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ARCHIVED - Canadian Olympians

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Educational Resources

Olympic Activity Ideas

Ideas for Using Library and Archives Canada's Canadian Olympians Website in Your Classroom

Someone to Admire

Young learners can choose an athlete from the Canadian Olympians website whom they know and admire, or choose an athlete who represents a sport they enjoy. Students should select one or two pictures from the Canadian Olympians website that seem to capture the spirit of the sport and of the athlete involved. They can list the qualities -- demonstrated by their chosen athlete -- which are required for the sport.

Young learners can then use the pictures from the Canadian Olympians website and the lists of characteristics compiled to create a small poster showing their chosen athlete in action.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Students locate one photo which captures their interest. Based on the photo alone (without reading any related text), they should suggest possibilities for the following:

  • Date
  • Sporting event
  • Location
  • Identity of participants
  • Story behind the picture, or why this picture is important

Related Activities

  • Students explain their responses by referring to the visual clues in the photo.
  • Students research to determine the accuracy of their responses.
  • Students write a purely fictional article, interview, or story to accompany the photo.
  • Students create a role-playing dramatic presentation of the events which immediately followed the moment captured in the photo.

Sports Hunt

Young learners can search the Canadian Olympians website for as many examples as possible of:

  • Team sports
  • Individual sports
  • Sports practised only by men
  • Sports practised only by women
  • Sports practised separately by both men and women
  • Mixed sports (sports in which men and women participate together)
  • Sports practised using a ball
  • Sports practised with equipment other than a ball
  • Sports practised without equipment (other than equipment which is worn)
  • Sports which test mainly muscular strength
  • Sports which test mainly physical endurance
  • Sports which test mainly accuracy
  • Sports which test mainly agility

Students can be challenged to create their own "hunt" and then can visit the site to search for examples. Following the hunt, students can be asked to discuss their findings. They can:

  • Reveal any discoveries of statistics or trends
  • Discuss what was most surprising, disappointing, or puzzling in their findings
  • Brainstorm questions arising from the statistics or trends they discovered
  • Identify areas of research which interest them for follow-up

Sports Inventory

Young learners can do a survey of the Canadian Olympians website to practice their Web navigation and brainstorming skills. Some guiding questions could be:

  • How many kinds of sports and other events are featured on the Canadian Olympians website?
  • Are there others that aren't included?
  • Are there any sports that should be included (e.g., wheelchair racing)?

Students can browse the images and pick a sport that they might like to participate in one day. They should give reasons why it appeals to them.

Students can conclude the activity by drawing themselves (or someone they admire) engaged in their favourite sport.

A Presentation on the Olympics

Young learners can prepare a presentation on the history of Canadian participation in the Olympic Games. Areas to focus on -- either separately, or together, in a larger presentation -- could be:

  • The first Canadian Olympians
  • The development of a national team
  • Canadian women and the Olympic Games
  • The Olympics during the Great Depression
  • Government involvement in supporting amateur sports
  • Canadian Olympians in the past 20 years

Winning… and Losing

Young learners can write two letters, each in the persona of an athlete competing in the Olympic Games. In one letter, the student writes from the perspective of the winner. In the other, they write having just lost. Students should frame their narratives in consideration of the following:

  • Who would they turn to, to celebrate or to seek comfort? Would they want comfort?
  • How would they feel in each circumstance, emotionally and physically?
  • What could they learn from the experience of winning? of losing?
  • What would they plan for the near and long term future, following their competition?

Photo Essay

Using the photos on the Canadian Olympians site as a starting point, students can create a collage of photos to express their thoughts on a related theme. Some ideas for theme:

  • Great moments in Canadian Olympic history
  • Canadian women and the Olympic Games
  • The Olympics during the Great Depression
  • Modern Canadian Olympians
  • The first Canadian Olympians
  • The history of the Canadian national team

Students can also be invited to create their own theme for the photo essay. They can plan ways to actively engage the audience of their photo essay. They might design a questionnaire, invent a game, or use audio recordings, among other things.

Poster Profile

Select one or two pictures from the Canadian Olympians website that capture the spirit of a particular sport and of the athlete, or athletes, who practise it. Create a poster which:

  • promotes the sport
  • provides some biographical information on the athlete, or athletes, pictured
  • communicates the qualities needed to achieve excellence in this sport

Other Useful Sources

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

Olympic Museum

History of the Games

CBC Sports: Olympics