Opening Procession. Report to class on time! Join your city-state. Collect your flag, your pledge, and any other material you have created to wear. NO talking in the hall! Line-up outside your classroom, by city, alphabetically (a Greek invention!), by teams, with flags. March into class. Be disciplined. Stay in line while marching around the table. Continue marching until all Olympians have entered the classroom and have marched around the table in the center of the room at least once. Lead team (Argives), stop at the podium in the corner. Quietly await the instructions of your Olympic coordinator (your teacher). You are Olympians, the finest of all the Greek athletes! Hold your heads high!
Olympic Tongue Twisters. One member, selected in advance, from each team. Selected Olympian will say, three times, the tongue-twister they have drawn at random from the Olympic Tongue Twister Shoebox. The Olympic coordinator (the teacher) will time this event. Best time wins! First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag!
Miss Smith’s fish-sauce shop seldom sells shellfish.
There’s a sandwich on the sand which was sent by a sane witch.
Ripe white wheat reapers reap ripe white wheat right.
Blake’s black bike’s back brake bracket block broke.
Swan swam over the sea. Swim, swan, swim. Swan swam back again. Well swum swan.
Buckets of black bug’s blood.
Five fat friars frying flat fish.
Betty bought some bitter butter and it made her batter bitter, so Betty bought some better butter to make her batter better.
Ray Rag ran across a rough road. Across a rough road Ray Rag ran. Where is the rough road Ray Rag ran across?
A Tudor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?
Meter maid Mary married manly Matthew Marcus Mayo, a moody male mailman moving mostly metered mail.
To begin to toboggan first, buy a toboggan. But do not buy too big a toboggan. Too big a toboggan is too big to buy to begin to toboggan.
She had shoulder surgery.
She sells seashells on the seashore. The seashells she sells are seashore seashells.
I would if I could, and if I couldn’t, how could I? You couldn’t, unless you could, could you?
Sticky Ball (Javelin Throwing). All Olympians compete. Have each member of each team throw a paper javelin as far as they can. All Olympians compete in this activity, and receive a total team score. Best team score wins! First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag! (You may choose to substitute the javelin toss with any toss game. We used purchased games from the dollar store, the ones with two balls that stick to a piece of felt. Any game works, as long as it fits the Olympic goal of strength and aim!)
Music Appreciation (Humming). One or more Olympians compete per team, as a unit. You may either hum the tune you have selected as a team, or select one or more members of your team to represent you in this activity at the Olympics. Team members, selected in advance, will hum a tune for the Olympics coordinator (the teacher). Try to select a tune your Olympic coordinator might know. Best time wins. First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag!
Boxing (Items in a Box). One member, selected in advance, from each team. Each selected representative will proceed to the "Boxing" Arena, where you will be shown one box full of items for 20 seconds. You will have one minute to write down everything you can remember. Best score wins. First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag! (This event may be changed to include all Olympians, by arranging 5 "Boxing" areas, with 5 boxes of items. Totals may be added by volunteers as competitors participate in the next event.)
Art Recognition. One member, selected in advance, from each team. For this one, you'll need to use the bulletin board or an overhead projector. A member from each team will select at random (from the Olympics Art Appreciation Shoebox) an item to draw. Your teammates must guess what it is. Best time wins. First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag!
Knucklebones (Jacks) All Olympians compete. One member of each team will report to a Jack Arena. Let the games begin! Each member will do one round of onesies, the next person will do twosies, the next threesies, etc. If you miss, you're out. Best team score. For example, if representatives of Athens each win in their Jack Arena, Athens would receive 2 points, one for each win. Best total team score wins this event. First place receives a bow. Send a runner (but walk!) to stick this bow on your flag!
Award Presentation. Honor First, Second, and Third place winners. Winners selected by totaling number of events won at the Olympics. Take your place to be honored! All Olympians cheer winners in the Greek way - HAIL HAIL! The Olympics coordinator will award bows, for you to add proudly to your city-state flag.
Closing Procession. All city-states, get your flags. NO talking in the hall! Line up inside the classroom, by city, alphabetically (a Greek invention!), by teams, with flags. March proudly around the table at least twice. Exit the Olympic Arena. When all Olympians have exited the Arena, the games are officially over. Return to class. Post all flags on the wall (leaving room for the flags of the next class). Clean up!
Day by Day Instructions
Purpose: To develop a better understanding of the Greek city-states.
Children can easily become confused when studying the ancient Greek civilization. Some can understand that these people were all Greeks. Others can understand that these people were loyal to their city-state. Most have trouble putting these two ideas together.
