Current Events: Let the Games begin!

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While some events are already underway in Rio De Janeiro, the 2016 Summer Olympics officially kicks off tonight with an opening ceremony that will not only be visually stunning but also historic as the first Refugee team marches in under the Olympic flag. So inspiring!

Whether you’ll be watching the Games from your couch or your classroom as you prepare for (or kick off!) the school year, we’ve put together a few cross-curricular lesson plan ideas that can be used now—or in future events, such as the Paralympics, which start in September.

We’ve already provided a couple of Olympic-inspired writing prompts this summer but as the Games kick off, consider adding “sports reporting” to the mix, allowing kids the opportunity to report on their favourite sports. Remind students to start with a strong  lead, followed by the “thesis” or subject of the article, and then add the details from most important to least significant. There will be hundreds of examples of this “inverted pyramid” style over the next ten days with the ensuing Olympic coverage, but it is also described well with this graphic:

Inverted_pyramid

If reporting isn’t of interest to students, consider writing haikus or other forms of poetry as tribute to the athletes, their country of origin, or their podium success.
Speaking of the podium, tallying up those bronze, silver, and gold medals is a great way to teach statistics. For an advanced mathematics lesson, start a pool or Olympics fantasy team individually or as a class. This website will get you started. And for some fun math puzzlers inspired by the Olympics, take a look at this blog.

As you watch each sporting event, consider the commitment of the athletes—their bodies now well-oiled machines at the peak of performance. In what ways can you use these athletic examples to teach students about nutrition? Anatomy? Health?

How will you use the Olympics to inspire and engage students? We hope you can use some of the ideas above, or take time to scroll through the archives for previously posted lesson plans and ideas or take a look at this cool website linking the Olympics and education.

Let the Games—and the weekend—begin!

~ The Teachers Media Team

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