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The Paralympics are being held in Beijing from September 6 to 17, 2008. The official website is at http://en.paralympic.beijing2008.cn/index.shtml. The International Paralympic Committee website contains a huge resource of information about paralympics, classifications, past and future games as well as current Beijing updates http://www.paralympic.org/release/Main_Sections_Menu/Paralympic_Games/Beijing_2008/.

The Australian Paralympic committee website has an excellent photo gallery and information on Australian Paralympians.  Wikipedia also has a good section, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Summer_Paralympics with lots of facts and figures i.e. emblems, themes, events, etc.

Why not have your students send a hero message to one of our Australian athletes? Go to http://hero.telstra.com/paralympics/. Students can write the message to an individual athlete or to a whole team. Simply click on the “Send an online message” button. Students need to enter a name and email address – you could set up a gmail address for your class i.e. 3GWPS@gmail.com. The message should contain a maximum of 160 characters. It could be drafted and edited on a wordprocessor prior to sending and then copied and pasted into the Message area.

If you want to get creative, students can also send a video message. Video file has a maximum size of 5 Mb. File types accepted are .avi, .mpg, .mov and 3gp. These short videos could be recorded on a digital camera and saved to be uploaded. Students could combine dance, drama and music or use computer graphics to create a short animation.

Messages, both text and video are shown in a gallery on the Hero site.

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Dipity is a Web 2.0 application which allows chronological information to be entered and displayed as a timeline. It can then be shared via a blog or other website. The news headlines about our Olympics team below is an example of one your students could make. It is a ‘live’ timeline in that as events are reported, they are added to the timeline automatically. Any RSS feed can be used and I’m sure there will be heaps during the Olympics. Students could also research Olympic data from the past and enter manually … for instance, host countries, records for 100 metres, etc.

Below are some more links ..
 

Olympic symbols: http://www.usfieldhockey.com/games/oly_symbols.htm

Brief overview of the meaning of the various symbols of the Olympic Games, including the Olympic rings, the Olympic flame, medals, and the Olympic oath. Includes images of Olympic mascots from summer games going back to 1972. 

BEIJING OLYMPICS: olympics.com.au/portals/3/pdf/teacherguide_beijing_final.pdf
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Resource is a national resource produced by the Australian Olympic Committee in consultation with teachers and educational advisors. The resource contains over 60 primary cross-curriculum topics and activities themed around the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Edgate: Gateway to the Summer Gameshttp://www.edgate.com/summergames/
A US site but with lots of ideas about cross-curricular Olympic-themed lessons. It inlcudes about Athens, Olympic facts, Parade of Nations and Paralympics sections.

Timeline of Summer Olympics: http://www.xtimeline.com/view.aspx?q=History-of-the-Olympic-Games&c=timeline

Moveable timeline with accompanying facts.

Canadian Olympics resources: http://www.olympicschool.ca/default.aspx?PageID=1001&LangID=en

Their K-6  curriculum features a series of Olympian athlete stories that focus on the Olympic Values of excellence, fairness, respect and leadership. The secondary curriculum is comprised of cross-curricular project packs where students solve real life Olympic Games problems. Each project pack contains hand outs, teaching tips, an evaluation rubric and a list of links to provincial learning outcomes.

World Almanac for Kids – The Olympics: http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/WAKI-ViewArticle.aspx?pin=x-ol017600a&article_id=612&chapter_id=13&chapter_title=Sports&article_title=The_Olympics

Background and heaps of facts on general Olympics information e.g. individual event winners, times, dates, etc .. especially suitable for primary students.

Kodak Olympic History: http://www.musarium.com/kodak/olympics/olympichistory/ 
Text enhanced with moving multimedia video and still images from the Olympics, 1896 to 1996. Use the timeline to access the historic photos.  Links at the bottom of page do not work.

NBC US TV network Olympic site: http://www.nbcolympics.com/

Loads of current news, photos, videos, although with a slight US bent. Contains blogs and users comments which may not be appropriate for young eyes.

The Australian Olympic Committee invites primary educators to join the a.s.p.i.r.e. school network, a program designed to instill in young Australians an appreciation for the values, spirit and philosophy of the Olympic Movement. Visit the website at: http://corporate.olympics.com.au/page/5/Education

As a member, you will receive access to Olympic resources including the Olympic Fact Zone, a Certificate of Membership, a monthly newsletter and a BK Medallion to award to a student who has demonstrated the a.s.p.i.r.e. values. Once you have registered, you can also access over 200 Olympic themed, cross-curriculum resources including lesson plans and games. The resources are structured around Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Bloom’s Thinking Taxonomy and emphasise the a.s.p.i.r.e. values, literacy and numeracy skills, the use of information and communication technologies, active lifestyles and links with the community. This online, values-based program complements the Federal Government’s National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools.

The website also has an amazing range of information about Australia’s involvement in the Olympics. There is a database of athletes which covers every past Australian Olympian and their results.  You can view information about all Olympic champions plus a detailed profile of our 50 finest athletes. Facts about record breakers, Aussie Team Trivia, past Summer and Winter games as well as pictures and details about Beijing 2008.

In Australian schools, Olympic Day will be celebrated on Friday June 20, 2008. Olympic Day celebrates the Olympic Games through sport, education and culture. Across the globe, millions of schools celebrate the day by participating in Olympic education and activities. A resource kit for primary educators is available to download from the aspire site.

The official site of the 2008 Australian Olympic team is found at www.olympics.com.au. It also contains a huge range of resources useful for teachers and students.

The official Beijing Olympics site is at http://en.beijing2008.cn . Links from here include all related Olympics information and pictures, as well as the Olympic Education link which contains some moving stories of human determination and spirit. For example, John Akhwari, the greatest last place finish ever: After Akhwari crossed the finish line, a reporter asked him why he had not retired from the race, since he had no chance of winning. He seemed confused by the question. Finally, he answered: “My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish.”

Further information is available at the International Olympic Committee’s education site at http://www.olympic.org/uk/passion/studies/index_uk.asp . Apart from vast collection of Olympics information and archives, this site also has an excellent library of multimedia i.e. audio and video footage from previous Olympics.

From the MANSW site, a free 48 page Olympic Maths workbook “In the Running for the Olympics”. Excellent for Year 6 / Year 7 Mathematics classes in preparation for Beijing 2008.  To receive the workbook send an email to chemas@chemas.com  giving teacher name and school mailing address.

Lastly, the AFSSSE Australia-China project (http://www.afssse.asn.au/afssse_res/index.htm ) has produced four units in the Social Sciences area.

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