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Kiser’s Awesome Winter Olympics

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This fantastic all-day intramural event was sent in by Russ McHenry from Greensboro, North Carolina


Background: Have you ever had a dream come true? Last year, we had an idea to develop a “once-in-a-lifetime” Winter Olympics interdisciplinary unit to be delivered as an all-day intramural event. Two classroom teachhelped to guide the structure of the interdisciplinary theme, while I served as the coordinator of the event. We were also fortunate to have a great Intramural Committee with representation from twelve faculity members.

After much thought and discussion, the proposal was presented to our principal, Dr. Dot Harper for consideration. She said “yes,” and what happened next was awesome! We trust the results of this event will inspire students to be their best, follow their dreams and give them a passion for physical activity.

It was truly an inspiring and motivational program, which incorporated all subject areas into a relevant, motivational and authentic learning experience! The Olympic ideas of sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, discipline, dedication, perseverance and determination were all emphasized.

Kiser Middle School’s Olympic Village! Kiser Middle School brought the Winter Olympic movement and spirit of Torino, Italy, to Greensboro. Throughout the month of February, Kiser Middle School students participated in a school-wide Olympic interdisciplinary unit while following the excitement of the Games. The entire school was transformed into an Olympic Village and hosted a variety of activities which included each homeroom “adopting” a participating Olympic country, making their country’s flag, using the country’s customs, and making costumes which colorfully represented the adopted country. Student-created artwork (i.e., snowflakes were throughout the school), bulletin boards, and the school’s display cases were all Olympic themed.

Olympic-Style Coverage! We had the local NBC affiliate do their “Good Morning” show live from Kiser the morning of the Olympics. They did a great job of tying it in with the Winter Olympics in Torino. We also had coverage from the local CBS station that followed the event throughout the month of February. The local Fox station and the Guilford County Schools Video Production team also did coverage. It was great to see our students being featured and celebrated for all their accomplishments.

Education and Excitement! During the days at the end of the month, students’ Olympic Dreams came true as they participated in a Parade of Nations, Opening Ceremonies and Winter Olympic Sporting Events. There were many unique surprises throughout the unit as the world renowned E. Gwynn Dancers of North Carolina A&T University performed at the Opening Ceremonies.

School Dignitaries: Also, school board members and the associate superintendent of the Guilford County Schools were all dignitaries who attended the ceremonies and officially started the Kiser Winter Olympics by saying, “Let the games begin.” It was highly rewarding to see students, staff, parents and the community actively involved in the learning process. During the Kiser Winter Olympics students participated in innovative, creative and unique adaptations of luge, bobsled, skiing, figure skating, Olympic ‘torch” relay, cross-country skiing, Olympic hockey hustle and team biathlon.

Olympic Dreams? After the event, the school staff felt that student learning was heightened in all subject areas through this interesting approach. Results also included increased school spirit and pride, cooperation and love of leaming that will extend long past the time when the Olympic flame was extinguished. This unit was meaningful, educational, relevant, fun and a memorable experience our students will never forget. Students were inspired to follow their dreams and to be their best.

Who knows? By having participated in this event, students may have been inspired, like Greensboro’s Joey Cheek, to make their Olympic dreams of being gold medallists come true!

Our Proposal: A shortened version of our proposal is provided in the pages that follow. It provides an overview of how we turned our school campus into the Olympic Village and other “behind the scenes” duties we did in order to make the entire event run smoothly.


Kiser Middle School’s
2006 Winter Olympics Interdisciplinary Unit

Dr. Dot Harper, Principal

Russ McHenry, Intramural Coordinator

Interdisciplinary Unit: Dorle Webster and Stephanie Cashwell

Intramural Committee: Seth Peoples, Analisa Santillan,
Bill Layton,Connie Kammeyer, Catie Wood, Charles McDonald,
Jody Henley, Nicole Penn, Dan Hanlon, and Melanie Curtis

Proposal Purpose: An integrated curriculum approach makes teaching more exciting and enables students to take control of their own learning in exciting ways. The proosed integrated Olympic theme will provide for a wide range of interests, learning styles, and differing levels of understanding and development. Student learning can be assessed in a variety of ways such as projects, portfolios, tests, observations, presentations and discussions. Student achievement is measured by the student’s demonstration and evidence of learning of content and process (thinking and research skills).

- Turning Kiser into an Olympic Village -

- Each AA (Advisor-Advisee Class) will adopt a participating country (use social studies curriculum for each grade level). Sign up sheets in teacher workroom.
- AA will make the country’s flag, banners, etc. (things unique to that country) promoting that country’s pride and spirit. Can use opaque projector or overhead to enlarge flags.
- Encourage people to wear the dress of that country. An award will be given to the homeroom with the best flag and another for the “‘country” with the most spirit.
- AA classes have been assigned areas for their countries to be displayed. The goal is to decorate the area with your country’s culture. Melanie says “Be Creative! Have Fun! Learn Large!”
- Homerooms should display a poster of the Olympic Rings and make an extra one to be displayed throughout the school. The art department will provide the poster board necessary.
- Design Olympic mural outside of the gym (Johnson and Chumbley) with participation by art students
- Homerooms have begun making snowflakes. This will continue until the day of the event.
- KMS-made Official Olympic flag (Kammeyer) will be displayed during the games.
- Winter Olympic Trivia (Cashwell) on the KMS bulletin board on classroom televisions.

Sample Event Descriptions

(1) Olympic Torch Relay: Homerooms will line up in two lines. Two students will be given the Olympic “torch.” The torch will be made out of paper towel with crepe paper as the flame. The two students will travel to the cone and back and then “pass” the torch to the next two people in line. The students must work cooperatively and keep one hand on the “torcw’ at all times.

(2) Olympic Rings Relay: This is a fun and cooperative activity which students must work together as a team to accomplish. Each homeroom will have 23 students who will line up in a straight line. Students will grasp hands and must keep them grasped throughout the event. The team will then maneuver the “Olympic Rings” (hula hoops) down the line without letting go of one another’s hands/elbows.

(3) Cross Country Skiing: Students will ski through a course that will be marked by “flags” (cones). Students will kneel on the scooters with their buttocks on their feet. Students will propel themselves using “poles” (plungers) down the slopes. Once a person has successfully completed the course the next person will begin the course.

(4) Luge: This event will be done in pairs. Two scooters will be connected. One partner lies on their back on the scooters with their feet facing forward. Their teammate will then gently push the person on the scooter board around the course. Once the students get to the cone they will switch positions and then return to the starting line.

(5) Two Person Bobsled: The first person sits on a scooter with his/her legs crossed. His/her partner then sits on a different scooter behind the first person. They will then bobsled together throughout the course. The students must stay connected at all times.

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