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5 Ways to Keep the Olympics Going All School Year

August 26, 2016

It’s over… or is it. The Olympics might have come to an end this summer but you can still bring the excitement from this global event into your classroom. This list doesn’t include Olympic lesson plans. Instead provides ideas for how to make connections to the summer games throughout the school year. I hope you’ll find a few ways to keep students interested and engaged while sharing content related to the Olympics.

Olympic Lesson Ideas for Teachers

You’ve probably heard of Carol Dweck’s work around growth mindset. Starting off the school year with conversations about resilience and working hard have clear connections to what students may have witnessed over the summer during the Olympics. Teachers could show a video of a favorite event or share the fantastic growth mindset videos from ClassDojo.

I’ve shared a few posts on the power of sports statistics in the classroom and the same is true for the Olympics. Use medal counts and world records in a math lesson for real world addition or graphing activities.

A quick search through a current events website will bring up articles with Olympic coverage. Visit my list of favorite current events websites to get started, or check out this informational text selection on world records from Newsela.

Showing a clip of an amazing Olympic routine or race can help students who might not have watched the summer games build background knowledge. It can also be used as a source of inspiration for students responding to a writing prompt like: Tell a story of time you had to work hard.

Diving into a unit on different countries? Start off the lesson by sharing a story of a notable athlete from that part of the world. It’s a great way of helping students see connections between themselves and people who live faraway. NBC has a special Olympics dashboard to view clips.

Are you planning on using the Olympics in your class this year? Share your ideas and stories in the comments below.

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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