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Wellington Winter Olympics

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This is a great Winter Olympics event for grades 2-4.  
Submitted by Dick Samaria from Belmont, Massachusetts. 

 

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Background: In the previous issue (November/December, 2006) of Great Activities, there was an idea for a middle school Winter Olympics event. Here’s one that we used for grades 2-4 with great success!

Preparation: At our school, our PTA/PTO has both a Multicultural Committee and an In-School Enrichment Committee. Both of these two groups were very eager to help offer our children a rich learning experience to (1) celebrate the spirit of international cooperation, (2) engage in friendly/healthy competition, and (3) learn more about the cultures of other countries.

Overview: The following timeline and ideas were generated by the members of both PTA/PTO committees -

- Olympic Events: The selection of the events were designed so that they could be done in the gym. For example, a slalom course was created using cones and carpet square skis, scooter boards became bobsleds, etc.

- Practice Time: During the month of January, the students would practice the “events” as a part of their physical education classes.

- Class Countries: Each class will represent a country.

- Afterschool Enrichment: Each grade will have an afterschool “Enrichment Afternoon” staffed by parent volunteers where interested students can work on flags, banners, posters on the countries and displays about the history of the Olympic Games. These products will be displayed in the gym and other appropriate venues.

- Olympic Games: During the first week of February, the Games will be held during a 2-hour block for each grade when they usually have physical education. Parents and other community members will be invited to attend.

- Ceremonies: The Games will consist of an Opening Ceremony where the athletes from each country march in with their flags and banners. Students will wear their country’s colors and a pin or ribbon created during the “Enrichment Afternoon.” The Games will conclude with a Closing Ceremony during which each child will be presented with a medal celebrating the spirit of the Olympics. These will be purchased using PTA/PTO funds.

- Opportunities for Parents: (1) As a part of community outreach, the PTA/PTO will request parent volunteers with the afternoon sessions and during the Games as needed. (2) Parents will also be invited to the Games held during the day. (3) In order to accommodate working parents who cannot come during the day, a special evening “Olympic Banquet” will be held. During this event, the parents will be able to see the individual class/country displays, see several demonstrations of the Olympic events, and enjoy desserts in the cafeteria.

Other: Printed below is a copy of our Wellington Winter Olympics program and examples of some of the 24 events. Each classroom teacher was responsible for signing the students up for the events.

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Examples of Events: Here is a short description of several events we used for our Winter Olympics.

(1) Torch Relay: Run one lap around the gym while carrying a medium-sized red ball in a cone. The ball and cone are passed to the next runner. Have four runners per team.
(2) Speed Skating: Race around cones while “skating” on small carpet squares.
(3) Ski Race: Race around cones while “skiing” on large carpet pieces.
(4) Luge: Lie on your back on a large scooter and race the designated course using your feets and arms.
(5) Skeleton: Lie on your stomach on a large scooter and race the designated course.
(6) Snow Shoe Race: Take your sneakers off and wear them on your hands and race on “all fours” using your hands and feet.
(7) Snow Shoe (Flippers): Race from side line to side line while wearing flippers on your feet.
(8) Curling: Fan a ping pong ball from side line to side line. Closest to the line is the winner.
(9) Biathlon: Ski one lap around the gym with your feet on carpet squares and knock down the four targets on each side of the gym using the foam balls.
(10) Biathlon Pairs: Both players “skate” to the first target where one partner knocks it down. Both players ski to the second target, where the second partner knocks down this target. Continue until all four targets are knocked down and both teammates have finished the race.
(11) Bobsled Pairs: One person sits on a large scooter with a folded mat on it. His partner pushes the scooter to the other side of the gym. The partner who is pushing has to jump on the scooter before they cross the finish line!
(12) Bobsled 3′s: Two people sit on a large scooter with mats while one person pushes them across the gym.
(13) Bobsled Back-to-Back: Two people on a large scooter sit back-to-back. The players move by using their feet from one end of the gym to the other.
(14) Hockey: We play two hockey games. One for boys and one for girls. Each game lasts about 10 minutes.

Closing: Hope your kids enjoy this as much as ours did!

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