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Name of Activity:

Olympic Field Day

Purpose of Activity:

To provide a theme-based field day every four years that helps celebrate the Summer Olympics.

Suggested Grade Level:

4-8

Materials Needed:

Depends on the events you choose.

Description of Idea

We begin our Olympic Field Day by going through the same procedures that Olympic athletes do. We begin with the Parade of "Athletes" (all students in the classes) who come down to the gym carrying the flag of their "country", while the music "Summon the Heroes" plays. The rest of the opening ceremony is:

  1. Principal declares the Games open.
  2. Discussion of the torch lighting followed by the torch being run in by chosen students.
  3. The lighting of the torch.
  4. Raise Olympic flag to the "Olympic Hymn".
  5. Student Readers-Read cards about various highlights of the ancient Olympics.
  6. Administer the Olympic Oath
  7. Release the (paper) doves
  8. "Let the Games Begin"

Students then follow their teachers to their assigned events. The events we typically have the students involved in are:

  • Hurdles (foam)
  • Olympic Torch relay (complete with toga and torch)
  • Discus Throw (Regular Frisbee throw for distance)
  • Shot Put (16" softball for distance)
  • Basketball (count how many baskets (you set the distances) the class can make in your time limit)
  • Olympic Rings (time how long it takes the class to pass 5 hoops down their class line of joined hands)
  • Travel to Sydney (scooter relay simulating boats)
  • 50 Yard Dash (time class how long it takes all to complete)

After classes go to their assigned events (lead by special area teacher, aides, parents), they are timed for 7 minutes. In this time, they try to meet certain set criteria for their event to achieve a class bronze, silver, or gold status. Teachers carry around a scoresheet and the event leaders circle the medal level the CLASS achieved at the event. For example, to achieve a gold medal in the 50 yd. dash the class total would have to be 3 minutes, silver 3 minutes and 20 seconds seconds, bronze, anything over 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Feel free to set your own criteria.

For distance events, we had cones set out. If a throw cleared the first cone, one point was earned. If it cleared the second, two points were earned. If it cleared the third, three points were earned. Add class points together to see what medal level was achieved. We set a certain class size limit i.e., 25 students. If students were absent and the class had only 23 present on Field Day, students could alternate taking two turns to make up the 25. If time remains at an event, repeat and try to improve class score.

TEACHER EVENT (the last event which everyone watches): Balloon toss with giant sling shot, and try to achieve gold, silver, or bronze levels. Can teacher sling the balloon past the bronze, silver, or gold medal cone?

After everyone has participated in all events, and had a refreshing Popsicle treat, we come back to the gym for closing ceremonies. The order of this is:

  1. Students enter and sit by their country flag
  2. Raise Greek flag to Greek anthem
  3. Give out awards-All class teachers receive a class certificate, and all kids receive a gold medal sticker. These are handed out to class teachers in pre-made packets.
  4. Call upon all students to assemble in 2004 to celebrate the Games of the 28th Olympiad.
  5. Music "Olympic Spirit" as the Olympic flag is carried out.
  6. Dismissal

I made the Olympic flag out of a sheet, the torch out of cardboard and crepe paper, and the doves out of paper (origami). We have our school band brass section play the Olympic theme, and I purchased an Olympic Theme music CD. The criteria set for each event was set so that all classes could get at least a bronze, many could achieve the silver medal, and classes had to really work together and cheer each other on to achieve the gold level.

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Submitted by Millie  Wostratzky who teaches at Gower West School in Willowbrook , IL . Additional authors for this idea were Judy Blum.. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/1/2001.

Viewed 169426 times since 8/24/2001.

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Previous Comments:

Aaydah Copprue

Awesome Olympics field plan. Great ideas to create an interesting and fun field day for my students grade 3-5

Bill Hoover

We have 5 elementary schools and only 3-4-5th grades from each participate. We all go to the HS Track. Each school selects a boy or girl to be the torch bearer and runs a leg on the track. We pre set 5 interlocking olympic circles on the football field and as each school parades in they fill in on their color circle - rings of the olympic flag.We release white balloons to represent the doves. We have been lucky enough to have a former olympian be the oath reader to open the games.
We run 4x100 with baton hand off
200 open
softball throw
turbo javelin throw
running long jump
a shuttle sack race - 3rd graders - 8 on the team
a shuttle foam hurdle race - 8 on the team
Grand finale - a tug of war by grade level, 4boys/4girls on a team, with 5 schools, it becomes a single elimination only against same grade level, so we have a 3rd grade champion,4th and 5th

Ivan

This confused me. Do you have to give the kids popcicles?

Mr. E

yes... YUSS... Y R U SO COOL?

Marel

A good many valaulbes you've given me.

Maribel

I use a similar style for my Sports Day. I use 8th graders as captains and they pick their countries make sign and flags. they each have thier own team with 2 students from each grade level on them and the captains take them to the events, following a given schedule. The teachers run the events. At the end of day ad up scores for 1st thru 6th place and everyone gets a participation ribons.. Students always look forward to sports day at my school... especially the 8th graders because they are in charge of their own teams.. You shoulh see how great they are with the k thru 2 grades and lots of patience with the older students.. Very rewarding for all involved..

I used several of these ideas for my Olympic Play Day this year. I had teachers nominate a student from their classes to be torchbearers. Since I have 2 grade levels at a time participate, 2 kids (one from each grade level)ran in the torch. I bought crepe paper torches and doves from some online store. The kids also got a Torch Bearer T-shirt that I made with iron-on transfers I made on my PC.

During the week prior to Play Day, we had an Olympic trivia contest. Each class also selected a country to represent, and made a small flag which was carried out and displayed during their time at Play Day. The classroom teachers also had whatever activities they wanted to do in their classrooms for the week of Play Day. Everyone was going around saying hello in the language of their chosen country all week. It was really cool. The kids learned a lot about the Olympics and their chosen country that week.

We also read the Olympic creed and the principal led the students in the Olympic oath. Of course we played the Olympic theme as the kids came in for the opening ceremonies. The whole experience was an awesome one!

Denise Faber

I use a similar style for my Sports Day. I use 8th graders as captains and they pick their countries make sign and flags. they each have thier own team with 2 students from each grade level on them and the captains take them to the events, following a given schedule. The teachers run the events. At the end of day ad up scores for 1st thru 6th place and everyone gets a participation ribons.. Students always look forward to sports day at my school... especially the 8th graders because they are in charge of their own teams.. You shoulh see how great they are with the k thru 2 grades and lots of patience with the older students.. Very rewarding for all involved..

Caren Gordon

I used several of these ideas for my Olympic Play Day this year. I had teachers nominate a student from their classes to be torchbearers. Since I have 2 grade levels at a time participate, 2 kids (one from each grade level)ran in the torch. I bought crepe paper torches and doves from some online store. The kids also got a Torch Bearer T-shirt that I made with iron-on transfers I made on my PC.

During the week prior to Play Day, we had an Olympic trivia contest. Each class also selected a country to represent, and made a small flag which was carried out and displayed during their time at Play Day. The classroom teachers also had whatever activities they wanted to do in their classrooms for the week of Play Day. Everyone was going around saying hello in the language of their chosen country all week. It was really cool. The kids learned a lot about the Olympics and their chosen country that week.

We also read the Olympic creed and the principal led the students in the Olympic oath. Of course we played the Olympic theme as the kids came in for the opening ceremonies. The whole experience was an awesome one!