Host an Olympic Birthday Party!

Picture a space, a place that is beautiful to you. Go there in your mind. It's an effective rejuvenation trick.

Before the sun sets on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, host an Olympic Birthday Party in school or at camp with your kids.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Is there anything more attention-getting than an invitation to a birthday party?

Maybe, but…tell your kids that they’re invited to a birthday party for the Olympic Games and…they’ll be all eyes and ears on you!

You don’t even need to send invitations.

Make kids guess the party theme by setting a sports balloon on your desk.

Which two balls in this balloon won’t be bounced in an Olympic game?

Surprise them on party day or post a giant invitation on a bulletin board or easel a day or two ahead.

YOU’RE INVITED to an OLYMPIC BIRTHDAY PARTY!

Plan your party basics:

DATE: A day between today and August 21, the final day of the 2016 Olympics.

TIME: Convenient to you, appropriate for your group.

PLACE: Outdoors, if you want the party to include outdoor games. Indoors, if the weather doesn’t cooperate or you plan to turn the Olympic celebration into a poetry writing party, like I’ve done.

GIVEN FOR: Another opportunity to use tools and tricks to catch and keep kids’ attention and help them learn.

PARTY THEME: 112 + 8 and Still Great. Happy Birthday, Olympics! Note that the party theme includes a math activity. Post your invitation like this and ask your students to do the math. The answer, of course: 2016 marks the 120th Olympic Games.

Tie ribbons with your country’s flag colors to pretend gold medals to make Olympic Party favors.

Run with as many instructional options as you want to plan for your party, using this theme.

Examples:

* Teach that the five Olympic rings stand for the five continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana, all participating in the games.

* Teach that the colors of the rings – blue, yellow, black, green, red, on a white field, represent the flags of countries with athletes at the games. Every country’s flag includes at  least one of the Olympic ring colors.

* Don’t forget to include Vinicius, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Mascot.

What to put on the menu when you host an Olympic birthday party?

MENU: Serve some kind of edible treat, but make this easy to manage.

If your party will be outdoors, water or some other cool beverage – also a must.

PARTY DECORATIONS: Kids who love sports enjoy playing with sports equipment.

“Let the games begin!”

Working with a small budget, and who isn’t? Buy a few sports toys at a dollar store and place them on your main party table.

Hang up posters of popular sports stars from your country, especially athletes at this year’s Rio games, on a wall behind your main party table if you’ll be indoors.

Easiest of all…set out Happy Birthday balloons, signs, and if you can afford it, inexpensive party hats for the kids.

PARTY PLAN: Plan a short party program that plays into your current school or camp curriculum. Use the party outlines below to get started.

  • Outdoor Olympic Birthday Party – Welcome – Guessing game on Olympics history – Time for sports play (have areas set up for sports of your choice) – Refreshments – Distribution of party favors – Close party
  • Indoor Olympic Birthday Party – Welcome and introduction – Guessing game on Olympic history – Read a short sports story or poem  – Invite students to “warm up for writing” by pretending to shoot some hoops from their seats – Distribute pre-formatted pages for students to use in writing a Cinquain poem (five lines with focus, description, action, feeling) about their favorite Olympic sport – Sing a Happy Birthday song to the Olympics – Distribute party favors – Close party
Starting early, you have to aim high to win!

Starting early, you have to aim high to win!

If you work with young children, you can engage them in a happy birthday song (use any easy melody) I’ve written that invites kids to act out the lyrics.

Happy listening to you, (hands on ears)

Happy looking to you, (hands like eye goggles)

When you focus on your lesson (clap on focus)

You learn more to help you! (point to kids)

Hope your Olympic birthday party is a smash hit.

Bet your kids will love it, and you’ll enjoy hosting it.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

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