Summer Olympic Games in Upper Elementary Classrooms

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Celebrating the Summer Olympic Games in Upper Elementary Classrooms

As the Summer Olympic Games approach, teachers of upper elementary students (grades 3-5) can seize this fantastic opportunity to foster global awareness, team spirit, and a love for diverse sports among their students.

I have been a fan of the Olympic Games since I was a young gymnast. Every Olympics I would sit there rooting on the girls from Mary Lou Retton to Keri Strug and now Simone Biles! I guarantee there are kids in your class now that dream about being in the Olympics one day, take advantage of this love and bring the World Games to your classroom!

Summer Olympic Games Books, Reading Passages, Writing Research in Upper Elementary Classrooms 3rd 4th 5th grade

Here are some engaging and educational activities, along with book suggestions, to bring the spirit of the Olympics into the classroom.

1. Opening Ceremony Event

Kick off your classroom Olympics with an opening ceremony! Encourage students to create flags and banners representing different countries. They can parade around the school grounds or the classroom to the tune of various national anthems or Olympic-themed music. This can be an excellent way for students to learn about different cultures and the importance of international cooperation.

2. Summer Games Reading Passages, Research Templates and Writing Activities

With my love of the Olympics especially Gymnastics, Track & Field and Swimming I had to create resources that my students could use to learn all about the Summer and Winter Games. The great thing about celebrating the Olympics in your classroom is that you can do it anytime of the year! I have both Winter and Summer Games resources from Reading Passages for your students to learn the Sports Competing in the Olympics, Research and Writing Templates, Bulletin Board Templates and more! Take a peek at a few of the sets here:


3. Olympic Book Club

Incorporate Olympic-themed literature to connect students with the history and values of the Games. Here are a few book suggestions:

  • G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet” by Brad Herzog – This alphabet book provides a great overview of key Olympic terms and historical figures, perfect for vocabulary building.
  • Hour of the Olympics” (Magic Tree House #16) by Mary Pope Osborne – A fantastic way for kids to explore the ancient origins of the Olympics through a beloved chapter book series.
  • What Are the Summer Olympics?” by Gail Herman – This non-fiction choice helps students understand the modern Olympics, including different sports and what it takes to be an Olympian.

4. Create Your Own Olympic Games

Transform physical education sessions into Olympic events. Simple sports like relay races, long jump, or even a frisbee throw can be great Olympic-style competitions. Assign each student a country to represent to keep the international theme going. This activity not only promotes physical fitness but also teamwork and sportsmanship.

5. Olympic Arts and Crafts

Let students express their creativity with Olympic-themed arts and crafts. They can make medals using cardboard, foil, and ribbons, or design their own Olympic torches with paper towel tubes and tissue paper. Display these crafts in the classroom or around the school to build excitement and pride.

6. Study Olympic Geography

Use the Olympics as an opportunity to teach geography. Have students locate the countries participating in the Olympics on a world map. They can also research the host city and what makes it unique, then present their findings to the class.

7. Olympic Values Education

Discuss the core values of the Olympics: respect, excellence, and friendship. Engage students in conversations about what these values mean and how they can embody them in their daily lives, both at school and at home.

8. Closing Ceremonies

Wrap up your Olympic-themed activities with a closing ceremony, where students can reflect on what they’ve learned and enjoyed. This could include a presentation of certificates or medals for participation in classroom Olympic events.

9. Olympic Journaling

Encourage students to keep an Olympic journal during the Games. They can write about the sports they watched, the athletes they found inspiring, and what they learned about different countries. This activity supports writing skills while also encouraging students to reflect on the values and global nature of the Olympics.

10. Summer Games Limited Time Freebie

Grab this flash freebie with a word search, coloring page and writing prompt!

Summer Games Olympics Freebie Writing Word Search Coloring and Writing perfect to celebrate for Upper Elementary Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.

Celebrating the Summer Olympic Games in the classroom offers a rich, multifaceted educational experience that can engage students in sports, culture, history, and values education. By integrating these activities and books, you can create a memorable learning experience that celebrates international unity and the spirit of competition. Enjoy the Games!



Summer Olympic Games Books, Reading Passages, Writing Research in Upper Elementary Classrooms 3rd 4th 5th grade


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