Olympics School–Day Twelve

We haven’t done any schoolwork since Monday, because we’ve been too busy watching the Olympics to do anything else. But since the Olympics are starting to wind down (and NBC has reduced their Olympic coverage in the afternoon), we had a day of review, plus one more fun craft.

We started by looking through DK Eyewitness: Olympics. The children have already looked through this book (several times), since we started Olympics School, but since it gives such a good overview of everything related to the Olympics, both ancient and modern, it provided an excellent way to review what we’ve learned. I think we even managed to pick up a new fact or two!

We also revisited the London 2012 pictograms. Now that we’re more familiar with some of the more obscure sports, it was fun to go through the list, and guess what they all were again. After we did that, I had the children each draw six pictograms of their own on index cards I had cut in half. It was easy to tell what their favorite events were based on which sports they chose to portray. They did a really good job–it was easy to tell which sports they were representing in their pictograms, and that was the whole point of the activity, so it was a success!

We also did one last craft. We’ve been watching rhythmic gymnastics the last two days, and it made me remember how much I always wanted one of those ribbons when I was a little girl. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to come up with something similar, and after a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, we were ready to get to work. I got some 18 inch dowel rods, probably a little thicker than necessary, but I wanted them to have a good surface for decorating. After the children used markers to personalize the sticks, I attached some curling ribbon (not as wide as I would have preferred–I wanted to get the standard two-inch ribbon like the gymnasts actually use, but it was the prettiest ribbon I could find that didn’t have wired edges, which wouldn’t have worked), to each, using a thinner piece of ribbon and a clear hair elastic. Super easy, and the children have enjoyed twirling their ribbons and doing tricks…and they were even nice enough to let me have a turn!

I have a few activities left for Sunday and the Closing Ceremonies, and then, like the Olympics, our Olympics School will officially come to an end, and we’ll take a week off before the “official” first day of the new school year!

Today’s Passport Stamps: Field Hockey Pictogram and Ribbon

Olympics School–Day Two

Our primary Olympic focus today was learning about two things…the event pictograms and the London 2012 mascots.

We did a pictogram study four years ago, and it was a lot of fun, so I knew we needed to do it again. We talked about why pictograms are important (because there are so many languages spoken at the Olympics), and how a new set is created for each Olympic games. We then looked at the London pictograms, and tried to guess what each one was. Most of them were easy, but a few, like Judo, left the children puzzled. This was also a good opportunity to talk about which sports are unfamiliar to us in general, (like handball), so that we can be sure to watch for them during the Olympics.

We also learned the story behind this year’s mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. I couldn’t get the book about them here, but we did watch the videos on the London 2012 mascots website! It’s actually a pretty cute story, and we all enjoyed it, (even Chickadee, who had fun trying to drool on the computer!). Here’s the first installment; the rest are available on the website:

We also divvied up the pages from the colouring and activity books I ordered (conveniently, each child got five sheets). These also focus on the mascots, and the children had fun picking which pages and activities they wanted, and did so without too much quarreling. Too bad there weren’t any pages left over for me…I might not have minded coloring the mascots, myself!

Our book for today was The 2012 London Olympics. There’s not a lot of depth to this book, but it does have some interesting facts, and descriptions of some of the venues, including how spread out they are across London, and even across the country. There is actually a full list of the venues, including where they are, and what events they are hosting, in the back of the book. We compared that list to the venue list on the London 2012 website, where we were also able to learn a little bit more about each venue, and look at pictures.

Today’s Passport Stamps: Cycling Pictogram and Wenlock/Mandeville.

Go for the Gold!

I decided to plan one small lesson for each weekday the Olympics are on.  Some days are a little more in depth than others, but for the most part, I decided to keep it short and sweet, because this is Turkey and Bunny’s first school experience, and because it was hard to find stuff (especially about China) that wouldn’t go right over the heads of four and five year olds!  The Olympics starting on a Friday is a little awkward, since we’ll only have one day of “lessons” before the weekend, but nothing like easing into something slowly, right?

One thing I’m doing that I’m really excited about is events pictograms.  I printed off the official pictogram for each event, and I’ve put them in groups of five, so for seven days (I think that’s right) we’ll have a brief overview of five sports.  I’m going to try to coordinate at least some of the big events with the days they’ll be on, but we’ll have to see how that works out.

I picked 1 Corinthians 9:24 (“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.”  Oh, and they’ve already asked what the verse is, since I wrote it on our poster board in the school room, and also already asked what it means–I think I’m in trouble!) for our memory verse for the week (well, technically two weeks, I guess).  So, the Friday of the Opening Ceremonies, I’ll introduce that.  We’ll then review it every day, and hopefully they’ll be able to memorize it…it’s not the shortest verse, but it’s not too long, either.  We may also have a “family olympics” but I haven’t figured out what that will involve yet.

The rest of the Olympics will go as follows:

August 8–Learn the Olympic Motto and Olympic Oath, and what they mean.

August 11–Map the torch relay, color a picture of the torch.

August 12–Learn about Chinese numbers one through ten, practice writing them.

August 12–Color the Chinese flag, learn some basic facts about the country (population, size, etc.), go over the first set of events pictograms.

August 13–Color the Olympic flag, learn what the rings stand for and why they’re the colors they are, second set of pictograms.

August 15–Learn about the first Olympic mascot, and what it teaches us about China, color a mascot picture, third set of pictograms.

August 18–Second mascot, fourth set of pictograms.

August 19–Third mascot, fifth set of pictograms.

August 20–Fourth mascot, sixth set of pictograms.

August 21–Fifth mascot, seventh set of pictograms.

August 22–(Last weekday of the Olympics) Learn how to write our names in Chinese, make gold medals.

I know the “lessons” are pretty short, but it’s mostly for fun–we’re not even starting our school year until the Tuesday after Labor Day!  I hope I’ve planned appropriate things for their age levels… will they come away having learned something?  I sure hope so, because I had a blast planning it!