The Summer Games are finally coming to Tokyo in 2021 after a year-long delay due to COVID-19. Get your students excited about this global event with these fun Olympics activities for your classroom. Whether you’re throwing an Olympics themed party, looking for activities for your classroom, or just want to get your students involved by following the medal results, you’ll find something useful! Just want your free Japan Bingo Game? That’s fine too! But feel free to poke around and see if there is anything else that catches your eye. Oh and I’ll definitely be sharing a couple more freebies!
Why You Should Teach About the Olympics in Your Classroom
Let’s start with the obvious. Many students LOVE the Olympics! It’s fun for kids to see all of the different sports that are played around the world. They can cheer on their favorite athletes like Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, and it’s also a great opportunity to learn about new cultures, traditions, and countries across the globe. Students can learn about the host country, Japan, and its cultural symbols by playing the free Japan Bingo game.
Students can also get involved by watching the Opening Ceremony and playing an accompanying bingo game as they watch the parade of nations. You can get the whole class involved by letting students track medals for chosen countries. I’ve created a free medal chart and list of participating countries for students to choose from. Another simple free activity is this Olympics maze. It’s quick and easy, but students will love it.
Fun Olympics Activities for Secondary Classrooms
(Just keep scrolling if you’re looking for the Elementary Resources!)
The following products are available in my TpT store. I plan to update them for future summer Olympics, so anyone who buys them now will get free updates every four years!
This Olympics PowerPoint presentation is my absolute favorite way to get students excited about the Summer Olympics. Students love seeing all of the videos are images that are embedded, and the PowerPoint contains a ton of interesting information about the Games. Not only does it cover information about all 50 disciplines across 33 sports featured in the Summer Olympics, but it also highlights other topics such as the COVID-19 delay, Tokyo geography, pros and cons of hosting the Olympics, competition venues, mascots, posters, what makes the Tokyo 2020 Games unique, new Olympic sports, medals, and the torch relay!
If you’re looking for something quick for early finishers or maybe a centers activity, check out this crossword puzzle. It includes clues about the history of the ancient and modern Olympics as well as all of the different symbols associated with the summer games. An optional word bank for differentiation and an answer key is included.
This Summer Games Bingo makes a great whole-class option or you can make it available for small groups of students. It features all of the sports that will take place in this year’s Olympics! Don’t forget you can also download the free Japan Bingo or this Opening Ceremony bingo game too!
If you’re looking for something a little more involved or you want to incorporate literacy into your Olympics unit, consider these Olympians graphic organizers. They come in both print and digital and allow students to learn about some of their favorite Olympic athletes. 25 summer and winter Olympians are included from both historic games and the 2020 Summer Olympics. Students will research information related to basic facts, childhood, major life events, country they represent, medals won, other awards & achievements, how they trained and prepared, challenges they faced, a quote, fun facts, and resources where you can find more information.
Another Olympics activity involving graphic organizers are these summer games sports graphic organizers. They allow students to research a chosen summer Olympics sport such as badminton, BMX racing, artistic swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, and more! There is a graphic organizer for all 50 disciplines across the 33 sports that will be featured at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Students will research information related to the invention of the sport, playing surface, when it debuted at the Olympics, history, equipment, players and positions, uniform, qualities of successful athletes, where the sport is popular, medal winners, famous athletes who played the sport, and more!
A unique activity that your students might not have ever tried before is this cardinal directions word puzzle. Students practice using their directions to reveal a hidden message about the Olympics. It’s a great way to learn about the 2020 Tokyo games and practice geography and spatial skills at the same time! An answer key is included.
And last, but definitely not least, we have these Olympics themed latitude and longitude practice puzzles. I promise your students will LOVE these puzzles and will beg to do more. Students plot the given latitude and longitude coordinates, connect their dots, and discover a hidden picture. You can tell students what they’re making or just let them be surprised. It’s a great way to practice latitude and longitude skills, and the collection includes a torch, medal, rings, and USA in text.
Fun Olympics Activities for Elementary Classrooms
I didn’t want elementary teachers to feel left out, so I’ve created several resources for you as well! Once again, these are all available in my TpT store, and I plan on updating the products for future Summer Olympics. Anyone who buys them now will get free access to any updates!
It should be pretty obvious now that I love Bingo games, and here is another Olympics bingo game for elementary classrooms! This one includes all of the 33 sports that will be featured in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Students will love the cute clip art for each sport, and there are 30 unique cards and call sheet included. Don’t forget you can also sign up for the Free Japan Bingo game too!
If you’re looking for quick activities just to get your students in the spirit of the Games, consider this word search or summer games hat. Both are fun for kids and will hopefully get them excited about watching the Olympics at home with their families.
Are your students obsessed with athletes like Simone Biles and Michael Phelps? They’ll love these Olympians Graphic Organizers! They come in both print and digital options, and allow students to keep information organized as they research famous Olympic athletes. 30 athletes from both winter and summer Olympics and the past and present are included. Students will research information related to each athlete’s birthdate, age, hometown, sport(s), Olympic history & medals, quote, and fun facts.
Another fun Olympics activity are these Summer Games Sports Graphic Organizers. They allow students to research any of the 33 sports that will be featured in Tokyo 2020. The graphic organizers allow space for students to research information related to a basic description of the sport, equipment used, history of when & where it was invented, when it was first added to the Olympics, countries with the most medals, and famous athletes who play(ed) the sport.
That’s it! These are some of my favorite fun Olympics activities that you can use in your classroom. Please don’t forget to download your free Japan bingo game (link) and let me know if you have any questions about anything!