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TeachNetUSA: Winter Olympics Graphing Project

Winter Olympics Graphing Project

Project URL: www.teachersnetwork.org/teachnetusa/aohara/winterolympics.htm 

How it works:
This is a joint program with the classroom teacher and the library media specialist in which students gather data and statistics on the medals won by different countries in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. The students then analyze and present their data using a variety of media. They gather information regarding a particular country and its performance in the 2002 Winter Olympics and then synthesize this information to create a spreadsheet and graph utilizing Microsoft Excel. Each student then writes an analytical paragraph after observing the newly created Olympic graph. They have to make at least three comparisons using the acquired information. The results are then posted on the class Web page.

Standards addressed: 
Students use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live--local, national, and global--including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth's
surface. Students access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
Materials used:
Each student should have access to a computer with an Internet connection and Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint software.

The students:
The Winter Olympics Graphing Project is anchored in fifth grade math and social studies, but it can easily be extended to additional grades and subjects in its use of the Big Six research model. Students will need to be familiar with the operation of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

Overall value:
It is important for students to have an understanding of current events such as the 2002 Olympic Games and the interaction of different countries in the games. The ability to gather data, analyze it using Excel, and present it in with PowerPoint addresses both mathematical and technological standards. This program can easily be adapted to a variety of international sporting events.

This program works well when students work in teams.  Some countries have more information and activity in the event than others, so students may need to select a different country early in the project.

About the teachers:
Alice O'Hara has been teaching fifth grade math and language arts at
Bardonia Elementary School for three years. She attended undergraduate college at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended graduate school in New York at Iona College where she received a master's degree in educational technology.

Mike Frerichs is the library media specialist for Bardonia. He received
his MLS from SUNY Albany and has a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy
from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, and a juris doctorate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.


Subject Areas: 
Social Studies 

Grade Levels: 



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