The Olympics

This summer, athletes from around the world will come together to compete for the love of sport and country in the world’s foremost sports competition. Soak in the excitement of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France, with our enhanced collection. Celebrate these elite global athletes and their tremendous accomplishments with lessons, activities, and resources for all ages.

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The Summer Olympic Games

Encourage students to examine the history of the Olympics, including global efforts to make the games more inclusive through the Paralympic and Special Olympics International Sports Program, with these Britannica School articles.

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While the modern spectacle was revived in the late 19th Century, the Olympic Games can be traced back almost 3,000 years. This esteemed athletic festival held an important place in Greek history and included several sports that are now part of the Summer Games, including track, wrestling, and long jump.


The Paralympic Games began in the mid-20th century and became the premier international sports competition dedicated for athletes with disabilities to achieve excellence in sports. These games follow the Olympics and include many of the same events, with athletes competing in more than 20 sports.

Special Olympics

Inaugurated in 1968, this international program became officially recognized in 1988 and is now in over 200 countries. The Special Olympics provide individuals with intellectual disabilities with year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type summer and winter sports.

The history of the Olympics: From ancient Greece to now

Did you know? The first Olympic Games consisted of a singular event: a footrace. Dive deep into one of the most-watched sporting events of all time, from 3,000 years ago to today.

Olympics, Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Sport; Paralympics, © Andre Ricardo Paes/; Special Olympics, © Tokarsky/

Olympics Word Search

Try your luck at our new Summer Olympics-themed word search – the perfect activity for students to enjoy in the classroom or at home. 

Find a printer-friendly version and answer keys in our free summer reading kit!

© Narcisa Palici’s Images/CanvaPro

Lessons & Activities

Dive into a rich exploration of our nation’s veterans and their monumental contributions. Our interactive modules, meticulously crafted lessons, and heartwarming stories provide a comprehensive learning experience with our step-by-step teaching guide.

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Think Critically: Visual Media Literacy

Encourage your students to think critically when analyzing images of important historical moments and cultural events. Start by inviting them to answer the questions below:

  • What do you wonder about this image?
  • What is being communicated in this image? Provide evidence.
  • Does anything in the image surprise you? Explain.
  • What is the motivation behind this image?
  • Whose perspective does the image represent?
Comstock/Photo Images/CanvaPro

Athlete Showcase

Dig deeper with the following activity: Explore the official Olympics site and select an athlete that sparks your interest. Take a look at their sport and their story. Then, answer the following questions:

  1. Why did you choose this athlete, and in which sport does this athlete compete?
  2. Where is this athlete from? What are some of their biggest achievements so far?
  3. What are some of the challenges they faced, and how did they overcome those challenges?
  4. Was there anything that surprised you or anything new that you discovered?
  5. What notable qualities does this athlete have (e.g. persistence, dedication, etc.), and how have these qualities helped them reach the Olympic Games?

Summer Games Athletes to Watch

The Olympic Games are the event of the summer, and these noteworthy athletes are set for breakthrough moments you won’t want to miss. Which of the 10,500 athletes, who will compete in 329 events, should be on your radar this year? Read on for our list of athletes who are likely to make news in Paris.

© Pete Niesen/

Olympic Resource Packs

Take advantage of Britannica School’s curated resource packs, filled with articles, images, and videos about the Olympics, including this year’s highly anticipated Summer Games.

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Summer Games: Past, Present, and Future

The Summer Olympic Games bring together athletes from across the world to compete for the love of country and sport. In many ways, the Olympic Games reflect the state of the world, the global reach of sports, and athletic diversity. Learn more about past and future Summer Games with links to more content, surprising facts, notable moments, and athletes whose stories have captured our attention.

Information sourced from Britannica School. Not a subscriber? Contact us to learn more. 

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