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2018 World Cup Teaching Resources – 14 of the Best KS1/2 Resources for the Football World Cup in Russia – Updated

Whether your primary pupils will be in a FIFA frenzy this summer, or if they'll have football fatigue before a ball has even been kicked, these lesson plans, activities and ideas offer them some excellent educational links

  • 2018 World Cup Teaching Resources – 14 of the Best KS1/2 Resources for the Football World Cup in Russia – Updated

1 | Host nation


This year’s World Cup will be held in Russia. It’s the first time the country (or any of its previous iterations) have played host, and winning the bid for this summer’s tournament was not without controversy.

But, it’s still a useful exercise to teach children about the positive aspects of Russia, and this Activity Village guide covers some fun facts about its geography, history and culture, and features some fun videos and craft ideas for you too.

Get this resource here.


2 | Printable World Cup Factfiles for all 32 Nations

This PDF resource features a country factfile of all 32 national football teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this June and July.

Each country file includes the nation’s flag, its name in its native language(s), geography facts such as continent, area, population, capital city, most populous cities, major language(s), most common surnames and currency.

And they also include three key players to look out for at the World Cup, and each country’s best performance in the tournament’s history.

They are free to download here.


3 | Printable World Cup Flags for all 32 Nations

This download includes a printable flag for each of the 32 countries competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The world’s biggest football tournament takes place in Russia this June and July, so if you want to get your classroom into the World Cup spirit then these printable flags are a simple and easy way to decorate your walls.

They are arranged into separate folders for each group (A-H) in the first round in the tournament should you want to keep each set of four together.

Download them here


4 | Make World Cup predictions using real-time stats

With major sporting events come great opportunities to bring the rich world of statistics into the primary classroom.

Football provides vast amounts of data with which many children will already be familiar – top goal scorers, league tables, numbers of passes, red cards.

They’ll have seen them on Match of the Day and football cards – you might even have a few resident experts who can reel off all the figures for their favourite players.

Maths lessons are the perfect opportunity to harness the enthusiasm for the game in order to challenge mathematical thinking.

Click here to download this free PDF.


5 | Geography of Russia

Russia offers much in the teaching of geography. Despite its relatively small population, it’s one of the largest countries in the world by land mass – twice the size of the USA and 70 times the size of the UK.

It also has the world’s largest continuous land border, largest active volcano, largest swamp, deepest lake and coldest place.

Planning a visit for football supporters to the World Cup should enable pupils to learn much about this country’s amazing geography.

The download also includes four editable activity worksheets to accompany the lesson plan.

Get this free PDF here.


6 | Tom Palmer live World Cup thriller

You may have seen him do similar before during big sporting events, but author Tom Palmer will be writing a live thriller adventure set at the World Cup finals in Russia as the tournament progresses.

It will be published on the National Literacy Trust website, and each weekday morning a new 10-minute chapter will be available for free for schools and families to read.

The story will be influenced by the events of the tournament on and off the field, and children will have the chance to vote for various directions the story will take.

To get the first chapter in advance and a reminder of when the story starts, you can email “World Cup Reminder” to admin@tompalmer.co.uk.


7 | Describe settings with Frank Lampard

Written by Frank Lampard, the Frankie’s Magic Football series is the perfect combination of magic and football to inspire creative writing.

With each adventure taking place in a different location (from the prehistoric land of dinosaurs to the jungles of Brazil), the books prompt children to consider the idea of setting in story writing.

What techniques are involved in good descriptive writing? How can powerful language, adjectives and sensory description create effect?

This lesson encourages children to answer these questions before creating their own magical World Cup settings.

Download this lesson plan for free here.


8 | The physics of football

Ever wondered how footballers manage to curl the ball so much? This nifty little video demonstrates the physics behind it.

And if you really want to impress kids with just how much of an effect it can have, you can show them this very famous Roberto Carlos free kick which he scored against France in 1997.

There’s even a whole lesson built around that goal and the physics behind it.


9 | Motivate footy fanatics with pop art

It’s tempting to think that using the World Cup to engage children’s learning has to involve copious amounts of PE.

However, making links between football and other subject areas can be a powerful motivator for children whose main interest is sports.

This lesson shows how the movements of favourite footballers, combined with pop art, can inspire an eye-catching art project.

Exploring the work and techniques of a well-known pop artist furthers the children’s understanding of this artistic movement and enables them to turn their sporting enthusiasm into a high-quality piece of art.

Get this free lesson plan here.


10 | Develop decision-making in games

This lesson plan is for secondary students, but you can always take ideas and adapt for KS2. It’s based around improving students’ decision-making skills no matter how chaotic a game gets.

It helps boost skills, confidence and character, while thinking about game-winning tactics as well as technique.

Download the PDF here.


11 | Literacy resources

Using the excitement and fanfare around the World Cup tournament to boost literacy, the National Literacy Trust has created a kitbag full of football-themed activities, competitions, teaching resources and fun lesson ideas to get more children and young people reading and writing this summer.

  • World Cup Football School
    Teaming up with Walker Books, the NLT created these free primary school teaching resources, lesson ideas, writing tips, posters and bookmarks based on the popular Football School book series – with a World Cup twist
  • Family activities
    This bundle of World Cup activities, top tips, colouring sheets and book lists helps parents support their child’s literacy at home. And there are also lots of football books up for grabs in a World Cup giveaway that’s coming soon
  • World Cup writing competition
    Combining football and learning, this resource comes in partnership with Kickaround magazine to bring youngsters an exciting World Cup writing competition! Students can write about their favourite moment from any World Cup to be in with a chance to win some exciting prizes

Check out the resources on the NLT site here.


12 | Fair game?


This selection of resources was actually created by Oxfam for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and use football to examine inequality between and within countries, explore footballers and other people who have taken action to make the world fairer, examine news around the World Cup, consider how making new rules in football could make the game fairer, and understand the causes, effects and solutions to inequality in Brazil.

There are independent activities linked to a variety of curriculum areas and support for pupils to make a ‘World Cup Fairness Display’ to show their learning to the rest of the school.

And you can always use the activities to examine issue of human rights in Russia too.

You can find all of these resources here.


13 | Football kit colouring


This simple football kit colouring template is free to print from the British Council.

Children can design their own kits, or perhaps see if they can imagine up a kit design just from seeing a country’s flag.

Print this template here.


14 | World Cup of Everything Else


Here’s a fun little activity that was also created for the 2014 tournament, it’s the World Cup of Everything Else. It puts all of the teams against each other in a wide variety of facts, and sees who would win the tournament.

The facts on there range from biggest consumers of wine (France), onions (Algeria), seafood (Japan) and fruit (Ghana) to most ticket sales for Frozen (Japan), The Hunger Games (Australia) and Smurfs 2 (Belgium).

Plus, there are actual football statistics too, comparing things like the average height of the squads (Belgium and Chile had the tallest and shortest respectively), age (Argentina at 28.9 and Ghana at 25.8).

It’s a great way to branch out into some maths or geography exploration.

Check it out here.

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