Ideas from the past can enrich the present and guide the future.
In a world of quickly changing styles, fashions,
and values, students may feel that only new ideas are valuable.
In fact, most ideas are based on the beliefs, ideas, and knowledge
of past generations. Lessons of the past can enrich the present
and act as springboards for new ideas.
Students will compare and contrast the modern and ancient
Students will consider how people use ideas from the past
to enrich the present.
Student Reading: The Ancient Games
Student Reading: The Games Revived
Venn Diagram: Compare and Contrast Ancient Games/Modern Games
Sample Lesson Plan:
Have students tell a favorite story from past family experience.
- You may begin with the question, "How many students have
heard stories that begin with 'When I was your age...'?" (Example:
Stories of how far parents walked to school in the snow.)
- Discuss student feelings about these stories. Are they
Explain that societies value traditions and pass them down
to each generation, but that we can also learn from and improve
on the past.
- Name products at the grocery store that say "New and Improved."
- Ask students to list the things that they wish could be
continually improved and those things that they wish would
stay the same.
Discuss as a class ways in which Pierre de Coubertin was inspired
by the study of Greek culture and the discovery of ancient Olympia,
the original site of the ancient Olympic Games.
Assign students to read the two Student Readings: The Ancient
Games and The Games Revived. Use the Venn Diagram: Compare
and Contrast Ancient Games/Modern Games to compare and contrast
the various elements of the ancient and modern Olympic Games.
- You may wish to have students explore technological improvements
in the tools and equipment used over the years in the modern
Write an essay describing how the spirit of Olympism was a
gift from ancient Olympians that is still applicable today.
Create a timeline that traces an Olympic event from ancient
times to the present, and then predict the changes that might
occur in the sport in the future.
Use a combination of old utensils, appliances, or tools collected
from home or second-hand shops to create a tool for a new Olympic
- Write the rules of the new game and describe the use of
Have students divide into groups of four to role-play the
following scenario. Then have the groups submit their plans before
the entire class. The entire class should determine which one
of the plans they would submit to the Olympic committee:
- The students in your classroom have just been awarded
a contract to review the awards ceremonies of the Olympic
- Students are to make recommendations to the governing board
about changes that should be made during the awards ceremonies.
- Students should write proposals about the best way to
award the winners their medals.
- Possible questions to be asked: Should flags of countries
be raised? Should national anthems be played? Should medals
be used as awards, or should something new be given? Should
the winners stand on platforms of varying heights?