Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

The Summer Olympics: A Golden Opportunity for Teaching

After four years of anticipation, the day has finally arrived—tomorrow’s opening ceremony marks the beginning of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! The Olympic Games, with their energizing excitement and patriotic spirit, appeals to sports lovers of all ages. This event is also a perfect opportunity to integrate world events into the classroom by reading relevant informational texts.

Summer Olympics   from the Kaleidoscope Collection introduces students to the ins and outs of the Games. Featuring photographs from the most recent 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the books explores different competitions and Olympics traditions.

For early readers, the Kaleidoscope Collection ’s   Sports  and My World ’s   Play Ball!   tie in with the Olympic theme by identifying different types of sports.

After reading, ask your students this question:   What is your favorite sport?  Students can identify sports that they enjoy participating themselves or watching on TV. If necessary, use the sports mentioned in   Play Ball!   for reference. Create a class bar graph to determine the most popular favorite sports   (CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.10) .

More advanced readers can read about a timeless Olympic star,   Muhammad Ali , from the   Hameray Biography Series . In addition to winning gold in heavyweight boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, he also lit the symbolic torch at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In the London 2012 Games, Ali carried the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony. This high-interest biography will engage the reader by connecting Common Core Social Studies Standards to current entertainment.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place from August 5 th   to the 21 st , so your students will be buzzing about it all month. Don’t miss this fantastic teaching opportunity—it only happens once every four years!


Click the left image below to download an information sheet with key features about the  Kaleidoscope Collection , which contains  Summer Olympics  and  Sports . Click the right image below for an information sheet about the My World series , which contains   Play Ball! .