He everyone! For the next few Fridays, I am going to be planning most of my activities around the Olympics. The Olympics provide an excellent opportunity to teach about the geography and culture of the many countries involved in the games. We started our Olympics unit by learning about the history of the games (Greece) and about the hosting country of Canada. I found a lot of really good information about the origins of the Olympics at Olympics - EnchantedLearning.com. Enchanted Learning is a pay site (not too much), but I have found it to be well worth the money. After learning about the background of the games, the kids colored their own Olympic flags. We put them on sticks so we could wave them around a bit.
Next, we pulled out our atlas and found Canada (Vancouver) on our map. Then we made our own Canadian flags. I found a good maple leaf template at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/Maple%20leaf%20template.PDF. We of course had to listen to the Canadian national anthem while we made them. I found lots of good versions on YouTube.
Here the kids are making their own maple leaf paper quilt squares. I found a great paper template for it at Maple Leaf Quilt Block Coloring Page - EnchantedLearning.com. I printed one out and colored it as a guide for them. I also pre-cut one blue 6" x 6" square, and nine 2" x 2" red squares for each child. The kids arranged them in the maple leaf pattern, cutting them diagonally in half when needed.
Here are our finished maple leaf quilt squares. This activity really worked the kids' observational skills. They had to make sure all the pieces were in the right places, turned the right way.
Next week we'll start learning about some of the countries participating in the games. Check back for more activities!