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Summer Olympics: Aquatics

Level: ESL Intermediate
Objectives: name Olympic aquatic disciplines and events, describe common swimming strokes, talk about the benefits of recreational swimming
Teacher Notes:
Aquatics is an umbrella name for water sports. In the London Summer Olympics 2012 Aquatics encompasses 5 disciplines: swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo and open water swimming.
Each of the disciplines includes one or more events. Events are competitions in one of the disciplines (e.g.: men’s backstroke 200m, women’s 10m platform in diving or women’s duets in synchronized swimming).
Put students in 5 groups, one per each aquatic discipline. They’re to discuss the questions below and share their knowledge about the aquatic disciplines. Add, omit or modify questions based on your class level and interest.
Group 1 (Swimming)
- Name swimming strokes used in the Olympic competition. (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly)
- Can you define each style?
- Which is the fastest/slowest/most difficult?
Group 2 (Synchronized Swimming)
-What’s synchronized swimming? (‘water ballet’)
- How can synchronized swimmers stay underwater for a long period of time? (They put a small clip on the nose.)
- Do men compete in this discipline? (No, it’s competed solely by women.)
- What makes it difficult? (Swimmers are not to touch the bottom or sides of the pool while performing.)
- How can swimmers hear music underwater? (There’re special underwater speakers).
Group 3 (Diving)
- What do divers jump from? (springboards and platforms)
- How should divers enter water to score more points? (vertically with as little splash as possible)
- What’s synchronized diving? (two divers perform in tandem)
- What acrobatic maneuvers are performed? (twists and somersaults)
Group 4 (Water Polo)
- What’s the objective of the game? (to score the most goals into the opposing team net)
- How many players are in each team? (seven: six players and a goalie)
- What special skills are required? (ability to tread water for a long time, change direction quickly to reverse, project the body high above the water to pass/shoot the ball)
- Do women compete in water polo? (Yes)
Group 5 (Open Water Swimming)
- What’s this discipline? (a 10-kilometre marathon swim)
- Where’s it done? (in rivers, lakes, seas or oceans)
- How’s it different from competing in a pool? (there’re no lane markings; swimmers need to consider waves, currents and wind)
- How long has this competition been around? (It’s relatively new to the Olympics; it debuted in 2008).
Hand out the worksheet. Students match the aquatic discipline or type of event to their definition in Aquatic Disciplines and Events.
Explain what number-noun modifiers are. Nouns can be modified by another noun which (in turn) is combined with a number. The modifying number+noun combination functions as an adjective. The modifying noun is always singular.
a 50-metre pool - the noun ‘pool’ is modified by the noun ‘metre’ and number 50.
The modifying noun is singular even if the modified noun is plural:
two 50-metre lanes
Students rewrite sentences using number-noun modifiers in Number-Noun Modifiers.
Wrap up with Conversation Questions.

Student Handout
Summer Olympics: Aquatics

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ESL Worksheet Summer Olympics Aquatics.pdf

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