Today, we discussed the Olympic torch. We learned that several months before the Games begin, the Olympic flame is ignited at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Using a parabolic (curved) mirror, the fire is kindled by the light of the sun. The Olympic torch is lit from this flame, and then the torch is carried in a relay to the city hosting the Games. We located Greece on a globe, and then located London, England, so we could see how far the torch had traveled. We then logged onto the website for the London, 2012 Olympics, and explored the interactive map showing the route of the torch through the United Kingdom.
Inspired by the torch bearers and by the achievements of the Olympic athletes themselves, we decided to host a torch relay of our own. First, we made our Olympic torch:
brown construction paper
red, orange and yellow tissue paper
1) Cut a piece of brown construction paper into a square:
2) Roll your square of paper into a cone shape. Glue or tape along the seam:
3. Gather pieces of red, yellow, and orange tissue paper. Scrunch each piece of tissue paper in the centre. Tear the top to give it the ragged look of a flame. Glue (or simply stuff) tissue paper pieces into the torch:
4) Host your own torch relay. Have the kids stagger themselves throughout your yard, house, or a nearby park, and then practice running and handing off the torch to one another.
There you have it: lessons in geography, history, science, arts and crafts, and physical activity all packed into one day of Olympic fun. You could even incorporate math by having kids calculate the distance the torch has travelled, or calculate the differences in the speed of each runner in your home relay.