Teaching the Winter Olympics Across the Curriculum, With Help From The New York Times

Teaching the Winter Olympics Across the Curriculum, With Help From The New York Times

For two weeks this month, the world’s attention will focus on Pyeongchang, South Korea, to marvel at the incredible athletics performed at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In this teaching resource, we suggest a variety of ways teachers across subjects — from English language arts to science and social studies — can turn these Olympics into opportunities for learning.But before they delve into the specifics, you might share this broad overview with your class: Your Questions About the 2018 Winter Olympics, Answered. There, they can learn everything from how to figure out what’s on when to why ski jumpers aren’t killed every time they jump.How are you teaching with the Olympics in your classroom? Let us know in the comments.

1. Sports WritingGood sports writing brings readers directly to the action, so they can visualize the buzzer-beating 3-point shot, the game-changing interception or the nerve-racking back flip on the high beam.In writing about the 23-year-old American figure skater Jason Brown competing to a song from “Riverdance,” Patricia Lockwood paints a vivid scene:The first thing you notice, as he glides on camera, is that Brown does not look like a typical figure skater. His face offers all the endearments of a cartoon, so expressive that you assume the performance will be comedic. His costume is emerald and black, with gold embellishments that make you wonder, idly, when Claddagh rings are going to become popular again. He takes his place and sends his dark eyes sailing level across the ice, and by the time he hits the crest of the first note, something has happened and is going to keep happening for as long as you watch.“Does ‘Riverdance’ bang?” you ask yourself uneasily. “‘Riverdance’ might actually bang.” Suddenly, here come the goose bumps. The elasticity of his Russian splits belongs to ballet; his flexibility is less like rubber bands than ribbons. His spins are so beautiful that they look as if they might at any moment exit his body completely and go floating off like the flowers in “Fantasia.” And running alongside the joy is something grave, which seems to me to be respect for the gift.

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