Recommended age group: 5–11
Time required: two 45–60 min sessions
Equipment: Winter Games Quiz, Athletes in action activity sheet, images of athletes in action, sketching equipment, modelling equipment (clay/ card etc.)


Getting started

Show the children a picture of a Team GB or ParalympicsGB athlete in action, making sure the picture also shows their winter sport equipment, e.g. skis, bobsleigh, skates, an ice hockey stick, an ice sledge or an outrigger. (In Paralympic Skiing, outriggers are sometimes used instead of poles to aid balance. Outriggers are similar to a crutch with a small ski at the end.)

You could use one of the images from the Teamwork at the Winter Games film, Sochi 2014 Winter Games image bank, or the Get Set for Sochi assembly presentation as your stimulus. Alternatively, the sports icons used on the official PyeongChang 2018 website that depict the different winter sports, are fun and full of movement and texture. You could show these on the whiteboard and base the 'design and make' aspect of the project on those. The Athletes in action activity sheet also offers simple outline shapes that could be used as your stimulus.

Talk about which sport the athlete is playing, and ask the children to describe the shapes made by his or her body and the equipment they are using, e.g. curved, sharp-angled, straight, symmetrical/asymmetrical, etc. What other describing words can the children say or write to describe the picture?

Ask the children to choose an athlete of their own, to make a sketch of the athlete in action, paying particular attention to body shape and the sorts of angles and shapes made by the equipment. They should label their sketch including their ideas for what medium they could use to make a 3D model, e.g. collage, clay, recycled material, balsa wood, papier mache, etc.

Remind the children of the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Ask them to think about and discuss which Values their athlete portrays, e.g. Courage (Paralympic Value) or Excellence (Olympic Value) and add the words of the Values to their sketches.

Get modelling!

Having completed their annotated sketches and discussed the Values, the children are ready to make their models. Talk about which materials they will be using and why, e.g. card or modelling clay is easy to work with to get the shapes they need, or the textures may represent snow, ice or a shiny skate.

With younger children you will probably want to decide which medium is most practical and likely to yield the best results. Older children could be given a choice of two or three depending on your resources, e.g. modelling clay, collage or recycled materials.

Some children will be able to make a model with moving parts, e.g. hinged knee or arm joints.

For younger children you can enlarge and photocopy images from the Athletes in action activity sheet to use as a template for collage design, or they can write describing words inside the outlines. Some describing words are given on the sheets.


Go the extra mile!

Make a classroom display of the finished models/collages and invite other classes, the headteacher and/or parents in to admire them.