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Chinese number 2.

776 BC Olympia

Level 4 Achievement objective, B2

Students will demonstrate willingness to accept challenges, learn new skills, extend their abilities in movement-related activities.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • participate in a variety of novelty movement activities replicating sports/themes from the ancient Olympic Games
  • demonstrate their understanding of the links between the "Amazing Race" Olympic Games facts and movement activities.

Activity 1 – World Wind

Discuss the answer to the Chinese whisper which indicates the origin for today’s lesson. Identify where in the world Olympia is in relation to both New Zealand and Athens (our previous location). Students will travel back in time to 776 BC in Greece. As a class, decide on the number of laps around the field that would equate to an imaginary journey between New Zealand and Olympia. Each group must travel as a team "World Wind" to the new destination.

Notes: The intention here is that students understand global locations and distances between them.

Five relevant Olympic taonga for this lesson:

  • Altar of Zeus
  • stadium
  • Hippodrome
  • athlete
  • statue

Teacher will begin with a blurb/narration that essentially expands on the above taonga and then play associated activities. Information for narration can be found on the ancient Olympic Games section of the Olympic website.

  • Altar of Zeus: The ancient Olympic Games were held every four years (Olympiad) in honour of the God Zeus. The statue of Zeus is one of the ‘"Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". It stood 12.4m in height despite Zeus being seated on a throne.
  • Activity: Each team is required to build a human pyramid to a safe height that signifies Zeus’ grandness. Groups must hold the balance for three seconds and recite two pieces of information they remember about Zeus.
  • Athletes: An athlete is one who competes for a prize. Unfortunately, in ancient times women did not have the privilege of competing or watching the ancient Olympic Games (except for the chariot racing where women could compete and watch). However, women did compete in their own games – the Heraean Games.
  • Activity: Boys in each team select a partner and play ‘knee boxing’ (facing each other, try to tap the knees of your partner while protecting your own). Girls (who were not able to compete, or watch the ancient games) must seek a hiding place and watch the event from afar ... attempting to sneak closer and closer to the game without being caught. Teacher assumes the role of the Hellanodikai (judges) and scouts the playground attempting to find and tag any of those hiding/sneaking. If players are tagged, they must stand as a statue to replicate ancient rituals associated with cheating. See Rules and corporal punishments and Cheating and bribery? At the Olympics? Unbelievable! (scroll down).
  • Stadium: Athletes (one who competes for a prize) used to compete in a number of ancient Olympic events of which one was the Stade sprint (a sprint race one length of the 192m stadium). These running events also consisted of endurance events which were multiple lengths of the stadium.
  • Activity: The class measures a stadium of 192m on the field and teams perform a relay against other teams from which each member completes one length of the stadium.
  • Hippodrome: Chariot races were one of the events conducted in the Hippodrome and were often incredibly violent. The Hippodrome was a total length of four stadia (approx 780m). These races were a glorious Olympic Games sport.
  • Activity: Each team must divide their team members into pairs (one to be a horse and one a charioteer). Pairs spread out around the 400m athletics track. Each team must complete two full circuits of the track (this equates approximately to the length of one Hippodrome). In ancient times, this race was a very busy and chaotic event. To replicate this, teams will participate alongside other teams.

Truce time:
Discuss relevant information from this session. Each team is required to ask a question of the class.

Note: All teams must complete the four tasks to qualify for the Chinese whisper (clue).

Deliver Chinese whisper:
“A Frenchman has requested your attendance at a private meeting with him at the Acropolis.”
This could be researched for homework in preparation for the journey to follow, that is: Who could this Frenchman be? Where is the Acropolis?

Key questions

  • What were some of the key features of the ancient Olympic Games?
  • Describe how these key features related to the Olympic Games
  • Describe something from the ancient Olympic Games that may be seen to be an injustice today.
  • If that happened today, what would you do?
  • Alternatively, groups could create a "positive", "minus", and "interesting" chart about the ancient Olympic Games (groups select a positive aspect, a negative aspect, and something of interest, and explain).

Note: Ask students to bring pétanque sets from home for the next lesson (at least two sets are needed).

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