Please do add your ideas and resources to the platform both as files and here as comments. I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas to get you underway. Hope you like them:
Present an Olympic sport:
Students explain to classmates how one of the Olympic sports / disciplines works. Great for developing vocabulary and research and speaking skills. When giving their presentations, the classmates can be making notes, filling in a chart (to later compare sports) or thinking of follow up questions to ask.
Students present the Olympic history of a sport or discipline. How long has it featured in the games for? When was it first included? Who were its most famous winners? What Olympic stories are most connected to this sport. Listeners can fill in a chart or ask questions or decide on the most Olympic sport / best presentation.
Students present the where and when and how to watch this Olympic sport, aiming to make it as attractive an event to the other students as possible. Listeners can choose one event to watch, fill in an info chart or decide which presentation was most successful.
Present the athlete
Students choose a favorite athlete to present to the class, giving a summary of their careers to date and previewing their possible participation in the games to come. Listeners can rank athletes in order of interest of decide on the best presentations. or ask follow up questions on each athlete.
Career in pictures
SS can post a blog about an athlete, describing their career highlights and accompanying it with pictures from the web. Students then comment on each others’ posts, asking follow up questions about their careers or making simple comments on the pictures posted.
Daily Olympic journal
Students choose an athlete to follow throughout the games and each day / class/ week write a journal entry as if they were that athlete.
Present the country
Top three athletes
Students research a country’s Olympic team and choose three athletes to focus on. These can be presented as an article, a blog post, a picture presentation or a short speech.
Top three teams
As above, but focusing on teams rather than individuals (e.g. the women’s football team, the cycling team, the yachting team).
Gold medal possibilities
Students write a summary of a country’s best medal prospects. The class can keep a log of each student’s recommendations as the games progress – did they win the medals predicted?
Country background / Country history
Students choose a country to write or speak about and can summarize their background or history, either sporting or entire, perhaps focusing more on lesser known or smaller countries.
The host country
There are myriad articles available on the internet about all of the topics below and many more.
Students can each choose an article to read from the internet on the given theme and then in class they discuss the information in their articles, comparing and contrasting their research or giving each other tasks to do based on their texts (e.g. use of Englsi closes or reading comprehension tasks).
The bidding process
The Olympic village
The Olympic torch
The Opening Ceremony
Each group can present a summary of a previous Olympic games
Students discuss what the Olympics mean to them and debate their value to society in the modern world.
How will the Olympic movement continue beyond 2012?
Students could prepare a pitch for their countries/cities to host the Olympic games.
I’m sure there are millions of other activities that can be done using the Olympics theme and making the most of all the written and spoken materials that there is out there on the web. but I hope some of these ideas help you to incorporate the excitement of the games into your lessons and help your students learn some English in a fun way.
Happy Olympics everyone!