With the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver this past week, many of our schools are integrating Olympics-themed lessons into the curriculum.
Following are a few examples of Olympics-related activities and lessons taking place in Wake County schools:
North Ridge Elementary School, Cathy Benton Lowry, Physical Education Teacher
Students at North Ridge are “traveling” to the Olympics during PE. After a brief discussion about the Olympics, students participated in a number of activities including speed skating (on paper plates around the center circle), bobsledding (scooter boards on a course), Alpine skiing (skier jumps down a course), and ice hockey (hockey sticks, yarn balls and goals
The school is also doing a school-wide Olympic Truce. Ms. Lowry is doing it with all grade levels and the other specialists are choosing specific grades. The Canadian first lady started the program (on the official Olympic website) where teachers can get ideas of how to spread the concept of peace/truce across the curriculum. Ms. Lowry’s students are pledging to keep a North Ridge Olympic Truce throughout the Winter Olympics by making good choices, no arguments, settling differences of opinion through “rock-paper-scissors” and keeping their names off the school’s Positive Behavior Support minor incident clipboards. The upper grades are focusing on the concept of world-wide peace. Students have discussed how an Olympic Truce was called during the ancient games and how it is still observed at the modern Olympics
The Olympic theme will carry into Ms. Lowry’s next unit for third-fifth grades called the PE Central Challenge where students can achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold level by achieving four to six individual and group challenges. Third-graders earn certificates and fourth- and fifth-graders can earn beautiful enameled pins in addition to the certificates at each level.
Heritage Middle School, Debbie Glaberman, Health and PE Teacher
Ms. Glaberman is taking a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary approach with her students. Prior to the winter break, she had her seventh-graders complete a family tree with the goal of encouraging inter-generational discussions among the students and their family members. Now, using the information the students learned through the genealogy project, students have been assigned to countries for the Olympics activities that they will be focusing on throughout the duration of the Olympics. They began with a torch run on Saturday, Feb. 6 that started outside on the school’s track and went inside the school to the media center where a large torch is lit and on display. The media specialist has pulled books about different winter sports for the students to read. Over the next few weeks, students will be competing in activities simulating the bobsled, the luge, figure skating, and cross country skiing, to name a few. The lesson will end with a Closing Ceremony that will focus on different cultures and diversity, highlighting the foods and customs of all the countries involved. Medals will also be presented at this time.
Millbrook High School, Michael Kirst, Social Studies Teacher
Students in Mr. Kirst’s social studies classes will be creating Greek Olympics-themed commemorative plates. The purpose of the project is to not only teach the students about the early years of the Olympics, but to also provide them with an understanding of the Greek culture while studying the governments of Ancient Greece, Rome and China. By researching a topic on the Greek Olympics, students will be able to appreciate the purpose and meaning of the Olympic Games.
The commemorative plates will cover Olympic-related topics such as:
Sparta (Original Participants)
Athens (Original Participants)
Corinth (Original Participants)
Argos (Original Participants)
Megara (Original Participants)
Olympia (Birthplace of Olympics)
Zeus (Inspired Creation of Olympics)
Sacred Truce (Greek City-States Agreement)
Pentathlon (Original Event)
Race for Hoplites (Original Event)
Pankration (Original Event)
Short Sprint (Original Event)
Wrestling (Original Event)
Boxing (Original Event)
Long Jump (Original Event)
Javelin (Original Event)
Discus (Original Event)
Chariot Racing (Original Event)
Training of Olympic Athletes
Rewards for Victors