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2018 Modern Pentathlon Curriculum

Before your visit:

Subject Content Reflection
Pentathlon Overview Introduction to the Modern Pentathlon Games. Click Here Have the students write a reflective piece on “If I were to enter the Olympic games, what sport would I pursue?” For older students add what goal setting strategies would you need to achieve Olympic Athletic status.
History Review the history of the Olympic Games. Click Here Have the students draw a picture of the Olympic Flame
History Read the history of the Modern Pentathlon. Click Here Have the students write a description of the 5 athletic events that make up the Modern Pentathlon
Physical Ed Visit the AC Fencing Association website to read about the history of Fencing. Click Here After reading the above article, describe the uses of the various swords: rapier, fleuret, court sword, the foil, colichemarde, saber and epee.
Physical Ed Watch the following video that introduces the sport of fencing. Click Here Have students write what they learned about the sport of fencing
Math & Science Click Here Have Students research horse jumping to identify the speed and distance that horses must jump.
Life Skills Click Here Ask students how they think athletes train? How far in advance? How many hours of training per day? Week? What do they eat? How many hours of sleep? Have students guess these answers and then read the Forbes article to see if they were close

During your visit:

Subject Content Reflection
Math Keep score in the event you are observing. Determine if you can identify who the winner of the event will be. Keep you scoring card, see you if determined the winner.


After your visit:

  • Using the attached document create a timeline for the sport of Fencing. Click Here.
  • Have students research the pentathlon and learn about one way the Olympics have changed throughout history. First, invite one half of your class to research the ancient pentathlon and the other half to study the modern version. Then encourage the groups to do Internet research to find out more about the participants and judging of each of the five events. Ask both groups to make a book about their version of the pentathlon, with one page explaining each event. Finally, have the groups present their books to the class so that all can become pentathlon experts.
  • Many different Greek gods and goddesses were worshiped during the ancient Olympics. A fun way to introduce this fundamental part of Greek life is to begin by discussing what present-day athletes do for luck. A runner may eat a certain meal before a big race, for example, or a basketball player may always look for her mom in the stands. Write your students' examples on the board. Then share Run with Me, Nike: The Olympics in Four Hundred Twenty, by Cassandra Case, or another title that explains the important role of mythology in the ancient Olympics. As a class, compare ancient and modern athletic rituals. Where do Olympians past and present find courage and strength?
  • Mark all of the Olympic cities over the years on a world map with push pins. Ask teams of two students to figure out the years the cities hosted the games. Have the teams write the names and dates of the cities and include pictures of the countries' flags on blank cards. Attach the cards to the map with the pushpins to create an impressive Olympic display!
  • Create an Olympics-themed reading challenge. Students can clock the number of hours they spend reading Olympics-related materials, such as newspaper stories, articles in the magazine or on the web, and books from the school or public library. Have medals or ribbons for students who log the most reading over a 30 day period.
  • Have students work in groups to come up with 10 characteristics of an Olympic athlete. Go to the following link here to read the 10 characteristics and behaviors of Olympic athletes worth copying, according to Steve Siebold, a former professional athlete, mental toughness coach to professional athletes and author of the book “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class”
  • Are great athletes born or made? This is a question you have probably been wondering for a while. I can tell you that all great athletes have similar qualities. Vince Lombardi once said:
    "Leaders aren't born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal."
    Have students write a persuasive essay defending their opinion.
  • Have students research the freestyle swimming technique and describe the phases needed to achieve the optimal stroke in the water.
  • Ancient Greek city-states competed against one other at the first Olympics. Your students will enjoy learning more about these colorful societies with this classroom activity. First, invite students to form five groups — Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Argos, and Megara, and then have them explore their city-state´s culture online by visiting different sites about Ancient Greece, such as this online unit from the British Museum http://www.ancientgreece.co.uk/ or this fun kid-friendly site from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/z87tn39. Have students create a skit that reflects the culture of their city and perform it for the class.
  • Have students reflect on a goal they would like to achieve. How would they achieve that goal? How many steps would they have to include? How would you set SMART goals? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, relevant, time bound. Click Here



Additional Resources:

Archibald, A., (2012). Modern Pentathlon; A centenary history: 1912-2012. Surrey, GU Grosvenor House Publishing Limited.

Clark, Z. (2012). The Modern Pentathlon. Hammersmith, London. HarperCollins Publishing

Kirkwood, D., (2012). Pentathlon: Ancient, modern, contemporary; My personal journey to a 1964 Olympic silver medal. North Charleston, South Carolina, CreateSpace




We hope you enjoy your experience, which you learn about athleticism, the Olympic dream and your students are inspired to dream their own dream!