The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games London 2012

Comprehension symbols at Olympic Games
Olympic sports spellings
Spelling words on the Olympics Year 3
Olympic trivia challenge
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit
Calendar of events for the 2012 Olympics
Comprehension on the Olympics Y3 and 4
Olympic quizzes
Olympics handwriting cursive
Olympic rhymes
The Olympic Flame
Olympic crossword 1
Olympic crossword 2

Books on The Olympics

I have included here some general books on sport, as well as books specifically about the Olympic Games.

So You Want to be Captain? by Declan Gane

This is a great way to build on the Olympic ideal of encouraging children and young people to participate in sport. It's a big responsibility being captain, whether it's in a school team or for your country. THis book is full of advice and tips on how to be a great captain and lead your team to success, in what can be a lonely role. Famous sportspeople have contributed their words of wisdom to add to the interest and value of the book. Not only for captains - it is also an excellent way for all young players to gain an insight into the role of their captain. Well written, this is an interesting and enjoyab;e read.

 The Story of the Olympics (Young Reading Series 2) by Minna Lacey

This book, carefully planned for young readers, gives younger children an ideal opportunity to share in the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games, as they learn about the history of The Olympics, from the traditional games of Ancient Greece, through the revival by Pierre de Coubertin and on to the thrills of the 21st century Games. The colourful illustrations are packed with detail and give plenty of opportunity for discussion and extension of understanding.

Flaming Olympics by Michael Coleman

Want to organise an Olympic quiz? With 300 hundred questions, covering every aspect of Olympic sport, this is the book you need! Packed with fascinating trivia, you'll have plenty to talk about when the Games start if you have read this entertaining book, which is great for all ages. What was the perilous pig chase? Which sport includes the 'naked strangle'? How did Tarzan become a gold medal winner? Find out in this illuminating guide to nearly 3000 years of the games. Full of amusing illustrations too.

Sam and Ruby's Olympic Adventure by Tony Bradman

Reading age: 8 Interest age: 9-12.
Badly behaved pupils Sam and Ruby hate work and avoid it at all costs. But if they want to go on the school trip, they must complete an assignment on the Olympics. Surprisingly, it is far from boring as they find themselves enjoying an adventure which brings to life the original Greek version of the Games. Two lively characters make entertaining stars of this time-travel book. Barrington Stoke always engage the attention of their readers, by ensuring the stories are fast-paced, often with cliff-hangers at the end of chapters to keep the reader motivated.

Does Farting Make You Faster? (Science Museum) by Glenn Murphy 

The title may not appeal to adults, but will be a sure-fire hit with children! Find out the answers to all sorts of sporting questions with this fact-filled book and amaze your friends! Why don’t hammer-throwers get dizzy? Could the world’s fastest swimmer catch a jet-ski? How far can a human being run or cycle before they drop? Which nutter invented the ski jump?

The Olympics: History by Moira Butterfield

Find out the origins of the modern day Olympics and how the Games have evolved over time. LOts of information is complemented by excellent photos and fact boxes. All the books in the series include teaching notes and literacy guidelines. Each title of The Olympics examines the the Olympic Games from ancient times, then the revival of the 1890s through to today's multi-million pound business. From the history of the games to which events are included and why, and from scandals to record breakers, The Olympics puts the reader at the centre of the action with fact-packed text, dramatic full-colour photos, facts and statistics.

The Olympics: Records by Moira Butterfield

People enjoy reading about records so this is an interesting read, and one that generates plenty to talk about as well as questions and answers ideal for quizzes! This series makes an excellent project resource for KS2/KS3 and should be part of every school library - make the most of young peoples' interest in the Olympics to get them reading - and to encourage them to spend more time on sport. Free downlaods are available at

 Fitter, Faster, Funnier Olympics by Michael Cox

It's all here - everything you want to know about the Olympics! Written in a way that will appeal to even the most reluctant reader, this book presents some amazing facts about the Olympics - many of them are almost certain to be things you have never heard before! From unbelievable tales of triumph to incredible facts about Olympic athletes, this is an aspirational, informative, interactive and hilarious guide to the Olympics. Entertaining illustrations and plenty of activities to undertake mean there are hours of fun here for any age.

