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Lesson 3: Olympic Values

Goals: Students will learn the importance of the values of the Olympic Games by writing a personal motto and a newspaper article.
Time Required: Two 45-minute class periods
Materials: Olympic Values Student Reproducibles 3A and 3B, pencil or pen, access to reference materials, chart paper
1. Ask students if they know the meanings of the words “creed” and “motto” (a creed is a system of beliefs; a motto is a slogan).

2. Explain that the Olympic Games are as much about winning a medal as they are about participating. As the Olympic Creed states, athletes should be proud to participate and play well in the games regardless of whether they win.

3. Discuss the meaning of the Olympic motto “Swifter, Higher, Stronger” (all athletes attempt to perform to the best of their abilities). Explain that this motto is inspirational to athletes, and that all of the sporting events fall into at least one of these categories (e.g., speed skaters attempt to be swifter). If you have a school motto, discuss its meaning and the way in which people in your school live up to the motto.

4. Distribute copies of Olympic Values Student Reproducible 3A and read aloud with the class. Have students complete the activity individually.

5. Discuss the importance of the Opening Ceremony, during which athletes from around the world gather and march in a Parade of Nations, wearing clothing that reflects their nation’s cultures. One athlete from each country carries the nation’s flag in the Parade of Nations. Explain how this ceremony embodies the spirit of the Olympic Games (celebration, being the best, inspiration, friendship, optimism, respectful, global excellence, determination, festive) and showcases the pride that each athlete feels.

6. Distribute copies of Olympic Values Student Reproducible 3B and read the directions aloud. Allow time for students to complete this activity.

Create your own classroom oath. Record it on chart paper and hang it in the classroom for all to follow.

Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.