We started off our Olympic exploration by discussing what the Olympics mean. We talked about how athletes come from countries all over the world to compete in different Winter sports.
We talked about how the Canadian flag represents Canada, and we made our own flags. Then we talked about how each ring on the Olympic flag (logo) represents a different continent. (we looked at the globe and discussed continents. (so much background story!)
Then we discussed the different sports, and looked at some of them in books. We also talked about how the athletes had to work really hard and practice REALLY hard to be able to compete in the Olympic Games.
We watched short video clips on CBC Kids to get some explanations about the sports.
We grouped the sports into :
Ice Sports (Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating and Curling)
Snow Sports (Downhill Skiing, Ski Jumping, Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboarding)
There were so many different skiing events! It was hard to keep them straight!
Sliding Sports (Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton)
We made some Ski Jumpers out of straws. We practiced blowing our jumpers as far as we could, and then we had a competition to see who could jump the farthest. The people who practiced the most were able to blow their jumpers the farthest. Just like in real life! Practice really DOES HELP!
We tried to give them nice soft landings on the pillows like on the snow , but none of our jumpers landed on the pillows.
Then we practiced curling. We started by doing some table top curling with pennies and sliding them to a target.
Then we practiced our sweeping, by sweeping paper plates down the hallway with child sized brooms (note to parents: it it easy to cut down a dollar store broom to make it child friendly. Everyone said how much they LOVE sweeping.....) We swept in Pairs, each person sweeping the same word as their partner. The "fans" stood along the hall, cheering the word as it was swept along. We were really loud and had a lot of fun!
We are currently making some mini bobsleds and will have bobsled races later this week!
Next week the Paralympics begins. We will look at how the different winter sports have been adapted so that differently-abled athletes can compete in high-performance sports.
(The present-day Paralympic Games include five major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres - athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy).