Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Olympics as a Theme

I started training at my new teaching position this last week.  I am very excited about this new opportunity and this upcoming year.  By the end of the day though, I was exhausted.  Sometimes, I really am amazed kids still have energy at the end of the day.  Sitting and absorbing information all day wears me out. 

I will be teaching a 4th and 5th grade combined class at a private school and will be teaching with a more thematic approach.  I have decided that the Olympics would make a great first theme of the year.  I will be able to work with a theme for a couple months so not everything will directly tie to the theme, but I intend to use the themes to help guide some of my literature choices, activities, projects, etc.  For the Olympics, there are already some wonderful products on TpT.  I definitely intend to make some purchases.  Anybody already purchase any of the Olympic products geared at grades 3-5?  Anything you recommend?  I plan on doing some research for picture books, novels, and nonfiction that will tie well into the Olympics.  I definitely think I might do a Biography unit while covering this theme.  Biographies of various Olympians seems an obvious tie in to me.  Such great potential for discussing the ancient history of the Olympics and different cultures.  I do intend to put together some writing prompts and research and project ideas. 

What ways do you plan on incorporating the Olympics into your classroom?  My mom and my brother live in Utah, and my brother used to go to a charter school that is located at the venue where they did the the cross country skiing in the 2002 Olympics.  Every January, the school has their own Olympic games with various skiing and outdoor events.  I got to attend a few years ago.  It was pretty fun to watch. Different teams are made up of kids of all the grades and are supposed to represent different countries. 

Now, most students are not in a position to be able to participate in something that elaborate.  I have been struggling myself to find a balance in my life and make fitness and eating better more important.  I actually think while discussing the Olympics you also could very easily tie in some great discussions on health, good habits, and fitness.  I try to go to yoga consistently and have been trying to get into a running routine.  My husband and I just purchased better bikes and tonight went for a 7 mile bike ride.  I really need to start incorporating some weight training into my week because I have no muscle whatsoever.  Not even a little. 

My students will have a shorter day than usual and some of my students will be involved in outside athletic activities.  I will not really have a scheduled PE and recess because the kids will get a lot of physical activity outside of school.  However,  I do want to find fun ways to break up the day and get us moving. (As last week showed,  I get tired from sitting all day. ) I know kids need to move around if I need to move around.  Our building and outside space is a little non-traditional, so I am trying to think of some physical activities we could do that are inexpensive and easy.  Another teacher at my school suggested hula hoops and jump ropes, which I think are great suggestions.  I have seen other bloggers mention like fitness youtube videos they use in their classroom.  I've thought about trying to use some yoga.  What ways do you incoporate fitness in your classroom?  I was thinking this would make a fun liny party - sharing ideas about using the Olympics and fitness as a theme.  What do you think?  Is this a linky party you would be interested in?  Some of my other attempts at linky parties did not really go anywhere, so this time I thought I would ask your thoughts.

Don't forget about my Thirty One Giveaway for participating in my online party and my 300 Follower Giveaway.


  1. That's going to be a wonderful, wonderful theme! I look forward to seeing how it works in your classroom!

    There's No Place Like Second Grade

  2. In Australia, fitness during the school day seems to have taken a backwards step as the new National Curriculum kicks in this year. Pity, as in the past many teachers had super little programs running for 15mins or so each day to help get the little bodies in their classes moving. With childhood obesity being in the spotlight, a linky with quick little ideas might be popular. You will never know unless you try it...even 1 minute movement quickies in class would be interesting...
    ✿ Judy
    teaching with J

  3. You might want to check out Adventure to Fitness!


    Third Grade's A Charm


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