Teachwire Logo
Rising stars
Rising stars

8 Of The Best Free Rio 2016 Olympics Resources for Key Stage 1 & 2

End the summer term by going for gold with these Olympic-themed activities for classroom and playground

  • 8 Of The Best Free Rio 2016 Olympics Resources for Key Stage 1 & 2

The Olympics are upon us! Will they be as good as the London 2012 games? No, of course not. Well, OK, maybe weather-wise Rio de Janeiro has us beat. We’ll give them that.

But yes, it’s that time that happens once every four years. That time where you find yourself inexplicably glued to events you’ve never seen and barely understand; where you get all worked up over whether the épée, foil or sabre is best in fencing; and where you have to listen to your mate Steve tell you his strategy for how he would have beat the Taekwondo gold medallist.

That said, there is loads to look forward to, from Horsey Dancing and Ribbon Frolicking to those Ministry of Silly Walks waddle-races. Plus, in the gymnastics we’ll see someone crowned the new Lord of the Rings in that event inspired by Hang Tough on Gladiators.

Pictured: Alan Partridge’s favourite Gladiator, Jet, presumably seen here winning gold at the Birmingham NEC Olympics

Sadly, not all events have made it this year. Baseball has been dropped in the biggest display of anti-Cuban propaganda perhaps of all time (in the five times this sport has been included they’ve won three golds and two silvers). Softball has also been given the axe, so 2016 isn’t a great year for bat-wielding sluggers.

Some took the news worse than others

While Rugby sevens and golf will fill those two spots, chariot racing and running with armour have yet again been overlooked for reprisal from the ancient games. We can only hope that the Olympic Committee comes to its sense for Tokyo 2020. Let’s see Usain Bolt top 9.63 seconds wearing a helmet and greaves and carrying a shield. And in the meantime you can still have fun figuring out the difference between Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling.

Which one is this again?

But with such variety in both the nations taking part and the athletic competition, there are loads of ways you can use Olympic fever to liven up end-of-term lessons. So here is a selection of some of the best free primary resources out there. If you want to prep your class on Brazil, the history of the Olympic Games (Olympic symbols, Olympic values, history of the Games) and the various sports and events involved, click these links to check out some more free resources first.

1. Rio 2016 Olympic Games

These information and activity sheets are for use in the classroom and focus on the specific characteristics of the Rio 2016 games, the evolution of the Olympic programme and the importance on legacy aspects in the bidding process of hosting the Games.

Get these resources here.

2. Get Set’s Road to Rio

This package of exciting learning resources for ages 7-11 and 11-14 is the official youth engagement programme brought to you from Team GB and Paralympics GB. These activities promote teamwork and healthy, active lifestyles inspired by Olympic and Paralympic athletes and the power of sport. You’ll find assemblies, lesson plans, cross-curricular ideas and activity sheets.

Plus, the Road to Rio Challenge is calling on schools to get active and imaginative by travelling the full distance from London to Rio, 9,298km in total, by using the Road to Rio app, website or other tools to track any kind of physical activity and win exclusive Team GB kit on the way.

Find these resources here.

3. The Olympics Pack

This huge collection of Olympics-themed resources includes information about the Ancient Olympics, a timeline of Olympic events throughout history, a Maths investigation linked to the Olympic rings and a reference sheet about Brazil, for use as part of your Rio 2016 celebrations, amongst other things.

To find these resources click here

4. Get Active

Of course, what’s the use of learning about the Olympics if you’re not going to have some fun with sports and games? This activity sheet with practical exercises to do in the classroom is aimed at raising awareness of the importance and the benefits of being active and increasing interest in sport or physical activity.

Find it here.

5. A Sporting Chance?

It’s not all fun and games at the Games, just look at Fred Lorz who ‘won’ the marathon at the 1904 St Louis Olympics after hitching a life in a car from his manager for 11 miles.

But whenever huge amounts of money are spent there’s sure to be issues of fairness arise, much bigger and more serious than cheating. This Oxfam resource lets your children consider what factors might affect a country’s chances of winning a medal or participating in an Olympic sport, such as the resources and training facilities.

Think about how rules make sports fairer and find out more about Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 Olympics, where inequality is a huge problem, here.

6. Broadcasting the Olympic Games

Information and Activity Sheets to be used in the classroom, based on the theme of Broadcasting the Olympic Games.
Get the other side of the camera and learn about how the Olympics has been broadcast to the world over history. Two Information Sheets serve as companions to an Activity Sheets with exercises to do in the classroom, where children can learn about image selection and why certain pictures are chosen (as well as creating their own articles with specific photographs), the various technical means of capturing different sports on camera and the art of live broadcasting.

Get the resources here.

7. Sports Fun Day

Re-create your own Olympics with mixed-aged teams across the whole primary school, with Year 6 acting as ‘team leaders’. There is a huge range of multi-skill-based activities here so every child can achieve and have fun.

Organise your day here.

8. Olympic Holiday Planning Task Teaching Ideas

Of course, by the time the Olympics start you’ll have forgotten all about the little ones. You’ll be catching up on much-needed


R&R. But you can still give them some fun educational activities over the summer holidays, such as preparing a visitor’s guide for Brazil for the Olympics or investigating the effect the Olympics has on hotel prices in host cities.

Grab these ideas here.

BONUS: Things to look out for at Rio 2016

The highs and lows of close finishes, like Michael Phelps’ mum when she thought her son had won gold in 2012 (he got silver)

Unimpressed runners up

Overexcited winners

Over-competitive athletes

Team USA dominating the basketball

Sign up here for your free Brilliant Teacher Box Set

Make sure your assessment is effective with these expert insights.

Find out more here >