Geography Awareness Week 2016

The Big Picture: Geography and the Olympics

This year’s theme encourages teachers and students to look beyond the pageantry of the opening ceremony and the athletic efforts of the participants to the issues and legacies that result from hosting one of the most expensive sporting events in the world. The intention is to challenge widely held views about the Olympics and consider the local, regional, national and international impacts of the Olympics. The resources should encourage ‘good geography’ in class, hopefully motivate and interest students to see the value of the subject of Geography

Geography Awareness Week Poster 2016


Geography Awareness Week: 2016

Resources and Activities


1. Tough Country Map Outlines

This resource has a different map outline for each day of the week. Run this as a school-wide quiz – post the outline image with the notices. Award a prize to the first correct entry each day.


2. World Geography Quiz

This is a quiz of 25 Geography focused quiz questions with 5 sections – World Geography, Physical Geography, Spatial systems and maps, New Zealand Geography and The Olympics. This should test a senior Geography class or equally the members of the staffroom!


3. Geographic Concepts and the Olympics

There are a variety of ways this could be utilised. A useful starter for a lesson each day of the week?


4. Environmental Impact and the Olympics

This resource considers the variety of environmental impacts that the 2016 Rio Games will be contending with and looks at ways past Olympics hosts have managed those types of impacts. It includes some other suggestions for use as well.


5. Lasting Impacts of the Olympics on host nations and cities

A selection of web-based news articles that deal with the longer-term impacts of hosting an Olympic Games. There are questions to frame a class discussion around or hold a debate. It could be used as a primer for discussion of issues around future development of urban places or future sporting events.


6. Statistical interpretation of data – Olympics

This is a google spreadsheet of each nation’s team size based on sports for all of the teams at the 2016 Olympics. This data could be manipulated to give opportunities to practise using graphing facilities on spreadsheet apps such as MS Excel etc. The data could form the basis of creating and displaying map-based statistics such as choropleth maps etc.


7. Olympic Mascots

A resource that could be used to look at change through time from a cultural point of view. Create a world map of Olympic mascots or to look at how cultural ideas can be spread through the use of media.