Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olympic Style Learning!

Everyone is talking about them this week- the 2014 Winter Olympics!  This is the first year they have really been a big deal at our house with the kids.  My seven year old was really excited to watch the torch get lit at the opening ceremonies and had lots of (hilarious!) commentary on the clothing for each different country.  The countries she is rooting for? USA, of course, and also her "relatives from Italy" as she says.  My husband's grandfather's family came to the US from Naples, so she's feeling a connection there.  I decided it was a good time to learn a bit more about Italy, so we turned the Olympics into a lesson on ancestry and culture.

First we read All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by DanYaccarino. 


The publisher, Random House, also had an online educator's guide to be used with the book, so we took a few sheets of this to work on together.  It had vocabulary words, review questions and writing exercises.  We really liked this book, which is a true story of how the author's great great grandfather traveled to America to start a new life and follows the future generations as they pass along the values of hard work and family.

Another fun activity we did was  to check out the Sochi Olympics website.  There we could read about the Italian Olympians, see how many medals they have won (5 so far!) and see when they would be competing next.  We checked out all of the US stats, too, all while watching the US women's curling competition, which reminded us a little of playing Bocce. :)

Have you used the Olympics as any kind of lesson for your kids? We'd love to know what you did- leave a message or link in the comments!


Jake Block said...

The Olympics has become such an event that it has literally integrated itself in almost every facet of our lives when it is on. It plays all day online and on television, takes up a large portion of news broadcasts, blogs, etc. There are apps and games created around them.

I must admit to also getting swept away in it though. It is great to be able to see other countries and almost get a peek into their lives and how they live, and at the same time root for your own.

I don't have children, but if I did I would most certainly tie some life and learning lessons into the Olympics!

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