Every four years, the Summer Olympic Games electrify the world with spectacle, sport, and international fellowship. The 2004 games in Athens, Greece -- the site of the ancient Olympics -- also offer teachers and students a unique opportunity to explore the historical importance of the event. Included: A dozen gold medal sites!
The Summer Olympics offer students much more than the chance to watch well-trained athletes participate in 16 days of fun and games. From the event's environmental impact to the athletes' fitness regimes, from the games' history to Greek geography, from world culture to world politics, the Olympics offer a wealth of opportunity for students to learn about the world and about themselves. The following educationally sound and engaging Olympics Web sites will help them do just that.
The Olympic Games: Summer 2004 in Athens, Greece
Enchanted Learning's Olympics' page offers an excellent resource for preschool and primary classrooms. Information is provides about the Olympic flag, torch, motto, symbols, events, history and more. Written for emerging readers, the page contains more than a dozen printable handouts, quizzes, and templates on ancient Greece and the Olympics.
Go For the Gold
This Scholastic site is jam-packed with games, articles, and photos to motivate and inform students in the upper elementary grades. There, students can read about what's happening "right now" at the Games, find out how cities are chosen to host the Games, learn about the history of the Games and of the famous athletes who've participated in them, and use the Research Starter for background and information for a report on the Olympics. Such interactive elements as the etymology review called Get in the Game or the journalism activity Be a Reporter keep students engaged as they learn.
The official kids' page for the Athens 2004 Olympics offers a unique perspective for American students in grades 5-7. Insights include information about the Games' environmental impact on Athens and a history of past Olympic games. The highlight of the site is the plethora of interactive quizzes, crosswords, and other games based on Olympic trivia. Bear in mind that all text has been translated from Greek, so students might need some assistance with some of the site's wording.
NBCOlympics is the place to go for up-to-the-minute results from each Olympic event, as well as for schedules, biographies, and more. At the O-zone -- new this year! -- students and teachers can request Olympic news for their local area, whether it's the latest on a hometown athlete or the schedule for the local NBC affiliate. Be aware that this is not strictly a children's Web site, so previewing an article and using the site primarily for grades 7-12 might be good precautions to take to ensure that students view only age-appropriate material.
An Educator's Resource to the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Created by the Greek Embassy, this site is filled with lessons, activity books, and more, each identified by grade level. The Olympic textbooks are of particular note; these colorful, downloadable books are substantive (40-270 page each!), and contain games, information, and activities for students in grades K-3, 3-8, and 8-12. Links to additional resources also are provided at the site.
ALSO WORTH A LOOK
Be sure to visit Education World's Site Reviews Archives for more great sites for students, parents, and educators.