Winter Olympics Classroom Ideas, Crafts, and Resources {Winter Games/Sports}

The Winter Olympics will be starting soon...both in Sochi and in my classroom.

 I am using a combination of "Countries" and "Winter Sports" as the thematic focus to our reading and writing work for the next two weeks.

Although I should note that this research project could be completed at any time of the year and does not need to be associated with the Olympics. It would be perfect for any Social Studies or Diversity curriculum that focuses on the study of other Countries or cultures.

After the kids left school on Friday, I sadly packed up all of our penguin books {that was a fun, exciting, and just all around fabulous unit} and brought in a giant stack of new reading material.

While my kids do access the classroom library on a regular basis, I find that they devour the "thematic books" that I stand up on the back counter. 

I set these up in two different sections. One includes a collection of texts about the Olympics and the other area includes a variety of books about different countries. Because I am using the Olympics as the springboard for our learning, I purposely selected ten countries that will be competing in many of the events in the Winter Games.
To keep our materials organized, I sorted the books into baskets by country.  

And because I am a complete organization-loving dork, I placed the baskets in alphabetical order. 

I'll add labels tomorrow. 
I plan to kick off the week by reading aloud some non-fiction texts about Russia (since that is where the Olympics are being held) and working through  the steps of the project as a whole class. This will familiarize them with the expectations for the research, note-taking and the brochures that they will be making to showcase their new learning.

Afterwards we'll be having the students work with partners or small group research teams to learn about other countries.
{Click to Access and Download: Country Research}

Next week I will add another display of non-fiction texts so the students may read about the varied winter sports they will see when watching the Olympics. I created a Winter Sports Writing Packet that includes a graphic organizer for taking notes as they read as well as draft paper and final copy/publishing paper for each of the sports. 

We've been using monthly writing prompts to practice the common core writing expectations.  I plan to continue our work with opinion writing by having them compose a piece about which of the Olympic sports they feel is the most exciting to watch. 
{Click to Access and Download: Winter Sports Writing Project}
The papers in the packet are open-ended and could also be used to writing informative pieces about the sports, narratives about a time they participated in the sport or do some creative writing with an imaginary tale about their experience in the Winter Games.

I plan to display their work so I also created a flag banner that I will hang at the top of the bulletin board. I used those same flags to make a matching activity with the flag and the country name. They can be used for map skills, memory, go fish, etc. I included both of those documents as freebies in the Country Brochure Packet and the Winter Sports Writing Packet. 

I'm hoping to have the kids also create one of the cute crafts shown in these photos as accents for the bulletin board.










{sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9}

These are the books I currently have on display in my classroom. Click on any cover to get more details, read reviews or order the book.






 







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