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Teacher: Cathy Watts who teaches at Lemm Elementary School in Spring, TX. Cathy Watts can be contacted at clduncanwatts@academicplanet.com.

Name of Best Practice: OLEMMPICS

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To teach students about the Olympics, its opening ceremonies, and to celebrate Lemm Elementary's 20th anniversary.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Depends on the sport or activity taught.

OLEMMPICS

This was Lemm Elementary School's 20th anniversary and the Olympic year, and the city of Houston is pushing to host the Olympics in 2012. Therefore, I created a unit on this called appropriately -- "The OLEMMPICS". We had an opening ceremony, complete with flags, music, and torch relay. I had each homeroom create a flag to represent Lemm Elementary's anniversary. On the day of the ceremony, I had each grade level march outside with their homeroom carrying their flag through the school. Then I chose several students that represented different cultures to run in the relay which circled the students. I had two students finish the relay with the "torch", and give it to our principal who jogged to the main stand to light our OLEMMPIC flame and start our OLEMMPIC unit.

For the next three weeks, we focused on different sports such as: track and field, soccer, basketball, and baseball. We did these activities with grades 3-5. The younger students only participated in the opening ceremony and the running club. During this time, each day we talked about the medal count and an American athlete who won gold. After about 3 weeks, we declared the OLEMMPICS over and put out the flame. However, throughout the year, I had an OLEMMPIC running club.

Every couple of weeks we offered lap running to the students. When they accumulated 25 laps (5 miles) they earned 3 reward tickets for reward day. At 50 laps (10 miles) the earned a certificate, and at 75 laps they earned a medal. At each level, they got a bronze, silver, or gold medal sticker with their name on it put on the wall in the hall. By the end of the year, approximately 600 had achieved bronze, 200 silver, and 100 gold out of the 850 grades 1-5 students in our school. I plan to do this again in 3 years. It was a real success and lots of fun.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 49 votes.

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