Grade: Middle
Subject: Geography

#322. Nagano Olympics - A Thematic Unit

Geography, level: Middle
Posted by Warren Dickerson (
Long Branch Middle School, Long Branch, NJ USA
Materials Required: Olympic Site, Almanac and other printed texts
Activity Time: 3 weeks
Concepts Taught: Graphing, Geography, Word Processing

The Nagano Olympics
A Thematic Unit

Long Branch Middle School
Computer Department

Developed by
Warren T. Dickerson, Sr.

Objective: Students will learn about word processing, spreadsheet design, and computer graphics while studying the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

Material: Although students may use any source they choose to gather information, they must use the following in their quest for learning:

1. The Official Olympic Winter Games Site Nagano '98 by IBM
2. 1997 Almanac


Phase 1 - The Olympic Games
Research the history of the Olympic games to answer the following questions:
In what country did the Olympics originate? (5 pts)
What do the five inter-locking rings symbolize on the Olympic flag? Explain the choice of colors for the rings. (5 pts)
When and where were the first summer and winter Olympics held? (5 pts)
What country won the most medals in the last Winter Olympics? How many gold, silver, and bronze medals did they win? (10 pts )
What country won the most medals in the last Summer Olympics? How many gold, silver, and bronze medals did they win? (10 pts)
Study the results of the past five Summer Olympic games. Based on the number of medals won, who will win the most medals in the coming Summer Olympics? In which events will they win medals? (20 pts)

Phase 2 - Countries of study
Students will be assigned countries and gather information so as to answer the following questions:

Basic Information -
What is the latitude and longitude of the country? ( 5pts)
On which continent is the country located? (5 pts)
What are the neighboring countries? (5 pts)
In what time zone does the country lie? (5 pts)
What is the time difference between New York and the country? (10 pts)
What is the population? (5 pts)
What is the climate? How do their seasons differ from ours? (10 pts)
What is/are the principle languages? (5 pts)

Phase 3
1. Students will follow the Nagano Winter Olympic Games and keep a record of the medals won by their country. (5 pts)

2. Students will work as a group of no more than five and create a spreadsheet showing the number of medals won and display the information in the form of a bar graph. (20 pts)

3. Students will choose one of the countries which won more than 10 medals in the Nagano Olympics and display the awards in the form of a pie chart. (10 pts)

Phase 4
Use the Microsoft word processor to write a travel journal using the information gathered in phase 2. Students must include what clothing to bring if they were to travel during the month of February. (30 pts)

Students must create a graphic design depicting something from the Nagano Winter Olympics. (30 pts)

Grading 200 Points total

A = 200 - 190 Points

B = 185 - 175 Points

C = 170 - 160 Points

D = 155 - 145 Points