The Olympics

27 Apr

The semester is now winding down, bringing with it a flurry of work and and other stuff.  I had my last day of class with the kids in my Soc of Sport class and decided that we should try to end the semester on a bit of a fun note.

The final topic that we had talked about in class was the Olympics; this was actually a topic that the class voted on out of several different options.  So I decided that we should go with the theme of the Olympics to play a final review game before their exam (a good break for them and me at the end of the semester!).

Here’s how it worked:

I had the class get into groups of around 4-6 students.  These were their “countries”/teams, and I actually let them pick whatever country they wanted to be (Ivory Coast, Jaimaca, Sri Lanka, and ‘Merica were among those chosen).

After we established countries, I told them that we were having a “decathlon” competition.  This was basically my way of saying that the review game was 10 questions.

I then asked a question (reviewing concepts that would be on the exam – not just about the Olympics), each country wrote down an answer, and we relied on the honor system for them to grade themselves.  A correct answer was worth 2 points, and I kept a running tally of the scores for each country on the board after each question.

Every other question, we had an “event” (so a total of 5 events – though we ran short and only did 4).  If the country got that particular question correct, then they sent a delegate to compete against the other countries in that particular event for a chance to get points on top of the 2 points they earned for the correct answer. Here are some of the “events” I used:

  • “Javelin toss” – I gave them 2 minutes to build a paper airplane to see whose went the farthest
  • “Shot put” or basketball shot – toss a paper wad into a trash can
  • “Balance beam” – balance a book on their head (we added various challenges to help knock people out – stand on one foot, turn around, etc.)
  • Team toss – one person had a solo cup strapped to his/her head while a teammate tried to shoot a ping pong ball into it

For a list of other “event” ideas, I would recommend the Minute to Win It website, even though I didn’t use any of those particular ideas.  They don’t necessarily have to parallel actual Olympic events, but I did try to for at least a few.

After completing all of the events and tallying the score, we were supposed to have (we ran out of time) an awards ceremony.  I had a set of cheap “medals” that I was going to award the winning country while listening to some inspirational Olympic music (below).  We ran out of time for this part, but they still had a good time answering the questions and competing in the events!

You could have as many or few events as you wanted – these 10 questions, along with the “events” took me about 45 minutes or so for a class of 70 students (about 12 “countries” competing)…

Something fun to end the semester on that related to the topic of the Olympics!  Give it a try – it would work regardless of if you talked about the Olympics or were doing a “sport” class – everyone is familiar with the Olympics!

1 Comment

Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Advice, Projects/Activities, sociology, Sports


Tags: , , , ,

One response to “The Olympics

  1. hammy

    May 5, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    i’m a gold medalist. can i come in to speak to your class?



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