, and holding an Olympic sport day at your school. For more ideas see http://www.lessonplanspage.com/SSPEOOlympicsAndCountriesBackgroundsGoodIdea35.htm
- Olympic Web Quest - http://www.berksiu.k12.pa.us/webquest/Verbeke/
Sherri Verbeke created this Quest to integrate math applications into an Olympics study; students determine the equation of a line given points they determine from their research.
- Olympics Through Time - http://www.fhw.gr/Olympics/ancient/index.html
The Foundation of the Hellenic World presents this first class look at the Olympics through the ages, from prehistory through ancient times and into the modern movement.
- Race for Olympic Travel Deals - http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2003/08/olympic.html
Sean O’Neill of Kiplinger.com offers options for locating travel and accommodations to Athens this August; some creative ideas that students may want to pursue in creating their itineraries.
- The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games - http://www.museum.upenn.edu/new/research/Exp_Rese_Disc/Mediterranean/Olympics/olympicintro.shtml
The University of Pennsylvania Museum offers this upbeat and accurate presentation on the ancient games; a great resource for comparing and contrasting against the modern movement.
- Scholastic Electronic Learning: The Olympic Games - http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/theme/olympics01.htm
Excellent integration of Language Arts, Math and Social Studies across four lessons including Location, Location, Location, Athletes Are What They Eat and The Olympic Symbols.
- Scholastic Olympic Games Research - http://teacher.scholastic.com/researchtools/researchstarters/Olympics/
Lots of basic information, nicely formatted and easily accessible for students. A good place to start for basic research on the Olympic movement.
- Social Studies for Kids: Ancient Greece - http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/subjects/ancientgreece.htm
Ten sections on Greece including Athens and Sparta, the Persian Wars, and Alexander the Great. Internal links ensure quality and consistency across the site.
- Sport science meets the Olympics - http://whyfiles.org/019olympic/index.html
Long-standing and still active Why Files site that examines the ways technology is impacting on the age-old tradition of the Olympics. Check out Can a computer help your high jump?
- Summer Olympics Through The Years - http://www.infoplease.com/ipsa/A0114335.html
The Information Please Almanac offers this quick-reference grid that covers facts on all the summer games since 1896; winter Olympics are available too.
- Ten Olympic Lesson Plans with Support Materials - http://www.edgate.com/summergames/inactive/lesson_plans/
EdGate presents these ten lessons on the spirit and events of the games, including ready-to-print support materials in .pdf format.
- Time for Kids: Greece - http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/specials/goplaces/0,12405,227674,00.html
TFK presents Greece in a child-friendly format, covering native language, sightseeing, ancient treasures, a history timeline, and a Greece challenge.
- Unusual Sports in the Olympics - http://library.thinkquest.org/J002862/
ThinkQuest entry that covers such unique summer events as Fencing, Tae Kwon-Do, Canoeing, Synchronized Swimming, Archery, Equestrian Competition and Water Polo.
- USOC - http://www.olympic-usa.org/
Official web presence of the United States Olympic Committee, offering news and background information on the upcoming games in Athens.
- USOC 2004 Summer Games in Athens FAQ -
Next Month's Topic: "Biology Resources"
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©2004 Walter McKenzie