2014 Olympic Winter Games
From February 7-23, all eyes will be on Sochi, Russia, as it hosts the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The Sochi Olympics marks the first time the Olympics have been held in Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This year, there will be 98 events held in 15 different sports, and some events, such as women’s ski jumping and ski half-pipe, will be held for the first time.
The Share My Lesson team has highlighted some free lesson plans, activities and classroom materials that you can use to bring the Olympics into your classroom. From presentations about Russian history to videos about the science behind different Olympic events to hosting your own mini-Olympics, we’ve got everything you need to present a gold medal-worthy lesson.
Resources about Russian history
Learn about the history of Russia with this PowerPoint presentation and handout.
Review key events of the Russian revolution with your students.
Learn about the events that led up to the Cold War with these activities.
Elementary school resources
Street and Team USA
Figure skater Sarah Hughes and Elmo discuss the word “persistence” and what it takes to be a Team USA Olympic athlete.
Use these fun activities to hold your own Olympics in PE class.
Learn more about gold, silver and bronze medals with this resource.
Find out how speed-skating competition suits help improve athlete performance by reducing friction and improving aerodynamics in this lesson from NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation.
Snow and the Olympics
Discuss how humidity and temperature help form snow, a very important part of the Winter Olympics.
Secondary school resources
legacies: Ancient Greek Olympics
Students learn about the Ancient Greeks and the Olympic games they made to honor Zeus in this lesson from 21st Century Lessons: A Boston Teachers Union Initiative.
Design your own Olympic team
Get your students into the Olympic spirit by having them create their own Olympic teams.
Science of ice
Find out what makes ice slippery enough for speed skaters in this NBC Learn and National Science Foundation resource.
Engineering the half-pipe
Explore how engineers create the half-pipe to enable athletes to get more air time and perform complicated tricks.
The physics of slope-style skiing
Learn the physics behind slope-style skiing, a gravity defying freestyle skiing event debuting in Sochi.
Find out how the center of mass – a physics concept – controls balance and stability, both crucial to figure skaters.
Learn about the engineering challenges associated with making sleds faster and tracks safer.
Stability in alpine skiing
This lesson from NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation describes how advanced materials and engineering help reduce unwanted vibration, optimizing the performance of athletes.
Mental health and the Olympics
Use this science resource from PBS NewsHour Extra to learn about the Olympics through the lens of the mind (psychology) and the body (physiology).
Human rights and the Olympics: Lesson 1
Human rights and the Olympics: Lesson 2
Human rights and the Olympics: Lesson 3
Human rights and the Olympics: Lesson 4
Talk to your students about the human rights debate around LGBT rights and the Olympics in Sochi, Russia with this collection of resources from PBS NewsHour Extra.