This lesson can be taught in 34 class periods.
The focus for students in this age group is to learn how the Olympic Games create a community and foster international cooperation and goodwill.
Introduce students to the topic of the Olympic Games by holding a class Olympics field day. Organize activities like relay races, three legged races, an obstacle course, long jump, balloon toss, and other events. Hand out ribbons for individual winners and for teams.
Load the Olympic Spirit postcards in advance of the class. If a computer is available for each student, hold the class discussion as a class. If computers are not available for each student, break the class into two or three parts. One part will hold the class discussion as an introduction to the lesson while the other half works on their e-cards. A third group can be given the assignment to draw the community of the Olympic Games.
Hold a class discussion about the Olympic Games. Ask students what was exciting about their field day and relate it to the excitement being felt at the Olympics. Prompt them to talk about the many countries playing together, the national pride in watching your country win, and creating a sports community around the world.
As a wrap up of the discussion, tell students that they will participate in the Olympic Games by supporting the Olympic Spirit and sending e-cards that they will create and send to whoever they like—parents, friends, grandparents, etc.
Direct students to the pre-loaded Olympic Spirit postcards. Have them follow the step-by-step directions to create their e-cards. Remind students to print their cards before they send them for you to grade.
If there is time, encourage them to make several cards.
If completing this activity after the 2004 Olympic Games, you can still talk about international sporting events that create this sense of excitement and international community. Create cards for the Special Olympics, which are held every year and in which children can compete.
Extend this Lesson
Have each student take the print of their Olympic Spirit postcard and write about it on the back of the printout. They should either describe the card and why they created it that way, or they can write about how their card shows Olympic Spirit.
Additionally, you can take the printed postcards and make them into a story telling time. Put the printed postcards in a pile, select one randomly, and as a class, have students tell a story based on the card.
Why are the Olympics important?
How do the Olympics foster community spirit?
What did you put in your Olympic Spirit Postcard? Why?
Who did you send your Olympic Spirit Postcard? Why?
Would you like to be in the Olympics? Describe how you think it would feel?