To make learning fun, meaningful, and relevant, the last batch of summer school teachers, TAs, and students brought a real-life event into their classrooms. A week-long preparation culminated in a main event on Thursday, July 16, 2009, between 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, in the form of Wells International School’s Summer Olympics.
Students were systematically led to discovering different facts about the Olympic games; for example, they learned about the symbol of the Olympic games and its meaning, different types of sporting events, countries participating in the event, gold, silver, and bronze medals, etc. This knowledge served as the foundation for students to simulate the events (mini Olympics) in the school.
Close collaboration among teachers allowed them to ingeniously connect Olympic games to other areas of learning such as language arts (word searches, crossword puzzles, identifying names of different Olympic games, sports, events, arranging Olympic games alphabetically, etc.), mathematics and science (measuring heart rate after engaging in physical activities such as running, etc.), social studies (origin of the Olympic games, countries that take part in the Olympics, etc.), and visual art & design (making Olympic medals and torch, designing T-shirts based on one’s favorite sports, etc.).
The Wells Summer Olympics track and field events included the following:
- Frisbee Throwing (similar to Discus Throwing)
- Baton Relay Race
- Shoe Scramble
- Balloon Bursting
- Loosen Up and Limbo!
A special addition to the Wells Summer Olympics (not found in actual Olympics) was the bowling event!
During the closing ceremony, students were urged to focus on the spirit of Olympics, which is friendship rather than winning. Students learned that winning and losing is a part of life and that the most important thing is for them to respect each other at all times. Participation in the event also encouraged students to experience a sense of pride in their, as well as others’, abilities and special talents.