Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of the Year Olympics

I'm thinking of having an "Olympics Day" next week.

My goals:

  1. Have fun!
  2. Give the kids a taste of what the Olympics are like!
  3. Give the children some experience with some of the different countries all over the world.
  4. Review skills from the year!
  5. Liven up these last few dreary days!
  6. Promote teamwork and positive feelings.
  7. Promote individual self esteem
  8. Grab an opportunity for some Project Based Learning.
  9. Did I mention having fun?
Of course, the real Olympics start at the end of July and will be over before we come back to school in the fall.  But I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, and rather passionate about Social Studies as well.  What better way to learn about different countries from all over the world?

Here's my plan:

  1. Form 5 groups of 4.  Those students will choose a country to represent, design a banner to represent that country, make a flag for that country, and pick a color to wear on "Olympic Day".
  2. When "Olympic Day" comes, we'll start with a "parade of athletes" around the school.  Each "country" will carry its banner and flag, and will proudly display their colors.  
  3. Then we'll hold a number of "events".  I'm thinking a few scoot games, like these, perhaps a "read-a-thon", brainstorming contests (How many nouns can you think of in 60 seconds?), math facts contests, physical contests (How many jumping jacks can you do in 60 seconds?)
  4. After each ceremony, hold a "medal ceremony" for the winners.  I'm thinking some events will be group events, and some will be individual events.  Yes, I actually own a CD of national anthems, so I'll play the one that goes with the country they represent, while they display their flag/ banner.
  5. If necessary, I'll come up with my own events, to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to be a winner.  (Most people wearing purple?)
  6. Send them home with smiling faces and stories to tell.
Brain research tells us that emotions play a big role in memory.   Contests and competition get the blood pumping!  Brain research also tells us that the social part of learning is essential. This will include quite a bit of movement, music, artwork, and opportunities for everyone on every team to show their strengths.  According to brain research, this will touch on many important points.  

What do you think?  Have you ever done anything like this?  Do you have any ideas for "educational contests"?  Any ideas for organizing it all?

I'm looking forward to your input!

For more ideas and details of my Academic Olympics, as well as this freebie, see THIS POST.







8 comments:

  1. Love, love, loooooooooove this!!
    Blessings,

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog
    PS If you haven't already joined my giveaway I would love to have you join!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica,

      Thanks! I did join your giveaway! :)

      Sally

      Delete
  2. Love this! I have done something similar with my students in previous years. The only difference was I had my students come up with the contests, found the anthems, & created the medals. It is lots of fun, and we plan to do a scaled down version before the end of the school year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugh,

      I'm thinking they definitely should be doing some of the research, but my little second graders need a lot of guidance on that stuff, so they'll get help. I'm planning on them making the medals!

      Sally

      Delete
  3. OMG that is such a nice idea thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome!

      Sally from Elementary Matters

      Delete
  4. This is great! I'm tying this into my Social Studies class unit on Ancient Greece and creating a grade wide Olympics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved the Olympics, and think its a great opportunity for learning to happen in a fun way. I like the idea of a grade wide Olympics!

      Sally from Elementary Matters

      Delete

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