A day at the Olympic Games - Ancient Greece projects
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Day at the Olympics

Greek vase showing a footrace
A footrace in Ancient Greece

March 2017 - Would a day of "Greek Olympics" work for you? Here are some suggestions for that.

Maybe the most important difference between our own Olympics and the ancient Greek Olympics is that no women were allowed to compete, or even to attend, the ancient Olympic games. You'll probably want to have the girls run too! But you might want to start with a discussion of how things have changed since that time, and why. When did women begin running in the Olympics? How did that happen? (Not until the second modern Olympics, and then only gradually and with difficulty. There's a book about it, called "A Proper Spectacle"). You might also discuss whether in your own Olympics the girls should be separated from the boys, and if so, why, or if not, why not?

But you'll want to run races too! The Greeks didn't have as many events as we do today- they ran short footraces for the most part, and they also had discus-throwing (you could substitute a Frisbee) and wrestling and a long jump. Finally there were chariot races - you could have a bike race, or a wheelbarrow race (where one kid is the wheelbarrow and the other is the driver).

At the Greek Olympics there were also singing competitions between choirs, which might be interesting to have at your camp or school. (More on the Greek Olympic games)

The Greeks didn't award big money prizes; just olive wreaths, and food. You can save some trouble by doing the same thing (although modern kids may expect medals).

Afterwards, it would be great to have a discussion about why the Greeks wanted to have these competitions, and how they thought the gods loved to see men compete against each other. (More on this idea)


* Olympic games
* Play reading
* Vase-painting

Bibliography and further reading ideas for Ancient Greek projects:

Hands-On Ancient People, Volume 2 : Art Activities about Minoans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, Ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans (2004) For kids ages 9-12.

Ancient Greece!: 40 Hands-On Activities to Experience This Wondrous Age (Kaleidoscope Kids), by Avery Hart, Paul Mantell, and Michael P. Kline (1999). Gives ideas to get kids thinking, rather than step-by-step instructions.

More about Ancient Greece
More fun projects
Quatr.us home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Quatr.us Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 28 March, 2017