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Comparing the Ancient and Modern Olympics: A Venn Diagramming Activity


Subjects: Educational Technology; Language Arts: English; Social Studies: Civics, World History
Grades: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students create Venn diagrams comparing and contrasting today's Olympic Games with games held during the days of the ancient Greeks.



  • research the history of the ancient Olympic Games.
  • read news reports and watch TV coverage of the current Olympic Games.
  • use a graphic organizer (Venn diagram) to show how history has changed the Games.
  • write a brief essay that compares the Games of today to the Games of the ancient Greeks.


ancient, essay, graphic organizer, Greece, Olympic Games, Venn diagram, winter, writing

Materials Needed


  • Venn diagram forms
  • library and/or Internet resources about the Olympic Games

Lesson Plan

Students can complete this activity in the classroom, the library or media center, or the computer lab.

Provide students with a simple Venn diagram form. If you wish to integrate technology, provide students with Education World's editable Venn diagram. Copy this diagram onto a disk so students will have a personal copy. They can type into each of the diagram's three fields, then save their completed diagrams to the disk. When they are finished students can print out their comparative diagrams.


Alternative Venn diagram sources:

In this activity, students work in the library or online to learn about the Olympic Games of ancient and modern times. How are the games similar? How are they different? What do they have in common? Students use a Venn format to create a diagram showing the similarities and differences. The students write information specific to the ancient Olympic Games in Section A of the diagram (the part of the left circle that does not intersect with the other circle). They write information specific to today's games Section B of the diagram (the part of the right circle that does not intersect with the other circle). They write information that is common to both in the area where the two circles intersect/overlap.

Following are some online resources students might use as they learn about the Olympic Games:


Students use the Venn diagrams as a reference as they write brief essays comparing and contrasting the games of ancient Greece with those of modern times.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards








Updated 12/15/2014