Introducing the Olympics
What an exciting time! Remember falling asleep on the couch on a hot summer day with the Olympics playing in the background? The Olympics are not only a semblance of international community but also insanely fun to watch! The athletes are the best of the best in their sport—they’ve practiced for many years and are a great example for anybody. Why not bring the Olympics into your classroom through some fun games or lessons?
1. Team Activities
Group activities are growing more and more popular—and for good reason! Getting students together teaches them a lot of great social skills and can act as a great opportunity to get them speaking in the target language without so much pressure. Sometimes students may be shy or nervous to speak in front of each other or the teacher, the most common way around this is to introduce the language in a game. Why not have your students perform a couple of short and varying activities together, in teams of 2 or 3, as a mini class Olympics? Award the winning teams with a gold, silver, and bronze metal!
2. Country Lessons
In the Olympics, the name of the game is diversity! Why not use this opportunity to introduce your students to a couple of different countries? Find worksheets, word searches, or fact sheets online for your students or try your hand at cooking some international cuisine. Maybe you have some firsthand experience with some other countries and can share some pictures or stories. Children love learning about new places, people, and a little food never hurts anyone! This is a great practice for book reports or presentations as well!
3. Sing the Anthem
Per tradition, athletes who win the gold have their country’s anthem played as they stand on the podium. Play some of these anthems for your students! Teach them your country’s national anthem and have them sing along with it, acting as if they won the gold. How would they react? Would they laugh or cry? You can have your students pick from different countries or play their activity Olympics as if they are from a selected country. When their country wins, everyone has to sing the anthem!
4. Sports Charades
The other name of the game in the Olympics is certainly the sports! There are plenty of sports—some of which your
students might not be the most acquainted with. From water polo to curling, introducing new sports to your students can be a fun lesson. Even more fun, introduce these new sports and leave it up to your students to show the other students how to play them! After introducing them to videos or having your students present them to the class, play an exhilarating game of charades to see if the students can reenact and correctly identify the sports. Have students pick the best actor, the best athlete, or which they would like to play the most!
5. Athlete Spotlights
Some students may already have an athlete they look up to. Maybe some students are avid basketball or football fans, maybe some would like to see more sports or athletes in action for some inspiration. Along with introducing the students to new sports, introducing your students to new athletes can be a fun, inspirational lesson as well. Even better, again, have your students pick an athlete to introduce to the class! Allow them to tell the class why they picked their particular athlete, what they admire about them, what country they are from, and what sport they play.
The Olympics can and should be a fun time for all countries to celebrate their unique diversities through athletic competition. Your students will have a ton of fun learning and playing along with them!