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Teacher: Millie Wostratzky and Judy Blum who teaches at Gower West School in Willowbrook, IL. Millie Wostratzky and Judy Blum can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Olympic Field Day

Rationale/Purpose of Event: 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.

Olympic Field Day

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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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 125 votes.

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