Sunday, January 24, 2010

Olympic school

Links and plans for our two-week Olympic break:


CTV official Olympics site- everything from a list of competing nations to the official theme song :-)

Vancouver 2010 website

Olympic School sponsored by RBC (registration required, but free):

Canadian Olympic site (athlete info, etc.)


OWL magazine (thanks, Wendy!)

Starting this week

Read about the history of the Olympic games in whatever world history book has the best info (we have several to choose from), or here.

Read about the first winter Olympics here.

Discuss symbolism of Olympic flag, etc.

The Olympic flag has 5 rings representing the union of athletes from the five different regions of the world- Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa (find and colour these five areas on a blank map of the world). The colours of the rings were chosen because at least one of these colours is found on the flag of every nation.

Learn the Olympic motto:
The Olympic motto consists of the Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." Discuss what exactly this means (the athletes are not encouraged to be better than their competitors, but to better themselves).

The Olympic Creed:
The creed, or guiding principle, of the modern Olympic Games is a quote by Baron de Coubertin:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The Athletes' Oath:
At the opening ceremonies, an athlete from the host country takes the following oath on behalf of all the athletes:

"In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."
Borrow books from the library about as many of the different sports as possible (our library has this new series)

Learn the rules of a sport we don’t know much about (The Boy is interested in the biathlon- they ski with guns!).

Week-before prep

Print lots of blank maps of Canada and the world.

Have a family movie night, and watch Cool Runnings ("Sanka, ya dead?" "Ya, mon.")

Mark all countries participating in the winter Olympics on a world map using a numbered key.

Mark all previous host cities of the winter games on a world map.

Find where we live and then Vancouver on a map of Canada- figure out the distance between.

Choose a sport to follow (a favourite or one we want to learn more about) and read about the team, the event(s), and the venue(s) (this info is available at some of the links listed above).

Make a chart to keep track of our team's times/ scores (and those of the other countries as well, depending on interest).

Make a chart (or print one) to keep track of medals won using these pictograms to show what event the medals were won for.

Choose a favourite athlete to learn more about and follow during the game (here’s mine- can you guess why? ;-)

Make huge batches of hot cocoa mix and marshmallows. We might also need cookies. Yes, we will most definitely need cookies.

During the games

Watch the parade of nations- on a blank world map colour in all countries in attendance. Look for patterns (countries in the same longitude, timezone, etc.). Learn to say ‘hello’ in some of the countries’ official languages (Tungjatjeta, Albania!).

Keep a ‘reporter’s journal’ to record the results in our chosen sport.

Keep track of our favourite athlete’s results.

Chart medals won.


Chart the weather in Vancouver (and where we live, for comparison). Will the weather affect the day’s events?

Watch as many events as possible.

Drink lots of hot chocolate.

Eat many cookies.

Spend a few extra minutes on the treadmill.

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