Winter Olympics: Common Core Thematic Essentials

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin in Sochi with the Opening Ceremony on February 7. The games are exciting not only for the athletes, but also for people who watch them. Capitalize on this excitement with a unit on the Olympics!

Start off with a Torch Relay - have your students take turns running around the playground or gym, passing the torch to each other. Have an Opening Ceremony - let students design a flag, then march around the room. As the days continue, play math and reading games featuring Olympic sports, read a guided reading book about the Olympics, write about winter sports, make an Olympic windsock, and design a medal. To complete the Olympic experience, sponsor an Olympic game day. Gather beanbags or pucks for hockey and curling, make skis and skates with paper plates and laminated paper, and round up some scooters or carts for bobsled races. 

The Winter Olympics last for 2 weeks. Capture the imagination of your students and the spirit of the Olympics with Olympic-themed games and activities! For ideas, check out our Olympic unit: It’s Time for Winter Sports. Lessons and activities include the following:

Literacy Games
Bobsled Raceway: Reading Sight Word Sentences (or Alphabet Letters)
At the Olympics: Naming Sounds or Reading Nonsense Words 
Hockey Shot: Segmenting Words into Phonemes
Winter Sports: Writing Sight Words (or Alphabet Letters)

Literacy Worksheets
Winter Sports: Reading and Matching Color Words
Olympic Medal Match: Distinguishing Between Two Similar Words

Math Games
Ski Jump Addition: Adding Two Numbers
Olympic Medal Count: Graphing Medals
Olympic Sports: Decomposing Numbers
Going For the Gold: Teen Numbers

Math Worksheets
Roll To Color: Creating Sums
Half Pipe Hype: Comparing Two Written Numerals

Olympic/Winter Sports Word Wall
Writing Prompts: Winter Sports
Label the Sports
My List of Winter Sports

Guided Reading Book

The Olympics (Level B and Level D versions)

Art Activities

Olympic Windsock
Olympic Medal
Olympic Torch

Gym or PE Activity

Olympic Challenge