The first Olympics were first held thousands of years ago in Olympia, Greece during a festival to honor Zeus and the other gods. Every four years, athletes from around Greece competed in physical competitions. The first time the world officially revived the Olympic Games into the current international sport competition was in 1896. Olympics are a celebration of global friendship, unity, and peace- because of this, I believe the Games offer numerous lessons to our kids. Learn (with your children!) about the Olympics and international goodwill with the following links.
First, get excited about the Olympics with Muse’s London 2012 official song, Survival and a great montage of athletes. See the video here!
This is a wonderful educational tool to learn about the history of the original Olympics, in Greece. Children will choose to read about the different events and programs, while looking at a map of the first Olympics.
At the BBC Primary Source page, kids can learn about the history of the original Olympics. If you scroll down to the bottom left, there are interactive activities for the kids such as exploring a cartoon Olympia, visiting Greek theatre, or take a quiz.
Learn all about Britain, the host country for this year’s Olympics.
Scholastic has a collection of resources specifically designed for kids. After reading about the history of the Olympics Games, and other articles, click on “Get In the Game” to play a game learning Greek or become a reporter about the history of the Olympics.
Have your children practice their writing skills as they write about the rules of their favorite sport, or write a newspaper article about a local hero winning a gold medal.
Get the kids excited with videos! I love this trailer for the film about the Beijing Olympics because it shows athletes in different countries preparing for the Games.
Check out this cool interactive map of the different countries competing in the Olympics! Choose a team to follow from a world map, or search the map using different parameters.
Are your kids animal-lovers? In this awesome lesson plan-”Analympics”- you can compare the abilities of animals to those of humans. “By making comparisons between the athletic abilities of humans and animals, this activity is designed to allow your students to research, investigate, present and debate.”
Take a virtual tour of present day Olympia to see the original buildings. Compare them to the London Olympics’ “Velodrome” with this virtual tour!
Of course, the Official London 2012 Olympics site and a list of links for all of the official sports for this Summer Olympics.
Archery Athletics Badminton Basketball
Beach Volleyball Boxing Canoe Slalom Canoe Sprint
Cycling – BMX Cycling – Mountain Bike Cycling – Road
Cycling – Track Diving Equestrian Fencing Football Gymnastics – Artistic Gymnastics – Rhythmic Handball Hockey Judo Modern Pentathlon Rowing Sailing Shooting Swimming Synchronised Swimming Table Tennis Taekwondo Tennis Trampoline Triathlon Volleyball Water Polo Weightlifting Wrestling
And just for fun, here are some multilingual, tear-jerking, and inspiring commercials from P&G about the Olympics. I don’t work for P&G, nor do I know anyone that does, but I cannot help watching these over and over!!!! Have you seen the one aboutmom’s supporting their kids in the Olympics: “the hardest job in the world” is being a mom… Apparently I am their demographic because it gets me every time:).