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Olympic Athletes to Compete in Winter Games February 12-28


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Grades 2-up

News Content

More than 2,500 athletes from about 80 nations will compete in this years Winter Olympic Games.

Anticipation Guide

Ask students to identify the location of Canada on a world map. Point out that Canada borders the states that comprise the northern border of the continental United States. You might share with students that Canada comprises ten provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan) and three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon). [see map] The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are being held in and around the city of Vancouver in the province of British Columbia.

You might share the video below with students (a cute and cleverly disguised commercial for Wonder bread) and ask them to identify the Winter Olympic sports that they see in it. They will see little kids acting out the roles of athletes in skiing, bobsledding, speed skating, figure skating, curling, and hockey.

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: shuttle, ceremony, route, disabilities, vie, and underway. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • Which two teams will _____ for the championship in this years Super Bowl? (vie)
  • The meeting will get _____ at 9:00 a.m. sharp. (underway)
  • Church members voted to construct a ramp so people with _____ would have access to the chapel. (disabilities)
  • A bus will _____ people from the fair to the parking lot outside of town. (shuttle)
  • My sisters wedding _____ will take place next June. (ceremony)
  • A GPS device in my rental car helped to guide me along the best _____. (route)

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Olympic Athletes to Compete in Winter Games February 12-28.

    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

    Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

    Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

    Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

    Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

    More Facts to Share

  • The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be held at BC Place. BC Place, which opened in 1983, was Canadas first domed arena and is the worlds largest air-supported structure.
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics logo is a representation of a well-known stone landmark known as Ilanaaq. Ilanaaq is the Inuit word for friend. For centuries, the Inuit people of Canadas Arctic stacked rocks in human forms to create landmarks to help guide them. Over time, such landmarks have become symbols of welcome and friendship.
  • The mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are inspired by traditional First Nations creatures. They include
    • Miga -- a mythical sea bear, part orca and part kermode bear.
    • Quatchi -- a sasquatch.
    • Sumi -- an animal guardian spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty Thunderbird, and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear.
    Miga and Quatchi are mascots for the Olympic Games, while Sumi is the mascot for the Paralympic Games.
  • The Olympic torch that will light Vancouvers Olympic flame on February 12 was lit in Olympia, Greece (home of the original Olympic Games), on October 22, 2009. It has traveled from Greece, over the North Pole, to Canada's High Arctic, and on to the West Coast and Vancouver. In Canada, the torch is traveling 27,000 miles over 106 days.
  • This winters Olympics will include 86 events in 15 winter sports.
    • Eight ice sports are bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, and curling.
    • Three alpine skiing and snowboarding events are alpine, freestyle, and snowboarding.
    • Four Nordic events are biathlon, cross country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined.
  • The Winter Olympics were first held in 1924. The original plan was to hold both the Summer and Winter Games every four years, but World War II forced the Winter and Summer Olympics to be cancelled in 1940 and 1944. Then the Winter Games were held in 1992 and 1994 so the Olympic schedule could be adjusted so the Summer and Winter Games would not both be held in the same year. Since that time, the Winter and Summer Games have been held on alternating even-numbered years.
  • The 2010 Winter Paralympic Games will be held in Vancouver March 12-21. Those Games will include events in alpine skiing; ice sledge hockey; two Nordic skiing events -- cross-country skiing and the biathlon; and wheelchair curling.

    Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Reading for Detail
    1. d, 2. j, 3. e, 4. h, 5. c, 6. f, 7. i, 8. g, 9. a, 10. b.
    Language Practice: Find the Mistakes
    Corrections are marked in bold type.
    1. Norway has won more Olympic medals than any other country in the world.
    2. The symbol of the Olympic Games has rings of five colors -- blue, yellow, black, green and red.
    3. Each ring represents a region of the world -- Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana.
    4. Did you know that no country south of the equator has ever hosted the Winter Games?
    5. Three continents -- Africa, South America and Antarctica -- have never hosted the Olympic Games.
    6. A cross-country skier from Norway has won more medals than any other Olympic athlete.
    7. Only four athletes have won medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
    Critical Thinking: Do the Math
    The false statement is: The last time the Winter Olympic Games were held in Canada was 24 years ago. (The Winter Olympics were last held in Canada in 1988, which is 22 years ago: 2010 1988 = 22.)
    The other statements are true:

  • Winter Olympic events will take place on 17 days in February. (Events will take place on February 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28 = 17 days.)
  • This years Winter Olympics will have 70 more events than were in the Winter Olympics of 1924. (This years Games include 86 events, and the game of 1924 included 16 events: 86 16 70)
  • The first Winter Olympic Games were held 86 years ago. (The first Winter Olympics were held in 1924: 2010 1924 = 86)

    Follow-Up Activities

    Countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games
    Let the Games Begin! Let the Learning Begin!
    Click the two links above for Olympic lesson ideas across the grades and the curriculum.

    Think About the News
    Challenge students to think about the traits of athletes that will compete in this years Olympic Games. Ask: What traits do you think those athletes have in common? Could you ever see yourself competing in Olympic events?


    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Follow-Up Activities section above.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
    NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-NUM.6-8.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
    NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-NUM.9-12.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
    NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

    GRADES K - 12
    NPH.K-12.3 Physical Activity
    NPH.K-12.4 Physical Fitness
    NPH.K-12.5 Responsible Behavior
    NPH.K-12.6 Respect for Others
    NPH.K-12.7 Understanding Challenges

    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
    NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
    NSS-G.K-12.4 Human Systems

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: World History
    GRADES 5 - 12
    NSS-WH.5-12.8 The 20th Century

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
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