 Olympic Poems - 100% Unofficial by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens

A great way to get children in the right mood for the Olympics, this is a funny and inspiring collection of poetry. Winning and losing; playing as a team or an individual, taking part and not having the right kit - something for all eventualities. From the egg-and-spoon race to the Mens' 100m - whatever level, it's taking part that counts. A wide ranging and entertaining collection which will stimulate discussion and hopefully inspire some poetry writing in the classroom.

When Granny Won Olympic Gold and Other Medal Winning Poems chosen by Graham Denton

Ideal for 8-12 year olds and perfect for classroom use in the build up to the Olympic Games, as well as a lovely book for children to enjoy at home. A good mixture of humorous rhymes along with moving and thought-provoking poems. Many different forms of poetry feature in this collection - haiku, cinquain, limerick and many more. Hopefully, this will inspire children to write their owun Olympic peotry!

Olympics from Ancient Greece to the Present Day (Through Time) by Richard Platt

The Olympic Games from their revival in 1896 up until the London Games of 2012 - I would challenge the title of this book! An interesting variant on the contents page is displaying it in the form of a timeline - a good device for showing where everything fits in. The Games of 1900, 1936 and 1960 are included. The focus of the book is really on the games from 1960 with all the Games covered (except 1976).  The book explores the impact of the Games on each host nation as well as the key social, political and cultural events of the time. The text is set against full colour pictures of the Games in question and is packed with facts and information. A colourful and attractive book.

Prof. Zacharias Zog's Splat-A-Fact Olympics Activity Book

Professor Zog really does produce some entertaining titles and this is no exception. Just in time for the 2012 Olympics, this is a great way to get children into the mood to enjoy the great sporting spectacle. The range of activities in this big book is huge - I particularly like the story writing activities such as the comic strips to complete. There are also lots of pages to help develop drawing skills and plenty of puzzles. Something here for everyone - not forgetting the corny jokes which will have everyone groaning! 

Olympic Champions (The Olympics) by Nick Hunter

What makes an Olympic champion? From past champions Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis to Michael Phelps and Tom Daley, this book looks at potential champions and how they achieve their goals. Nine sporting stars are featured, covering a range of disciplines including rowing, cycling and tennis. The Olympics is a seres of books from Wayland written especially for the 2012 Olympics and the series is a great way to engage children in what is happening. One of the aims of the 2012 Olympics is to engage young people more with sport, and these books will help with that.


The Paralympics (The Olympics) by Nick Hunter

This book looks at the Paralympics, from the athletes and the sports to the stadiums and the spectators. In recent years, the Paralympics have developed a higher profile and it's good to see a whole book for children dedicated to them. Find out about the development of the Paralympics, the sports, the people who take part and what it takes to be able to partake in the events. Packed with facts, colourful photographs and fascinating snippets of information, this is a great way to raise interest in, and awareness of The Paralympics.

The Story of the Olympics by Richard Brassey

The comic strip format of this book sets it apart from others and will enable it to be memorable. It's a great book to dip into - find out about the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece and the modern Olympics. Packed with snippets of information - perfect for keeping friends and family informed and plenty to talk about during the games. Lots of lesser-known facts, all amusingly presented and enhenced by the comical illustrations. The champions, the scandals, the records - they're all here. Great fun! 

 Athletics (Olympic Sports) by Clive Gifford

Packed with fascinating details, each aspect of athletics is covered, mainly on two page spreads wach of which has photos of the event, a description and fact boxes. There is a useful glossary and an extensive list of websites for further research. We all hope that the Olympic Games will generate an upsurge of interest in all sports and this series is a good way to introduce children to the featured sports. Look out for the rest of the series - Swimming and Diving (Olympic Sports), Cycling (Olympic Sports), Combat Sports (Olympic Sports), Ball Sports (Olympic Sports and Gymnastics (Olympic Sports).