Positioning: This 4-5 day unit may be taught anytime during your study of ancient Greece, but works extremely well positioned immediately before any comparison of Athens and Sparta.
Prepare Handouts, using the information provided in this lesson plan
Background on 5 Greek City-States - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Megara
Paper, crayons, colored pencils, or paint
A bag of bows (red, white, and blue) to use as prizes
Tape recorder, music
Materials you need for the games
5 sets of jacks
at least 2 baskets and 6 light weight balls
shoeboxes prepared for random drawings (tongue-twisters, art)
box filled with items (for memory game)
paper javelins, or purchased toss games (we used some from the dollar store)
a watch to wear, with a second hand, or some kind of timer
copies of each city-state's pledge (to hand to the students, if necessary)
Introduce the Greek Olympics to your class. Explain that the Olympics were so important to the ancient Greeks that wars were stopped, to allow participants to attend. So important were these Olympic games to the ancient Greeks, that we are going to hold our own Olympics. In ancient Greece, each city-state sent a team to represent them in these famous games. At our Olympics, we will have representatives from 5 different city-states.
Note to teachers: You may wish to use the city-state descriptions at the bottom of this page, or write some of your own, or have your students research the character of city-state they have been assigned.
TO BE GREEK: The ancient Greeks all spoke the same language. They believed in the same gods. They shared a common heritage. They perceived themselves as Greeks.
TO BE A CITIZEN OF A CITY-STATE: They referred to themselves, however, as citizens of their individual city-states. Each city-state was a separate political unit, having its own personality, goals, customs and laws. Ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-state.
What I want you to do now is to break up into 5 groups. Assign each group one city-state (Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Argos, Corinth)
Direct students to start designing their flag and pledge, plus whatever else they might wish to design. Tell your students that they will be reading, or performing their pledge (as pledges can be read, sung, chanted, or performed as a cheer) at the opening of the Olympics. Each class will be doing this same activity, so keep an eye out for your fellow Argives, Spartans, Athenians, Corinthians, and Megarians.
Have books or material on flags of the world available for their use, if available, to give them some ideas. If possible, also have a collection of various pledges available for them to use as examples. Offer help on pledges as needed.
Greet your class at the door.
Prepare for the Olympics!
Continue working in groups. Finish flags, pledge, and any other material.
HANDOUT: Give each group a handout on the Olympic Events as we have created them above (or one you created, with events of your choice). Have each team select one representative, plus an alternate, for events that require a single representative. Make sure they hand these sheets in, so that you know who will be representing each city-state in single representative events. Remind your Olympians that they will need to select a song to hum for the Music Appreciation event. Encourage them to practice the tongue-twisters, to use secret handshakes and salutes, and to start plotting with other city-state representatives for secret deals.
Run the Olympics!
PREPARATION: Set up your classroom to make room for the games. Shove furniture out of the way as much as possible. Put together desks (or use a table) in the center of the room. Put a podium or a table in the corner. Clear your bulletin boards to make room for the flags of your city-states per class. Hang five signs - one sign per city-state, so the students know where to hang their flags. Have something available to use to hang the flags and stick on the bows.
OLYMPICS OPERATION: Surprise your students! As they prepare to march into the classroom in the opening procession, play music. (We used the theme from Star Wars). When the lead team (Argives) stop at the podium, stop the music. Greet your Olympians!
Hail athletes from Argos, famous Greek musicians!
Hail athletes from Athens, famous Greek scholars!
Hail athletes from Corinth, famous Greek traders!
Hail athletes from Megara, famous Greek colonizers!
Hail athletes from Sparta, famous Greek warriors!
In ancient Greece, the Olympics were held in honor of Zeus. Today, our Olympics will be held in honor of the Ancient Greeks.
Have each city-state read or perform their pledge! Hail each one! When all city-states have been individually honored, open the games with something like this:
All hail the Ancient Greeks. HAIL HAIL! Honored Olympians, post your flags, and let the games BEGIN!
(Hang flags on the wall. This not only looks very nice, but gets the flags out of the way, and designates each team area within the room.)
FINAL NOTE: If you run your Olympics for two days, open the second day with the opening processional, again. Play your music. These are the Olympics. Enter and exit the games with fanfare!
CLEAN UP: Have the students clean up the room, to prepare for the next class. Close by reminding the students that in ancient Greece, competitors at the Olympics won nothing except perhaps a laurel wreath. But today, since we are honoring the ancient Greeks, we will honor them with something they have would have enjoyed - one piece of candy per child. Distribute candy.
DISMISSAL: As your students exit for their next class, stand at the door:
Hail Greek athletes from Argos, Athens, Corinth, Megara, and Sparta! All Greece thanks and honors you!