Monday, August 25, 2008

History and Olympics Lesson Plan

The Olympics are over until 2012, but your students may be talking about it for a few more weeks. The Olympics provides teachers with a some teaching opportunities in math, world cultures, and history. The Olympic Medal Map from the New York Times has an interactive timeline of the modern Olympics. For each year on the timeline the circles representing each country expand or contract according to medal count.

Application for Education
The Olympic Medal Map provides students and teachers with an interesting way to look at 20th Century World History. Students should notice the size of the circles representing Asian countries expanding over the course of century while many of the circles representing European countries contract. This pattern of change could be the stimulus for having students examine causes and possible explanations for the changes over the course of century.