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Summer Back-to-School Olympics

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Overview

Girl Throwing FootballThe beginning of the school year is here, but summer lingers with the Summer Olympics! Welcome students, parents and teachers back for another year—Olympics-style. Get students up and moving by hosting your own School Olympics.

Take Action

  1. Designate each classroom as a country. If possible, encourage teachers to teach a lesson or two about the country to familiarize students with customs and the culture.
  2. On the day of the Olympics, all classrooms enter the auditorium, gym or other designated meeting space carrying their country’s flag for the opening ceremony.
  3. During the opening ceremony, the principal welcomes students and describes the day’s events. Students compete as a class and follow their teacher to their first assigned event. Some ideas:
  • Discus Throw: Use a Frisbee and throw for distance.
  • Shot Put: Use a 16″ softball and throw for distance.
  • Basketball: Count how many baskets the class can make in your time limit.
  • Olympic Rings: Time how long it takes the class to pass 5 hula hoops down their class line of joined hands.
  • 50 Yard Dash: Time class how long it takes all to complete.
  • Tree Targets: Hang four paper plates from a tree branch, use tennis balls to hit all four plates before “winning”
  • Sidewalk Jump: Draw a series of circles on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk. Students have to jump from circle to circle without falling out of the lines.
  • Three Legged Race
    • Wheelbarrow Race: Students are timed during their event.
  1. Students are timed during their events, and they should try to meet certain set criteria for their event to achieve a class bronze, silver, or gold status.
  2. Teachers carry around a scoresheet, and the event leaders circle the medal level the class achieved at the event. For example, to achieve a gold medal in the 50 Yard Dash, the class total would have to be 3 minutes, silver would be 3 minutes and 20 seconds, bronze would be anything over 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Set your own criteria!
  3. Students rotate through each station with their teacher.
  4. At the end of the Olympics, have a closing ceremony and consider these activities:
    • Host a healthy food taste test to refuel.
    • Ask students sit by their country flag as classroom awards are announced.
    • Announce bronze, silver and gold winners for each event.

Tips

Invite parents or community volunteers to host and score each event as Olympics Officials.

Be creative! Has someone in your network or in the community competed in the Olympics? Reach out and ask if they can come to your event as a volunteer and to share their story.

Do you have a local cultural society with members from different countries? Reach out and invite them to come teach kids how to play a favorite game from their country.