Every four years the finest athletes in the world gather in one location to compete against each other and to determine who best exemplifies the Olympic motto—Citius, Altius, Fortius—meaning “faster, higher, stronger.” This gathering, known as the Olympic Games, is the most celebrated sporting festival in the world. The games attract athletes from more than 200 nations and strive to promote international understanding and human development through sports.
Britannica School tells us that the first Olympic Games for which there are written records took place in Greece way back in 776 BC. Roman emperor Theodosius I stopped the games in 393 AD, and for the next 1,500 years there were no Olympics. After Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin worked to revive them, the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The first Winter Games were held in 1924.
Now that the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are upon us, the world will enjoy festive ceremonies, sporting events, and personal stories that will interest and inspire people of all ages.
The Olympics are a social studies course on their own—a fantastic way to explore geography, culture, people, sports, patriotism, politics, and international relations.
It’s also a great time to discuss with students the stories of determination, of beating the odds, and of reaching your goals—and those might be some of the best lessons of all. To help schools integrate new digital, Common Core material into the classroom for the Olympics, we’ve created a lesson and provided other content that can be used for students of all ages. Feel free to share these with your friends and colleagues!
Lesson: Olympic Timeline and Research Report (Other Resources: World Atlas / Compare Countries)
Note: Britannica School is used as the resource for this topic. If you like what you see but aren’t a subscriber, e-mail [email protected] to arrange a 14-day free trial.