The Olympic and Paralympics are here again and a great opportunity for learning across the curriculum. Here are some ideas to support learning in science, maths, D & T, geography and of course PE!
- Carrying out a survey on leg length
- Investigating heart rate after exercise
- Analysing reaction times
- Looking at the ideal grass growth for a sports field
- Using sports activities for data collection, presentation and analysis
- Looking at healthy diets
- Investigating UV light and how to block it
- Finding out about inequality in sport.
- Having your own Olympics
Links and Resources
Aimed at older primary children these activities investigate the function of the heart, how exercise affects heart rate and the rate of recovery after exercise. Created originally for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic they aim to develop enquiry skills and provide a sound basis for working scientifically, they also provide reward cards for young athletes! Children could compare their own heart rates and recovery rates with those of athletes competing in the games, they could also research the issues Team GB will have acclimatising for the event in Brazil. Will athletes personal best's be better or worse in this very different climate?
Inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this resource can easily be adapted for use for many sports events. Children measure and compare specific body parts and identify any relationships between lengths of particular body parts, how Looking at variation in the size of body parts and how this may affect performance in sport. Have fun investigating how leg length affects the distance you can jump, this could be done across the whole school and results compared; providing lots of great opportunities for analysing and presenting data. Investigate the relationships between other body parts and activities and identify which muscles work hardest during different activities.
Carry out lots of investigations linked to sports activities and find out how, through practice, the body may perform better. Children test out different kinds of movement, their reaction times and find out how active they are. Though aimed at Younger primary children, the activities could easily be adapted for use with older primary children, who could use the reaction investigation as a maths activity looking at average results and analysing and presenting the data.
Meet the character Fizzy and her dog Dizzy, who want to learn more about the human body and set children a series of questions to investigate.
Great for all younger primary learners this resource created for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics children learn about different body parts, recognise similarities and differences between human bodies and the importance of exercise for humans.
Lessons are introduced by the character Fizzy, who wants to learn more about the human body and explain this to her dog Dizzy and young athletes can collect a reward card at the end of the activities.
These activities are suitable for upper primary and lower secondary maths lessons which require the use of averages, ranges, percentages, histograms, stem and leaf displays, pie charts, and tables to make comparisons, interpretations, and conclusions. They also provide real data about pupils for analysis. Performing the “How far can you …?” events in the classroom will engage pupils, enable data collection and motivate data investigations. Cotton wool shot put and triple jump from a standing start are the focus of the class activities together with measuring foot length and pupil height. Further possible investigations include: Girls shot put further than boys? Boys triple jump further than girls? Which hand is best for shot put? What percentage of the triple jump distance is the hop? Which is the most loved Olympic sport at school? Which Olympic sport do pupils want to do more of?
Three data handling activities based on football, suitable for upper primary through to secondary level. Pupils calculate means, use tallies, frequency tables and bar graphs. There are also opportunities to look at large amounts of data and make sense of, what they observe.
* Soccer goals provides activities are based on calculation of averages, tally charts and bar charts.
* Soccer pitches includes investigations such as “are more goals scored on small pitches or large pitches?”
* Soccer attendances includes routine calculations and encourages observations from the results.
Many sports are played on grass, so why not find out which grass would provide a surface suitable for many Olympic activities? This context provides a great starting point for working scientifically to investigate the effects of various conditions on plant growth. Information is required on suitable grass types and the best growing conditions. They also need to know how much water will be needed, and the effects of soil type.
This Teachers TV video shows a variety of activities being used to teach data handling in Key Stage Two.
A Year Three class at Cuffley School, Hertfordshire, uses data about their favourite school meals to create a human bar graph. At Wroxham School in Hertfordshire Year Four students have fun with Olympic Maths. They measure and record the results from the long jump, high jump and target practice. Then they use Venn diagrams and graphs to analyse the data and find their Olympic Maths Champions.
This resource is about protecting astronauts from the effects of harmful UV light., but can be easily adapted to a context of athletes protecting themselves from UV light at the Olympics. Using UV beads easily and cheaply bought from many places children can experiment with different materials to discover which blocks UV light by observing the colour of the beads. A great activity to support children learning about being safe in the sun, especially when they are doing sports days or mini-Olympics in school. Most beads are sold in a mixed bag, some beads change blue, yellow, pink and purple it is the depth of colour which indicates the level of UV light, there are colour charts in the resource which show this.
This is a much older resource, but has lots of great ideas for investigations linked to many different sports and games including: exploring games and sports in the present, past and other countries, investigating bouncing balls, reaction times, the impact of games played on grass, the tension in racquets and what affects the movement of a ball through the air.
This activity highlights the importance of food as a fuel for activity and growth and about the importance of an adequate and varied diet. Children could compare the amount of energy different kinds of foods provide and to consider which foods to choose in different situations. For example: a high energy lunch or a low energy but healthy snack. It includes teacher guidance and worksheets.
The Forces activity looks at the grippiness/slippiness of different shoes. Children could bring in a range of shoes and take wax rubbings of them. They could look at differnt sports shoes/trainers and discuss how the soles differ and why ths may be.
They could design their own shoes for a particular sport. e.g. many ridges and bumps to help them grip – changes of direction in sports, when you are moving fast, etc. Some sports shoes are even designed with a particular surface in mind!
This activity encourages children to consider how bones grow as we grow. Working in groups, children measure the height, distance around the skull, length of a foot and length of a lower arm for each person in order to investigate whether taller people have longer bones.
This game allows children to practice multiplication problems. Children move along a track landing on different numbers, mainly from the 6, 7, 8 and 9 times tables. To move they must say the pair of numbers (factors) which will multiply together to give a nearby product on the board.