I am obsessed with watching the Winter Olympics. I love the culture it brings in my home and the idea of worldwide competition. Simply put, these games are jammed pack full of meaningful learning opportunities for everyone. Since I love using this event in my house, I wanted to incorporate these Winter Sports Activities for Little Learners in my classroom as well.
So far it has been awesome! Let me show you how we are using my ideas to bring learning fun.
Winter Sports Introduction
We spend a little time charting what the winter games are all about. Most of my students have no memory of previous Olympics, as they were most likely around 3 when the summer games were broadcast. This idea as just an idea for them. It is like trying to explain to a 5 year old the difference between college football and the NFL. But this is WHY we have this conversation, to explain what is happening.
Honestly, this talk was a like watching learning ignite in my students eyes. Lots of countries! Lots of cold weather games I have never heard before. A torch. Rings? WOW. When we talked about The Winter Sports pocket chart of events, they were hocked. Luge. Skeleton. Bobsled. WHAT IN THE WORLD?
I sent this picture home (winter games with events pocket chart picture) with my students and asked them to watch a piece of The Opening Ceremonies. I asked my students to listen for the country that was hosting the games. Then, I asked them to look for the rings, which was a symbol of the games, as well as the torch.
Boy did these kids do their job! They were bursting at the seems to come tell me what they saw. We didn’t do so hot with the host country’s name. Being from Georgia, my students keeps saying the host country was South Carolina. Honest mistake. We just are not worldly, and that is okay! This showed me what to talk about and refer to more.
Countries and Medals
Next, I showed them a small sample of the Opening Ceremonies so everyone would see what was happening. They were enthralled with the countries and their flags. These are those moments that we know that bringing culture into our students lives is what they need.
Then, we talked about medals. We talked about how each event has athletes who try their best to win one of the three medals.
Here is where we bring in the idea of completion, podiums, medals, and being a good sport. My little learners LOVE the idea of representing their country instead of just themselves. They also really understood the gold, silver, and bronze medals. We used these pieces on our pocket chart to model what would happen post event for the athletes.
Now, we had some fun! I had my student select countries they were interested in following for medal counts. The USA was first, since that is our country. Since we have an ESOL population, they were all about following the countries that their extended families live in. We also included South Korea since I want to tie in the host country as often as possible. Many students left connected with particular countries when we studied Christmas Around the World, so we included those countries as well.
Graphing the Medal Counts
Moreso, I knew I had to bring in a globe to connect the countries in the winter games to our understanding. I put colored stars on our graph and matching stars on the globe location. (Using a globe is a huge must to show the perspective of the world.) Also, remember to explain that since these are the “winter” games, that countries that have cold weather tend to do better because those athletes may have more of a chance to practice. You could see their eyes connect with this idea. YES. You have to practice these sports often to be the best and you have to practice them in cold weather.
Glossary and Printables
I refer to a glossary of terms with pictures often to encourage understanding. I see my students refer to them and look through them often. It makes my heart soar. Providing them with resources to connect their learning thoughts is what we as educators live for.
Of course, I have printables for writing and more! If you can use these learning ideas, feel free to click HERE to grab this fun Print and Play pack. I know Winter Sports Activities for Little Learners will be a fun learning experience in your classroom as well.