Olympics Classroom Lesson Plan And Medal Craft

We began with the history of the Olympics. I told my students that the very first Olympics were held in ancient Greece in 776 BCE and fell into decline after almost 1000 years of games. They were reestablished for the modern era in 1896, in Athens, Greece. They have since been held all over the world, with hundreds of countries sending their best athletes to participate. The Summer Games feature sports like Swimming, Track, Gymnastics and Volleyball, while the Winter Games have competitions in Skiing, Ice Hockey, Snowboarding, Ice Skating and Bobsledding.


The root word Olympiad actually means “every 4 years” in ancient Greek! Both the Summer and Winter Olympics used to be held every four years. In 1992, the International Olympic Committee changed it to an alternating schedule so that every two years, the games are staggered by Summer and Winter competitions. The 2014 Winter Olympics are being held for two weeks beginning February 7th in Sochi, Russia. They will next be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. The Summer Games were last held in London 2012 and will next occur in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Countries interested in hosting the games put in a bid to the International Olympic Committee, which then selects the site of the next competition.


The flame is the symbol of the Olympic games. It is lit on a torch several months before the actual opening ceremony in Athens and then journeys to the site of the Olympics, to a stadium where all of the athletes gather at the start of the games. It lights a special receptacle, which stays lit for the duration of the games. After all of the competitions are over, a closing ceremony is held and the flame is extinguished, but not before the host country passes the torch (literally) to the next hosting country.


During the games, individuals compete against each other and are scored by a panel of judges or race to get the best time. The competitor with the best score wins a gold medal, the runner-up wins silver and the third-place athlete wins bronze. These medals are designed differently for every Olympics and feature iconic images such as laurel wreaths, which were actually the first awards given to the athletes in Ancient Greece. We thought it would be so much fun to design our own medals and wear them to celebrate the Olympics!


We took metallic poster board in gold, silver and bronze and cut out medal shapes. We then drew designs with metallic marker to make them look embossed – just like real etched medals. The children were thrilled to string ribbons through the holes at the top of the medals and put them on, just like the Olympic athletes. We hope your class enjoys theirs too!
Olympic Medal Craft


You Will Need:


Metallic Foil Board in Gold, Silver and Red Copper

Ribbon Rainbow

Metallic Markers in Gold, Silver, Bronze (and other similar colors)


Ornament Shape (recommended but optional)

Hole Puncher (optional)

Double-sided tape (optional)


  1. Using Hygloss’ Ornament Shape as a guide (or using a protractor or stencil with a diameter of 3”), cut out a circle from your metallic paper with an extra bump at the top end.
  2. Use a hole-puncher or your scissors to create an opening within the bump for the ribbon to be strung through.
  3. Cut a thin length of ribbon to fit the hole lengthwise, or else widen the hole to accommodate the ribbon.
  4. Using metallic markers, create Olympic imagery such as the 5 rings, laurel wreaths and the Olympic Torch. You can also add the year and the child’s name.
  5. (Optional:) By drawing these images on additional small pieces of metallic foil board, you can create a layered “embossed” effect with double-sided tape to affix your layers. Another technique to create an embossed look is to use a “shadow” with a slightly darker colored metallic marker underneath your words and images.
  6. When the artwork is done, string the ribbon through the hole and make a small knot or bow in the top.
  7. Wear or use as a decoration and enjoy!
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Ages 1+
Level 1
15 min
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