Inside the Olympics by Nick Hunter

Packed with the facts that go behind the Olympic Games, this is a great way to learn what really goes on. History of the Olympics, hosting the Games, Olympic sports, controversies at the Games, what the Games mean and records are all included. There are lots of fact boxes about athletes, great events and more. Plenty of photos and the differentiated fact boxes break up the quite small and detailed text. I think everyone will learn things they didn't know from this book! Best for Upper KS2 and KS3.

All About the Olympics by Nick Hunter

Covering some of the same ground as the book reviewed above, but in a simplified fashion, this is perfectly designed for KS1 children who want to know more about the Olympics.  The layout (as with all Raintree Publishing books) is clear and well laid out, with coloured backgrounds, plenty of illustrations and interesting fact boxes. A contents page, index and glossary are included as in all Raintree non fiction books. These help children learn to find their way around books.

The London Olympics 2012 - The Olympics by Nick Hunter

This title in the series 'The Olympics' from Raintree focuses exclusively on London, giving an excellent overview of the topic. Find out about the bid, the venues, the athletes, the Paralympics and what will be the after-effects of the Games on the city of London. There is also a useful list of the other venues. More in the series  High-Tech Olympics (The Olympics), The World of Olympics (The Olympics), Great Olympic Moments (The Olympics), The World's Greatest Olympians (The Olympics)

 Running in Her Shadow by Robert Rigby

'An Official London 2012 novel' published by Carlton Books, is just right to get us in the mood for the Games. Megan is a gifted track and field athlete and she has the full support of her mother, who wants Megan to be part of Team GB amd fulfil her own ambitions. But can Megan make it - can she withstand the pressure? There comes a point where is seems she may give up......  An interesting insight into the pressures faced by potential competitors and an encouraging and realistic read. Look out for London 2012: Deep Waters (London 2012 Novel) and London 2012: Wheels of Fire (London 2012 Novel) as well.

 Parallel Lines by Robert Rigby

Two skills - a talented rugby player and a skiller performer on the parallel bars, Sam has to make a decision in the run up to the Games. But not everyone agrees with his choice and the threats start. Can he go against his peers and follow his dream? Realistic and gripping, this is a great way to get into the mood for the Games. All the books in this series are a great way to inspire young people - the stories are about determined young people who will let nothing stand in the way of their sporting aspirations.

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville adapted by Barry Timms from a story by Michael Morpurgo

Wenlock and Mandeville are the mascots of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are bound to see them overe and over again so let's get to know them. On his last day at work, George, who has just completed a girder that will be part of the London 2012 Stadium, takes home two fragments of metal and creates figures for his grandchildren. Miraculously, they come to life and learn from the children, who are saddened when they depart. But they know that Wenlock and Mandeville will have lots of exciting adventures around the country - and I hope we get the chance to foillow them. An enchanting story and a fitting tribute to the magic of the Games.

 Ideas Box! The Olympics by Sarah Ridley

This is a book in the Espresso series from Franklin Watts and is ideal for use in schools to generate interest and build up excitement in the lead-in to the Games. Find out how the Olympics started, and learn about the Winter and Paralympic Games. Lots of activities to really get children involved - design an Olympic kit and make an Olympics board game. There are lots more ideas at Brightly coloured, with lots of information boxes, cartoons and photographs, plus quizzes to enjoy, this is an excellent introduction which covers all the key areas. 

 The Olympics: Events by Moira Butterfield

The layout of this series is appealing, with its magazine-like format. Each two-page spread covers a different topic and this volume includes sections on all the major events - track, field, aquatic, equestrian, cycling and all the rest. There is a useful glossary and a list of events and useful websites. Fully illustrated with top quality photos and including an Amazing Olympics fact on every double page as well as Facts and Stats, there is plenty of information here. The books in the series would be an excellent addition to any school library to provide a whole school resource for supporting learning about the Olympics.

