Winter Olympics

Ski Jumping Qualifiers

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

I am lucky enough to live close to one of the locations for the Olympic Qualifiers and was able to attend the Ski Jumping Qualifiers for both men and women at Olympic Park in Park City. After spending the day scaling, and yes I mean scaling, the snowy hills to reach the top of Olympic Park I became inspired to incorporate the Winter Olympics into my classroom. I have decided that this will be a great opportunity to encourage my students to participate in current events.

Here are some ways I will be using the 2014 Winter Olympics to encourage my kindergarten students to participate in current events.

Students will be assigned a country

I have 25 students and we will be focusing on 11 countries. They will be in groups of 2 or 3. I will assign the following 10 countries to the students while assigning the United States to the whole class. These countries have been the top performing countries in the games. 
~United Kingdom
~South Korea
They will be encouraged to ask their parents, watch the news, or research any way they are able to keep up with the medal winnings of their country. We will graph the progress of our countries on a bulletin board by placing gold, silver, and bronze medals to represent how many they have won.

Winter Olympic Crafts:

The students will be creating the country they were assigned to flag for a flag banner. I found this great idea from ( We will hang these in our classroom for a fun decoration

The students will also create some fun winter sports pictures. You can see an example here (Activity Village). I will allow the students to create any winter sport picture they want.

Winter Olympic Videos

I have just subscribed to They will be updating short clips and highlights from the games. I will be showing clips in the afternoon after our silent reading time.

Country Research Journals

This one I am most excited about. This will help cover some of the more tricky Common Core Standards. This activity will cover the following CCSS:

·       CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.6 With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
       CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
·       CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
My higher achieving students will be assigned mini country research journals instead of their assigned reading for two weeks. They will spend their guided reading time researching on our schools mobile iPad lab. The parents have been notified because this research journal will need lots of parent involvement at home. They had the option to opt into the research group, or to remain in their guided reading groups.
The students who will be working on this assignment are already reading at a first or second grade level. I do not recommend a journal this intense for average kindergarten students. 
The students will have 10 research questions they will have to answer over the period of the olympics. They will have a mini presentation on their country on the Tuesday following the ending ceremonies. 

I will update this blog post with photos of students work once they have completed their journals.