Olympics in teaching

It brings countries and nations together at the same time and space.

The Pecanwood Preparatory Teachers saw this as an opportunity to integrate their lessons and sporting activities into the Olympic Collaboration Project. More and more research is pointing towards collaboration between children as a highly effective way of learning.

The grade 4s began their journey with a mini Olympics where they were divided into groups and had to perform different activities by using team work. Their final obstacle was to search for their time capsule that was buried in the ‘long jump pit’. The time capsule consisted of a boarding pass and information that they needed in order to begin their time travel journey. The children showed enthusiasm and excitement to begin their quest to gain knowledge on the Olympics.

The destination was Athens, they visited the Olympics in Athens in 1896 (Past), 2004 (Present) and 2112 (Future).  They looked at various aspects of the Olympics by viewing videos, websites and given sources to gain the knowledge needed to answer key questions.  The grade 4 project was driven by the concept of change.

Renzo-and-Angie

The grade 5s spent much time working on various topics.  Within the concept of change, they investigated things such as the change in clothing since the first Olympic Games, how technology changed the recording of results and how the competing countries changed since those days in the 1800s.  Under the concept of culture, they learned about the anthems of various countries and their historical significance, how culture affected the building of an Olympic Village and the drug culture in certain Olympic sports.

For the concept of Justice, the children took a look at just how fair the games are.  They studied different perspectives of Oscar Pistorius’ participation in the able-bodied games and whether it was fair for him or the other athletes – did he have an advantage?  Were the fines and sanctions imposed on athletes for drug infringements fair? A lot of thought provoking questions!

The Grade 6s became part of the time capsule into the future. They were very busy planning for future Olympics in countries that have not yet hosted one and took on the concept of Problem Solving.

The grade 7 byline is “Keep Calm, the Crisis Team is Here”.  They looked at every possible disaster that might befall the 2016 Games and what planning will help prevent catastrophe.  From natural disasters and terrorist attacks to the very real threat of the Zika virus, the children explored all possible outcomes.

The project has been hugely enjoyed by the children, who are fully engaged and directing their own enquiries.  It has promoted a real interest in current events and encourages debate.  The school is now gearing up to the final presentation of the projects, which will take place after mid-term.

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