 The Olympics: Scandals by Moira Butterfield

Scandals! That's an eye-catching title and the Olympic Games have certainly had their share of scandals, going right back to the Games in Ancient Greece, which attracted their share of cheats and arguments. Bribing, doping, terrorism - all these have played their part in the history of the Games and they are described here in factual and non-controversial detail. Archive material and modern photos enliven the book, which is clearly laid out and an enjoyable read. The books in this series from Franklin Watts have something to interest all age groups. The other two in the series are History (The Olympics) and Records (The Olympics).

London Olympics 1908 and 1948 by Janie Hampton

Of course, interest in the Olympics is huge at the moment and it is fascinating to learn about the previous Olympic Games held in London. They were very different! In 1908, London had just two years to prepare - and a tiny budget; in 1948, the city was still recovering from the devastating effects of World War II. This is an interesting social history, as we learn much about how society has changed through the way sport has developed. Lavishly illustrated throughout, with contemporary illustrations and photographs, this is a really readable account and I found it gave plenty of food for thought compared with today's Olympics.

Run Like the Wind (Olympia) By Shoo Rayner

Shoo Rayner is an acclaimed childrens' author, who is passionate about enabling children to read. His books are fun and accessible and this series, set in Ancient Greece, is bound to be popular with the Olympics coming up. Olly is a derermined character whyo is determined to win in the Boys' Athletics Festival and defeat his enemy Spiro - but if he does, it will be the first time ever. Can he manage it?

Swim For Your Life (Olympia) By Shoo Rayner

The River Alpheios harbours many dangers. Will Olly fall victim to one of them? These chapter books, with lots of illustrations, are perfect for newly-confident readers. As well as being enjoyable stories, they give lots of information anout everyday life in Ancient Greece - ideal for KS2 history. We learn, for example, that ancient athletes ate bread, cheese and olives for lunch, and about sacrifices in the temple.

Race for the Stars (Olympia) By Shoo Rayner

Olly's sister, Chloe, is desperate to compete in the Junior Chariot Race. But it's tough being a girl in ancient Greece. Can Chloe triumph over the boys? She'll have to race for the stars! There are lots more to enjoy in the series, covering all sorts of sports -  Jump for Glory (Olympia), Wrestle to Victory (Olympia), Swim for Your Life (Olympia), On the Ball (Olympia) and Deadly Target (Olympia) are the rest of the series.

 Books on Sport

Aquatics (Spectator Guides) by Susan Meredith

A set of colourful cards, illustrating all aspects of aquatic sports  -swimming, diving, water polo and syncronised swimming. There's just the right amount of detail about each discipline to help you watch from an informed viewpoint. Hopefull too, the information will encourage young people to try the sports for themselves, as there are plenty of diagrams demonstrating how to do things. The perfect companion to watching the Olympics on TV - or if you are one of the lucky ones, to take along as you watch the events! Also in the series - Spectator Guides: Cycling (Usborne Spectator Guides); Spectator Guides: Gymnastics (Usborne Spectator Guides); Spectator Guides: Track & Field (Usborne Spectator Guides)

The Telegraph What on Earth Wallbook of Sport by Brian Oliver

 A unique book which opens up (to an amazing 2.3m) to form a timeline of sport from 776BC right up to London 2012 - a perfect souvenir of this Olympic year. It is packed with illustrations and fascinating (and often little-known) sporting facts great for trivia quizzes and dinner party conversations! The reverse side features memorable moments from the modern Olympics plus Matt cartoons and a championship crossword, Telegraph-style. Perfect to enhance a classroom display on the Olympics - or just read it like a book. There is plenty here for all ages and it's an amazing achievement to feature such a detailed history of sport in one 'book'.

