With hundreds of countries sending athletes to the Olympic Games, how can your child learn about other teams while still enjoying a piece of the action? By adopting 5 teams as his own, of course! Here's how:
Have your child spin the globe or flip through the World Atlas. Ask him to choose 5 countries at random (you can set parameters for this, such as weirdest shape or funniest name). He will be following the progress of Olympic athletes from these countries, while learning about their culture.
Have your child do a little research into the athletes. Who is the star of each country’s team? Who is your child’s favorite? Many countries only sent a handful of athletes to the Olympics, while others sent hundreds. Have your child choose one athlete that he feels best represents each of his countries’ Olympic teams.
On the poster board, outline 5 figures, each about 5” x 3” big. Each of these figures will represent the athlete your child has chosen for that country.
Before you decorate your figures, help your child do some research into their culture and traditional dress (if you watched or recorded the Opening Ceremonies, take some time to look at the athlete’s appearance and costume). How do Gambians and Norwegians differ in dress? How will you represent Vanuatu or Argentina? Help your child brainstorm about what each figure should be wearing.
Have your child draw each figure using the colored markers. If desired, use scraps of cloth or other crafts supplies to embellish the figures.
Now, you will use your figure to chart each country’s performance at the games. To do so, use the second piece of poster board to create a chart with five rows and 5 columns. On the left hand side of the chart, pin or tape your representative athletes. This will help your child remember what country he is tracking, and who to watch out for. Label the other columns “Bronze,” “Silver,” “Gold,” and “Notes.”
As the Games progress, keep track of each country’s performance by affixing an appropriately colored star in the medal column when the team wins a medal. You can track the performance of each country here. In the “Notes” section, report what happens. Is there a world record broken? An incredible upset? A stellar or disappointing performance?