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Using the Olympics in Your Classroom

My students have always loved learning about the Olympics. It’s an event that everyone seems to be interested in. I think the fact that students can take what they’ve learned about the Olympics home to share with their family is a big reason. Students also enjoy watching the Olympics at home and discussing it the next day. There are so many ways to incorporate the Olympics into the classroom. Here are some of my favorite ways!

Social Studies

The Olympics are a great way to talk about “Then and Now.” The first modern day Olympics was over 100 years ago. What was the Olympics like back then? How has it changed over the years? Here are some things to think about:
·         Compare the number of events back then and now
·         Compare the number of athletes back then and now
·         Compare who can compete compared to who could compete then
·         Compare the medals of the past to the current medals
·         Compare the length of the games from the past years to the current years
·         Compare the number of countries (and their medal counts) to the number of countries now competing

There are so many fascinating events in the Olympics! Students absolutely LOVE learning about the various events! I like to show them a presentation about the different events. There are sooo many that it often takes a few class periods to discuss them. We are all familiar with the popular events, but there are some really unique events!

We also cut out fact cards about each event. Each card has a short summary of each event. We placed these in pockets. They could be used in interactive notebooks, but we saved ours for making a lapbook about the Olympics.

The Olympics are also a fun way to learn about geography. We can look at the maps of ancient Greece as well as the current map of Rio.

We use the Olympics to discuss timelines. We discuss how the modern day Olympics has changed over the years. Then we complete an Olympics timeline for practice.


Below are some books that we have been reading while learning about the Olympics.

We also read some nonfiction reading passages to learn more about the Olympics.


Keeping up with the medal count is a great activity during the Olympics. The medal count is also a super way to practice your data and graphing skills!

Along with reading the medal count in a table, we construct:
·         Tally charts
·         Bar graphs
·         Pictographs

Complete Olympic Unit

All of the information we learned about the Olympics went into our lapbooks to take home to share with our families.

It also could have easily fit into an interactive notebook or journal.

All of the activities above can be found in the Olympic Unit below!

You can find the presentation at:

Or you can buy them as a BUNDLE and SAVE!

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