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Monday Morning Ready01.25.2018
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Signing on to host the Olympics is a big investment—in both infrastructure and money. The 2012 and 2014 Olympics, for example, each cost upwards of $16 billion to create the various facilities needed for the games. And in many instances, those buildings are ultimately left empty afterward, costing the host city that much more in continuous maintenance and upkeep, or, alternatively, simply being left to decay into the landscape.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

What is your favorite Olympic sport? What kind of building or facility is needed for that sport?

Grade 5-6

Do you think cities should be required to identify a way to reuse each facility they plan to build when they apply to host the Olympics? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, it costs cities billions of dollars to create the facilities needed to host the Olympics. Many of the facilities they create are left to decay. Do you think it would make more sense to have the same city host the Olympics every time? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

Imagine that you were in charge of selecting the host city for an upcoming Olympics. You were presented with two options. One city already had most of the required facilities. The other didn't, but it was located in a growing area and city leaders wanted to use the Olympics as a way to create a bigger infrastructure. Which city would you choose? Why?

LESSON PLAN
Identify Ways to Reuse Olympic Facilities

PROCESS: 

  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of facilities that would be required to host the winter Olympic games. If necessary, point out that this includes more than venues for sporting events. Hosting the Olympics also requires structures to support the athletes, press and spectators who attend. And some facilities can have more than one use.
  2. Invite students to scour the Internet to find examples of sporting venues and other facilities used in past winter Olympics. What is their status now? Are they being utilized in a useful way or have they been abandoned? 
  3. Have students go online to learn about the upcoming games in PyeongChang, Korea. Instruct students to select one facility that will be used during these games. If possible, have them find out how that facility will be used when the games are over. Then challenge students to identify creative ways they think the facility could or should be reused. Encourage students to draw plans and/or write a proposal about their ideas.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their ideas with the class. Encourage classmates to discuss the merits of each proposal. Challenge them to identify the most creative and most practical ways to reuse the Olympic facilities.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON: 

Grades 3-4:
As a class, select one winter Olympic sport. Have students conduct research to learn about venues where this sporting event was held in past Olympics and where it will be held in PyeongChang, Korea. Rejoin as a class to share the results. Brainstorm a list of ways a facility like this could be reused after the Olympics. Encourage each student to draw a picture of his or her proposed solution.
Grades 5-6:
As a class, select one winter Olympic sport. Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to conduct research to learn about venues where this sporting event was held in past Olympics and where it will be held in PyeongChang, Korea. Challenge each group to identify a creative way to reuse a facility like this after the Olympics. Encourage groups to draw detailed plans of their ideas. Compare and contrast the results.  
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select one Olympic sporting venue or other type of facility. There can be repeats. Have groups conduct research to learn about the fate of similar facilities following past Olympic games. Challenge them to select what they think is the best way to reuse a facility like this or come up with a creative new solution of their own. Instruct students to draw detailed plans and write a proposal outlining their ideas.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to select one Olympic sporting venue or other type of facility. There can be repeats. Have students conduct research to learn about the fate of similar facilities following past Olympic games. Challenge them to select what they think is the best way to reuse a facility like this or come up with a creative new solution of their own. Instruct students to draw detailed plans and write a proposal outlining their ideas. Have students pitch their ideas to the class, explaining why their solution would benefit the local economy. If more than one pair focused on the same type of facility, have students vote to identify the best fit for the community. 
VISUAL RESOURCES: WINTER OLYMPICS
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers
This online exhibit from the National Museum of American History introduces visitors to the pioneering men and women who dominated their sports; championed their country, race or sex; and helped others to achieve. Both on and off the field, these daunted individuals broke records for themselves and broke barriers for us all.

The Olympics and the Cold War
This Smithsonian Learning Lab resource includes artifacts and archival documents regarding the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Students will explore these materials in order to develop an understanding of how the Olympics were used as a platform for the United States and the Soviet Union to display political ideas during the Cold War. Comprehension and analysis questions are embedded throughout the lesson.

The Early Modern Olympics
The first Olympic games began in 776 BC, but the Olympic Games as we know them today started much later—the 19th century. Invite students to learn about the surprising beginnings of the Olympic Games and how much has changed since in this History Explorer podcast with curator Eric Jentsch. The resource set includes a teacher guide and student worksheet.

AstrOlympics
What do Olympic athletes and objects in space have in common? Motion! Explore this NASA/Chandra X-ray Center site to examine scientific similarities between the impressive feats of Olympic athletes and the cosmic phenomena throughout the universe. Currently, the site offers examples from the summer Games. Examples form the winter Games are coming soon.

Sports
Sports are important to our culture in many ways. They help teach sportsmanship, leadership and persistence. Use the images and discussion ideas in this lesson from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to have conversations about sports in your community and around the world.

Librarians Have an Olympics, Too
You might not notice it, but librarians perform feats of near-Olympian prowess every day. Read this Smithsonian article to learn how some librarians have turned the battle of brain vs. brawn into a bookish competition for the ages.
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