Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Olympics and School

We love the Olympics. We inhale as much of it as possible. So, does that mean school goes out the window? Nope. School becomes Olympics centered! This year, I am trying to be a little more organized. Here are some of the things I am going to try to do.

[I school some of my children using the www.k12.com curriculum. In case you do too, I have included lesson links that would be covered by the suggested idea. And, sorry, but I don’t have kids in every single course in every single grade, so you may have to do a little adapting of your own! ;)]

Writing Projects:

--First, to write our projects, we have this site. At this site, they have “Olympic Games Writing Paper & Frames". We may just use our 5-cent spiral bound notebooks that I bought during school supply sales instead, but it is kind of a nice idea. I might print some out just for Princess—the ones with the space for a picture and lines for writing. If you choose to print paper out, put them in a decorated 3 ring binder, or make a book binding for it.

--Get pictures to add to writing projects from the official site of the Beijing Olympics.

Writing Topic Ideas:

--Pick a specific athlete, study his/her background and write a profile essay. (K12 Language Skills 5 Unit 8) (Literary Analysis & Composition Unit 2)

--Do a country report on one of the countries that intrigues you. (K12 Language Skills 5 Unit 2) (Literary Analysis & Composition Unit 5)

--Do a research report on the Great Wall of China, the history of gymnastics, how athletes maintain healthy bodies, the Olympics itself, etc. (K12 Language Skills 5 Unit 2) (Literary Analysis & Composition Unit 5)

--Write a step-by-step essay or give a speech on how to play a certain sport. (K12 Language Skills 5 Unit 8)

--Write a descriptive essay on the layout of the games. (Literary Analysis & Composition Unit 4)

--Compare and contrast two athletes. (K12 Language Skills 5 Unit 7) (Literary Analysis & Composition Unit 7)

--Write a persuasive essay about why your hometown should be chosen to host an upcoming Olympics.


--I compiled a list of books from our local library on the Olympics that looked interesting to me for my kids to read and possibly help in research projects. Search for books specifically on the Olympics, past and present athletes, countries, and sports. When you do the grunt work at home via the online catalog, you have a good list that you can easily take to the library, grab the ones you want and go. Also, while you look online, you can place holds on the ones they don’t currently have in and avoid a disappointing library run!

Math Extensions:

--Graph and chart the medal count

--Research standing records and figure out what it will take to beat them.


--Study ancient China (K12 History 1 Unit 8) (K12 Intermediate World History A Unit 9)

--Study America’s history in the Olympic games. Whatever section of American history you may be in, see who competed during those years! How did they do compared to now? Are any of their ancestors competing today? (K12 American History before 1865 or since 1865 any unit/lesson)

--It is a perfect time for study of ancient Greece. (K12 History 1 Units 5 & 6) (K12 Intermediate World History A Unit 9)


--Using the Scientific Method investigate a question you have been wondering about. You could possibly find some good questions on the subject of what it is that sets the gold medal winner apart from the others—could it be their diet? Their training methods? Their natural ability? Their mind power? Would it be physically possible for a human to run a 3-minute mile? Do vitamins make you run faster? How much would it slow you down if you run with a couple of 3-pound weights? Be creative, think of your own ideas. (K12 Physical Science & Earth Science the final Unit)

--Learn about the human body, how it works, how it supports you as you are athletic, why it is important to keep your body healthy. (K12 Science 1 Unit 10)


--Study Ancient Greek art and Chinese art (k12 Art 1 unit 11)

--Make an olive leaf wreath crown by simply cutting a strip of green construction paper to fit the size of the child’s head. Let the child draw and cut out several leaf shapes. Tape or glue those to the wreath. Secure the wreath with tape.

--Draw a landscape picture of the Beijing countryside.

--Sketch a profile of one of the athletes or a sketch of the Olympic podium or flags being raised. (K12 Intermediate Art: American A Unit 1 Lesson 4)

--Draw a self-portrait with yourself wearing an olive leaf crown and gold medal. (K12 Intermediate Art: American A Unit 7 Lesson 10-12)

--Create a bookbinding to house your Olympic essays (K12 Intermediate Art: World B Unit 5 lessons 1-3)

--Make a still life painting, including the Olympic rings in the picture. (K12 Intermediate Art: World B Unit 2 lessons 1-3)


--Learn another country’s national anthem

--Learn to play the Olympics theme on the piano or other instrument.

Foreign Language:

--Check out what a Spanish/German/French website on the Olympics looks like. See if there are some words you can read.

--Track the athletes from the country you are learning about. See how they do and learn about them.

--Try and find an online telecast interviewing a foreign athlete in his or her native tongue.

PE: (no brainer, huh?)

--Try your hand at some of the events.

--Watching the events.

--Learn the rules of the different games.

--Do double duty and exercise while you watch the Olympics!

Have great ideas? Don’t hold back! Comment now! Share with the rest of us. :)


Mom of 5 Boys said...

Awesome!! I love the Olympics too, and have often done school around the Olympics. I hadn't yet started planning for this year, and now you've done half the work for me!

AZ N8tive said...

Hey Marika! Thank you so much for coming to the dinner party last night. I really enjoyed having you, Kevin and Wynter there. By the way, I just added you to the friends list on our blog. Let me know if you have a problem with that : )


AZ N8tive said...

Oops! Thanks for the heads up : )


CompleteLee Blogger said...

Here's one comment that was emailed to me, thought it might be useful to you:

Thank you for this links!!!

I also wanted to add that with the Olympics in China National
Georgraphic and the History Channel (and Travel) are showing their
China shows. For those kiddos who liked studying Ancient China there
are several shows on the subject in the next few weeks.

barbafamily said...

This is great! Thank you for posting this. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to save your blog and check it here and there for ideas :-)

from the AZVA Yahoo Group :-)

The Bach's said...

Great blog! Glad to find other lds homeschool families.