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A Teaching Strategy for Use With Library and Archives Canada's Canadian Olympians Website
Students will construct a timeline of a Canadian Olympic sport and design a uniform for a Canadian Olympic team.
Canadian Studies (History), Language Arts, and Visual Arts and Drama
Social Studies Outcomes (History, Geography):
In completing this project, students will:
Arts Outcomes (Drama):
Arts Outcome (Visual Arts):
Design a uniform around specific objectives and challenges (e.g., composition issues, subject matter, use of visual language)
Language Arts Outcome:
This Language Arts Outcome corresponds to:
Students will work in small groups to research the Canadian Olympic tradition in a sport of their choice and integrate their findings into the design of a uniform for a Canadian Olympic team. Groups will "sell" their designs in a role-playing presentation.
Library and Archives Canada's For Teachers website
Library and Archives Canada's For Students website
Library and Archives Canada's ARCHIVED - Celebrating Women's Achievements website
Canadian Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
History of the Games
CBC Sports: Olympics
Enhancing Student Interest
This activity could be timed to coincide with the Olympic Games, or with some other major sporting event.
Large Group Work
Share promotional materials with students related to past, present, or upcoming Olympic Games, such as:
Invite students to respond to the above materials, as well as to the concept of the Olympics.
Challenge the whole class to briefly list as many official Olympic sports as they can. The class can then refer to references (see Web Links) to discover Olympic sports of which they were previously unaware.
Students should form small groups (2 - 3 members) according to their shared interest in one Olympic sport.
Small Group Work
Each small group is given the Student Handout, which describes their career-performance task. Groups then continue with the following procedure:
Each group is directed to Library and Archives Canada's Canadian Olympians website. Starting here, the students are to examine any and all materials related to their sport's Canadian Olympic history. See Web Links for other sites. Students should look for:
All acquired information is organized sequentially along a timeline. The timeline is designed to reveal as much as possible about Canada's involvement in the history, athletes, and fashion of each group's chosen sport. Students should consider the ways in which the history of the Canadian Olympic tradition has informed uniform design. Groups can answer the following questions:
What aspects of the sport's past Canadian uniform design does the group find:
What colours are:
Regarding the logo:
Having considered the above questions (as well as others which the students themselves contribute to the analysis) the group is ready for experimentation.
Each member of the group will be given a few days to work independently and create at least one sketch of a team uniform that incorporates the ideas discussed during the analysis stage. At this point, the students should focus on the ideas represented in the drawings, and not be preoccupied by their artistic quality.
Group members return to with their sketch or sketches in hand. The group must now work co-operatively to create one agreed-upon drawing which combines the best elements from each of the individual sketches.
The group drawing (still not artistically refined) is revealed to an outside group (another team of students) for the purpose of obtaining an objective response. The PMI (Plus/Minus/Interesting) chart in the Student Handout facilitates feedback.
Each group considers the feedback they received, and then collaborates to refine their artistic product. Upon completion, the team must sell its final uniform in a consultant-client role-playing presentation to the Canadian Olympic Committee (that is, the rest of the class).
Each group's challenge is to promote their uniform's attractiveness and innovation, its links to Canadian Olympic tradition and identity, and its functional characteristics. Groups are given creative freedom to select the presentation format they feel would be most effective (e.g., informational, multi-media, commercial, celebrity endorsement, fashion show) in convincing the COA.