Primary Primary Art

Primary – using The Olympics in Art

Activity One – Photo Montage
Year 1 to Year 6

The Olympics will be covered in great detail by the world’s media and whilst millions of words will be written about the games we’re going to focus on the adage that says ‘a picture tells a thousand words’.
From the pictures already on the web of the development of the venues for the games to the thousands of pictures that will be taken at the opening ceremony, almost every moment of them will be documented in pictures.

This activity asks the children to be objective in selecting the pictures they think tells the story of the Olympics in London.

The children can make a scrap book from sugar paper bound together with treasury tags and do a design for the front of it.

Ask them to scan the newspapers and web each day for pictures that sum up the events and include them in their scrap book together with an annotation as to why they chose them.
At the end of the games, ask the children to swap scrap books and comment on each others’ work.

Activity Two – Logos
Year 1 to Year 6

There was much controversy over the logo designed for the London 2012 Games but then almost every games has attracted comments from the media on the choice of logo.
Ask the children to find a selection of the logos or mascots of some Olympic games and how they came about.

Use the website for ideas.

What do they notice about the elements used in the following?

London 2012
Vancouver 2010
Beijing 2008
Athens 2004
Sydney 2000
Lillehammer 1994
Barcelona 1992
Montreal 1976

From their findings ask them to improve on the logo for the 2012 games and finish with a vote on which one they think should have been adopted.

Activity Three – People in Action
Year 1 to Year 6

Use photographs of athletes ‘in action’ in sports such as running, swimming, high jump, hammer throwing and javelin etc. and ask the children to draw ‘stick people’ to document their stance whilst undertaking the action. Can they predict the changes in stance to complete the action?
Once they are happy with their predictions, ask them to divide a sheet of A4 paper into a 3 x 12 grid and copy the stick person carefully into the appropriate position on the grid spaces. By drawing the stick person sequentially, they should be able to overlay the pieces to create a ‘flick book’ to show the movement.
Once they’ve been successful with the paper version they can use free animation software such as Pivot to do an online Olympic animation.

You can even upload your animation to YouTube once you’ve finished!

Activity Four – Critique
Year 1 to Year 6

This is a great idea for an assembly towards the end of the Olympics.

Using the scrap book from Activity One ask the children to select a picture that they think sums up the spirit of the games and to write a small introduction to it giving their reasons.

In assembly create a slide show of the images to be played whilst parents are waiting and ask the children to present their choice and the reasons they have chosen it. At the end, you can ask parents and/or the children to ‘vote’ for which their favourite was based on the introductions given by the children.

This activity allows the children to practise the skill of critiquing a piece of art, be it a painting, sculpture or, in this case, a photograph.

Dave Lewis
Primary teacher

Leave a Comment