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Great Sites for Teaching About... Olympics

Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about the Olympic Games.

  1. Olympics Through Time
    Presented by the Foundation of the Hellenic World, this site offers an overview of the Olympics, from the first organized athletic festivals in Minoan Crete to the present-day Olympic Games. Using a time-line format, the site covers athletic events in prehistory, the development of Olympia as an important festival site, and the revival of the Olympics in the 19th century.

  2. Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games

    This site, from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, supplies a history of the Games, ancient Olympics FAQs, and online Q and A surveys. Questions help students form and express their opinions about the current state of the Olympic movement. The site also explodes some myths about the ancient Games, provides a handy glossary of related terms, and supplies links to other Olympic sites.

  3. Sport Science

    The Why Files presents this intriguing investigation into the science behind Olympic athletic success, an excellent resource for discussion and research in the classroom. The text-based presentation also offers fascinating facts and prompts lots of question. What were the Olympics like before technology? How can technology improve athletic performance? What role does the old mind-body problem play in athletic performance? This site is best suited for kids in middle school and above.

  4. Olympics 2004
    Lycos and the Information Please Almanac teamed up for this superb overview of the Olympics through the modern era. Memorable events are recounted, such as the impact of the cold war on the games and Cassius Clay's gold medal in boxing at the 1960 games. Clay later changed his name to Muhammad Ali and won the world heavyweight boxing title three times. Fun Facts and quick quizzes will spark that Olympic spirit in your students. Individual events, past Games, leading medal winners, and the history of the Games are all covered. Country profiles and Australia links are also provided.

  5. Ancient Olympics

    This exhibit on the ancient Olympics was created to honor the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, in Atlanta, Georgia. Materials from the Perseus Project, a digital library on ancient Greece centered in the Classics Department at Tufts University, are used in the exhibit. The first-rate treatment of the evolution of the Olympic tradition includes A Tour of Ancient Olympia, the Context of the Games and the Olympic Spirit, and Athletes' Stories. Links to related Olympic sites and FAQS are included.

  6. Brain Pop
    Brain Pop offers a wide range of topics for younger students. This particular page focuses on the Olympics. A multimedia movie shares background information on the games and offers lots of fitness tie-ins for teachers of health and social studies. The interactive follow-up quiz keeps students involved and learning.

  7. Unusual Sports in the Olympics
    This offbeat ThinkQuest presentation looks at some of the lesser-known Olympic sports. Summer events include fencing, tae kwon do, canoeing, synchronized swimming, archery, water polo, and equestrian events. Each segment covers the history of the sport, strategy, important athletes of the sport, and when the sport has been a featured Olympic event. The site also devotes a section to the Paralympics, an athletic competition for people who have disabilities. The International Olympic Committee supports the Paralympics, which are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.

  8. Ancient Greece in Elementary Schools

    This site, from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, can help teachers make the most of their study of ancient Greece and includes a special section on the Olympic Games. There are three classroom-tested activities on the Olympics, culminating in a challenge to each student to design his or her own Olympic opening ceremony. Although not all the links are up-to-date, the ideas and information are useful.

Walter McKenzie
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World

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Originally published 09/11/2000
Links last updated 07/23/2004