Karate (Combat Sports) by Clive Gifford

Karate is one title in a series of aspirational books for reluctant readers focusing on some of the most popular contact sports of today. One of the best ways to get reluctant readers interested in reading is through books that focus on a topic which interests them, and this is certainly a subject to appeal to many. Find out how karate originated and spread; the moves and the experts, all illustrated with a generous number of photographs. An excellent way to inspire youngsters.

Athletics (Sporting Skills) by Clive Gifford

Athletics is an area of sport accessible to all - running, jumping and throwing are things all youngsters have the opportunity to do. This book outlines the various disciplines,  and clear photos illustrate the various points of each, in a way that is clear and understandable. A good book both for those who practise the sport and also for those who enjoy watching and want to understand a little more. Clear and concise, this is a great starting point and hopefully will encourage youngsters to get out there and try.

World Sports Champions (Celebrity Secrets) by Adam Sutherland

Featured in this colourful book are Xavier Hernandez i Creus, Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Mao Asada, Sebastian Vettel, Oscar Pistorius, Tirunesh Dibaba, Victoria Pendleton, Rafael Nadal. In addition, there are mini biographies of 6 more world champions. Attractive layout, with bold colours, fact boxes and photos make this an attractive book. The series Celebrity Secrets feature nine celebrities in depth. The star's background, personal life and career highlights are explored. The books also features six mini-biographies of other celebrities.

Wrestling (Combat Sports) by Paul Mason

A book written at a level which makes it easy to read; a relatively large font, the use of fact boxes and the high proportion of photographs all work together to make this a book which will appeal to the more reluctant reader. The subject matter will appeal especially to boys, so this is a great way to get them involved in reading. Combat Sports is a series of aspirational books for reluctant readers focusing on some of the most popular contact sports of today.

Rules of the Game (Football Focus) by Clive Gifford

Get a clear understanding of all the rules of football with this colourful highly illustrated and clearly laid ou tbook. Covering all the areas of the modern game, Football Focus takes an in-depth look at the sport, its rules and its management. From useful insight and advice on how to apply techniques to master the game, to the international business of football and how it is run, this series offers a comprehensive overview of one of the most popular sports in the world. The series is aimed at readers with an interest in the sport - whether they play the game, are an avid fan, or are a novice to the game.

Canoeing and Kayaking (Get Outdoors) by Lois Rocj

Another attractive book from Wayland, with the popular two page spread on each topic, plus plenty of photos. The diagrams are excellent, giving step by step instructions on key skills. Althouh each of these sports require a variety of different skills and techniques, they all have the love of outdoors in common. They are also accessible to all - from young to old and able-bodied to disabled. The series is inspirational for those readers who want to explore the sports and it also offers information on how to get started and how to participate in the sport, including step-by-step instructions for the key techniques.

 Tennis (Know Your Sport) by Rita Storey

An excellent introduction to the sport, which is equally suitable for children and adults. Plentiful use of pictures enables strokes and actions to be clearly depicted. Explanations are clear and there is plenty of detail - not just strokes but courtcraft too. There are fact boxes featuring top players and these are great to inspire young hopefuls.

Badminton (Know Your Sport) by Clive Gifford

Another clear and easy to understand book about sport. Whether you are a player or a spectator, your knowledge - and thereby enjoyment - will be increased by learning what happens on the badmind=ton court and how to improve play. Know Your Sport is a comprehensive series, currently (March 12) containing 25 titles The books contain everything you need to know to participate in - and enjoy - your favourite sport. Covers rules, equipment, famous competitors and major competitions. Specially commissioned, step-by-step photography clearly shows skills and techniques needed for a sport.

Usain Bolt by Simon Hart

Written by an experienced sports journalist, the book tells the story of the man who, in 2008, became the fastest man in history. Learn more about the man, not just his sporting prowess but also how he helps charities. The inspiration panels are a great way to show the reader just what can be achieved. The series focuses on the people who inspire children today. Each book looks at the background, life and achievements of a personality, their impact on popular culture as well as detailing the everyday facets of their job and how they have gained such success.

