Today we learned about some of the events that athletes can participate in at the Summer Olympics.
Read: pages 33- 41 in Olympics by Dennis B. Fradin and some more information about the 2012 London Olympics.
Discuss: The ancient Olympic Games were just a one-day event until 684 BC, when they were extended to three days. In the 5th century B.C., the Games were extended again to cover five days of events. The ancient Games didn’t have as many events as they have today, they included running, long jump, shot put, javelin, boxing, pankration and equestrian events. Now the Olympic Games last for about 3 weeks.
- Running- Runners ran races for show of speed.
- Jumping- Athletes used stone or lead weights called halteres to increase the distance of a jump. They held onto the weights until the end of their flight, and then jettisoned them backwards.
- Discus throw- The discus was originally made of stone and later of iron, lead or bronze. The technique was very similar to today’s freestyle discus throw.
- Wrestling- This was highly valued as a form of military exercise without weapons. It ended only when one of the contestants admitted defeat.
- Boxing- Boxers wrapped straps (himantes) around their hands to strengthen their wrists and steady their fingers. Initially, these straps were soft but, as time progressed, boxers started using hard leather straps, often causing disfigurement of their opponent’s face.
- Pankration- This was a primitive form of martial art combining wrestling and boxing, and was considered to be one of the toughest sports. Greeks believed that it was founded by Theseus when he defeated the fierce Minotaur in the labyrinth.
- Equestrian events- These included horse races and chariot races and took place in the Hippodrome, a wide, flat, open space.
- Name a few of the modern Olympic events?
- What is your favorite sport?
A Few Modern Olympic Events
J review A Few Modern Olympic Events on pages 33-37 of this download.
Sporting Events Matching Game
I made J a file folder game with the Sporting Events Matching Game cards to work on reading skills.
My Favorite Sport
J and I talked about what his favorite sport is. Then I asked him why he like it. Then I gave him the My Favorite Sport print out on page 22 of the download for him to write about it.
Olympic Medal Chart
Discuss: A gold medal is awarded for first place in each competition. Second place gets silver and third place gets bronze. We used page 38 of The Modern Olympic Medals download to learn more.
- Cut out one each of the medals and glue them to the top of your poster board.
- Stick your chosen flags down the side of your poster board.
- Add the sticky note next to each flag under each medal. Keep track of the medals by writing the numbers on each stick note and replacing them when needed.
- At the end of each day arrange the flags and sticky notes to see which country is ahead. Summer Olympics Unit Study