Looking Back: Ancient Greece – The Olympics

Our Olympians
Our Olympians

Continuing with my  series ‘Looking Back’, where I am documenting learning the children and I did together prior to me blogging, this post is all about the Olympics.  We did Ancient Greece about two years ago, when the children were about 8 and A was about 2 and B didn’t exist yet!

One can’t study Ancient Greece without mentioning the Olympics.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this, but given that Britain had just put in a bid to host the 2012 Olympics, I felt we ought to at least cover it.  First, to help the children to understand how big the modern Olympics are,  I had them watch this video and we flicked through this book:

Nikki, our friend from the running shop, gave up her spare time and met up with my three older ones in the local coffee shop and took them through the modern Olympics.  She had even typed up some notes and questions for them.  Thanks Nikki, we were so grateful:

The very informative sheets Nikki made up for us
The very informative sheets Nikki made up for us

Then we started to learn about its humble beginnings.  The children’s reading list was fairly light.

Their fiction list:

Their non-fiction list:

           

For ease we used Evan Moore Pockets:

Now I have to admit to not being a huge fan.  I think they are weak on information, weak on writing and strong on the child improving their cutting out skills.  If I’m honest that is how I feel with most lap books.  However, they do have their place and for me they fitted in well with my learning goals for the children on this particular subject.  We only did the pocket on the Olympics:

Our completed pocket
Our completed pocket
Pieces the children cut out and stuck to card
Pieces the children cut out and stuck to card
Introducing them to the events of the Ancient Olympics
Introducing them to the events of the Ancient Olympics

Of course, we then had to put on our own Ancient Olympics in our back garden.  But first we needed to make ourselves some ‘lucky charms’:

Each child made their own, hoping it would help them win the Olympics!
Each child made their own, hoping it would help them win the Olympics!  This was a project out of one of the non-fiction books.  They are all owls, meant to represent the Goddess Athene

They prepared themselves for all the events and practiced enthusiastically throughout the week.  Then came the day of the Ancient Olympics in our back garden.  I had nothing to do with this, it was entirely their own idea and they planned and executed the whole thing.  Loved it!

First up was the long jump:

C about to long jump
C about to long jump

Next the foot race:

All lined up and ready to go, along with our little fairy A
All lined up and ready to go, along with our little fairy A

Followed by the javelin throw:

L10 about to throw her javelin
L10 about to throw her javelin

And finally archery.  But wait a minute, I hear you cry!  Archery?  Surely that should be wrestling.  Well yes.  But our Olympics wasn’t very, very authentic (maybe the fairy gave you a clue?- or even the not so long ‘long jump’?) and we knew T would win if he was pitched against the girls in wrestling so we decided to even the odds a little and have them archer instead (sorry):

T archering
T archering

I think I might have four of the most competitive children ever born!  However, although T won overall, he was willing to give up his running medal to A which meant everyone won one event, making it a tie (phew!).  So they all got a laurel wreathe:

Our winning Olympians!!
Our winning Olympians!!

Afterwards they wrote about their experience in the form of a simple newspaper report:

C's report
C’s report

A simple, effective and fun way of learning about the Ancient Olympics!

TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me    Highhill Homeschool

10 comments

  1. Like you said, they pockets have their place, and they can help at times.

    I go back and forth on lapbooks, I love the look of them, and all those little folding things, however……. My kids don’t like creating them. They do go back and look at them more than they do just random notebooks, so I can’t quite decide…….

    1. I know what you mean. I like how they look and their accessibility but I agree with Hwee, they are glorified craft projects. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you are looking for a craft project….

  2. I agree with you about lapbooks. We use them sparingly for information and to add interest to what we’re studying but Tiger has never been one to complete any entire lapbook. It feels more like a craft project trying to be something else.

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