Green Olympic Art Projects

Every time the Olympics come around I like to take a few weeks and use the Olympics to teach an integrated unit. We research athletes from our own country as well as others and work on group and individual presentations to be shown at the end of the unit.

I divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 and they each choose a country and come up with a logo, a song and a cheer. They also create individual flags and logos. We have an opening ceremony where they come in with their flags and sing their song and do their cheer.

During the Olympic weeks we have a few classroom scrapbooks in which the students can glue in newspaper and online events, articles and photos. These scrapbooks are in high demand during individual reading times.

We also do a lot of math activities around results, using graphs and data collection. The ideas for art projects are endless and the children really enjoy showcasing their ideas. In Geography we study the countries represented and do some mapping and look at temperatures, terrain, etc. We study the beginnings and the history of the ancient as well as the modern Olympics. In Language Arts there are a lot of opportunities to read and discuss non fiction writing as well as write both non fiction and creative pieces for a class magazine.

But the most important lessons learned are the life lessons where the ideas of sportsmanship, perseverance, defeat, teamwork, fair play and victory are discussed and profoundly understood through the impact of the stories they are experiencing each day. We usually end the unit by inviting parents in to see the displays and hear the oral projects that the children have been working on.

Olympic Flags

  1. Have children choose a flag from a country competing in the Olympics.

  2. Give them a rectangle template (cereal box cardboard works well) so they will all be the same size.

  3. Give each child a page of the sports section of a newspaper from during the Olympics.

  4. The children trace around the template onto the newspaper and then they draw the rest of the flag details in.

  5. They can use felt markers or paint to colour.

  6. Use as a background for a bulletin board display.

Olympic Quilt

  1. Give children 3 large squares of brown paper or reusable paper bags.

  2. Using paper tubes, smaller tubes or lids and the five colours of the Olympic Rings and have them create a pattern on their square by dipping the tubes in paint and printing them on their squares.

  3. One square should have a repeating pattern.

  4. The next square a radial pattern

The third square a random pattern.

  1. Take all of the squares and create a display alternating patterns to make it look like a giant quilt. A black background will make it stand out if you leave a few cm. between each square.

  2. Make sure to take photos for their portfolio.

Olympic Mascots

  1. Show children a picture of the current Olympic mascots.

  2. Have them draw a copy of one of them onto cardstock. (cereal box)

  3. Using their drawing as a tracer they can copy the drawing onto a piece of felt or other fabric two times.

  4. Then they can use markers or felt to complete the mascot.

  5. They may add beads or buttons for the facial features, logos, etc.

6.They can then stitch around the two pieces leaving a small section open so they can stuff their mascot.

7.Stuff the mascot with batting or cut up fabric or tissue.

8.Sew the opening.

These are fun to line up in a little parade and take photos.

Olympic Fashion with Warm and Cool Paintchips

  1. Have students choose an Olympic athlete and print a silhouette of them.

  2. Trace the silhouette on white paper.

  3. Using either warm (reds yellows, pinks, oranges) or cool coloured(blues, purples, greens) paint chips they cut small triangles and glue them on the silhouette in a mosaic form leaving a little white between each triangle.

  4. Next they glue in the opposite of what they did on the athlete in the background.

  5. The contrast makes their athlete stand out.

These look great when glued onto black banner shaped paper and hung from the ceiling.

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