The Summer Olympics start a week from Friday! It’s an excellent opportunity to link writing and critical thinking skills practice to an event that everyone in the family can enjoy together.
Below are a list of activities to do before, during, and after the Olympics are over on August 21. They can be in the form of discussion, note taking, or even formal paragraphs and essays.
Two resources to use with these activities are the official Olympic site at https://www.olympic.org/rio-2016, and our End Blank Page Terror free ebook available at http://www.writingrockstars.com/blankpageterror. The ebook contains a wide assortment of worksheets for note taking and organizing ideas. If you don’t a copy already, be sure to get one.
Before the Games Begin
1) Watch the 2016 film “Race” about the story of Jesse Owens, 1936 Olympic gold medalist and discuss: http://www.focusfeatures.com/race.
2) Watch the 2016 film “Eddie the Eagle” and discuss! Here’s a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyzQjVUmIxk
3) Research and pick favorite athletes to watch and follow from the U.S. and abroad. Be sure to have everyone share why they made their choices.
4) Pick the events you want to focus your attention upon, especially those related to sports the kids do at home!
5) Have a brief geography lesson and learn about Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. What’s the city known for? What are some notable facts about Brazil — language, population, history, culture?
6) Why was Rio chosen to host the Olympics this year? What’s involved in a successful Olympic bid? What cities will be hosting the Olympics to come?
7) Who are some of the people running the Olympic torch this year and why were they chosen?
8) Study the origin and history of the Olympic torch relay. https://www.olympic.org/olympic-torch-relay
As the Games Begin
1) Watch and review the Opening Ceremonies. Did Rio put on a good show? Compare and contrast this one to past Opening Ceremonies, for those in the family who remember them.
2) Who are the top Olympic medalists in history? https://www.olympic.org/athletes
3) Review Olympic mascots and design one https://www.olympic.org/rio-2016-mascot
So many sports have multiple versions- example, four types of cycling events, two kinds of wrestling. What’s the difference? Which like better and why? https://www.olympic.org/sports tons of them!
4) What do Olympic athletes eat?
5) Take note of the most striking athletic feats you watch and read about during the course of the Games.
6) Note displays of sportsmanship and grace during the Games.
As the Games End
1) How did your favorite athletes do?
2) What were the highlights of the Olympics?
3) Who were the Olympic heroes of 2016 and why?
4) Why is the Olympics so special, in light of all the other international athletic competitions that also take place around the world?
What activities do you do with your kids during the games? Share them below!