Horrid Henry's Sports (A Horrid Factbook) by Francesca Simon

 What more could you want? A book packed with fascinating snippets of information about sports, all presented in Horrid Henry's own unique style. It's an easy read and hopefully will encourage children who are just starting to read for themselves, as they can dip into this for nuggets of information or opt to read through almost like a story. As ever, Tony Ross' illustrations enliven the book even further.  Did you know that Olympic gold medals are actually mostly silver? Or whether the Romans really did athletics in the nude? Now's your chance to find out in this entertaining book.

BMX and Mountain Biking by Paul Mason

Want to know the best locations in the world for biking? Then this is the book for you! It tells you where to go, and what techniques you can learn there. All the terminology is here, so you can amaze your friends and family with your knowledge. Very age-appropriate and an interesting read.
Each World Sport book reveals an ideal location for learning a particular technique essential for mastering the sport, from trimming a surfboard along a wave in Windansea, California, to catching big air on a snowboard in the half-pipes of Whistler, Canada. Opening with perfect beginner locations and techniques, the complexity develops, leading readers through to expert-only locations and techniques, building an understanding of technique and equipment as they go.

Self-Defence (Instant Expert) by Gary Freeman

A clear guide to self-defence techniques - and advice on when it's best to just run away. Step-by-step photos clearly illustrate the various steps to take, alongside clear instructions. Well written and practical, this is a book well designed to appeal to young people. Instant Expert takes the hottest topics for ages 12+ and turns readers from novices into knowledge-gurus. Jam-packed with information, each book offers practical, hands-on advice from insiders - people who know the subject best.  These books are designed as a resource that readers will be able to return to again and again, as well as being useful for a single hit of knowledge. Exciting online video links are also provided to carefully demonstrate techniques, enabling readers to watch an expert and see how it's done.  

Children's Book of Sport from Dorling Kindersley

Just as you would expect from Dorling Kindersley, this is a top quality book and if it hadn't been called 'Children's' I would have happily accepted it as an adult book. Yes, the language is totally appropriate to children but I think many adults would enjoy learning the basics of many sports as presented here. There is just enough information to whet the appetite and to ensure a basic knowledge when watching sport. Divided into sections such as team sports, combat sports and wheels and motors, each sport is covered in a two page spread. There are lots of less-common sports included too. Packed with colour pictures (and some exceptional action photography), useful diagrams and explanations on rules, tactics and techniques, this is all you need. Finally, a section on the Olympics makes this a super book to give as a gift in the period leading up to the Games. A winner!


 The World's Most Amazing Stadiums - Landmark Top Tens by Michael Hurley

Before you read this, what stadiums would you put in the top 10? After an introduction, the book covers a wide range of stadiums, famous for a variety of reasons. Their future is discussed and there are some interesting facts and figures. With the usual Raintree format of clear pages, plenty of photos, interesting fact boxes, plus contents page, glossary, further information sources and an index, this is a useful book for library and general school use. This is one in a fascinating series for upper KS2 - find the others on the Raintree site.


Football - How  It Works by Suzanne Bazemore 

It is generally accepted, if not always true, that boys prefer to read non fiction books. This is an excellent title to encourage boys (and sport-mad girls) to read. They will learn how amazing feats are possible on the pitch and will be inspired to go out and try them for themselves. Bright jazzy pages, lots of pictures with useful captions, fact boxes - and a very interesting contents page. All great ways to grab attention. One in the series the Science of Sport from Raintree.

Board Sports - Extreme Sport by Michael Hurley

Even reluctant readers will be encouraged into the school library by Raintree's range of sport books. This series (Extreme Sport) is for 7-9 year olds. It outlines many different board sports, including surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding and includes exciting action photographs alongside a brief text. At the end are useful tips on taking part and getting fit. 

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