I expect lots of people are going to be looking for Olympics-related ideas for their lessons next year, me included. Today I found out about the Global Children's Challenge. Teachers of Y4, Y5 and Y6 and their classes are invited to apply to take part (applications close on 31st July, so you'll need to act quickly). The idea is that teachers and the children in their classes wear a pedometer every day for the 50 days of the challenge, which runs from 15th September until 3rd November. They work as a team to accumulate and log actual physical steps, which then enable them to take virtual steps around the world via the Challenge website. There is the possibility of visiting 50 different countries. The Challenge is an initiative designed to get children more active, but of course is also an excellent global and intercultural opportunity. Full information is on the Challenge website, and you can download the flyer here.
Admittedly time isn't on most schools' side with both holidays and the application deadline looming, so many schools who want to take part may not be able to. But there's nothing stopping you from adapting the Challenge and putting your own spin on it. Pick a French-speaking or Spanish-speaking country and find out the distance from its capital to ours. Will they be able to walk enough steps to get to London in time for the Olympics? Where will they pass on the way? Give yourself a time limit and see how many countries you can walk to in that time. Can you do a tour of Africa or of South America? There are all sorts of possibilities.
If you reckon on 2000 steps to a mile, you and your class will soon be able to rack up the miles. The cheapest pedometers are available for about £3 from places like Argos and Amazon. You'll be able to watch your class tearing around the playground, getting lots of exercise and enabling you to tell them about lots of fascinating countries and cultures.
*Image by the brilliant @bevevans22