Sports Month in Genius Tangram: Meet Paralympian Jean Driscoll and Craft Your Own Olympic Torch
Genius content refreshes every month! This month, it’s “game on” as we learn about amazing athletes, Olympic traditions, and exciting international sports.
We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids’ learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:
Check out Osmo Tangram for six Sports-inspired puzzles for kids and new character outfits to unveil. Only available this month!
Genius Spotlight: Jean Driscoll
Every two years, athletes with disabilities come from around the world to compete in the Paralympics. The word “Paralympics” means “next to the Olympics.” The two events happen side-by-side on the calendar!
The main difference is the sports in the Paralympics (called “parasports”) have their own rules, so that people with different abilities can play. For example, there’s sitting volleyball, wheelchair tennis, and more.
One parasport legend is Jean Driscoll. Jean was born with a condition that made walking difficult. She used leg braces until switching to a wheelchair when she was 15.
In high school, one of Jean’s friends took her to a wheelchair soccer match. Jean was amazed and quickly joined a wheelchair basketball team, which she continued playing in college.
She competed in her first Paralympics at age 22 and won four medals in wheelchair racing. Jean liked competing in shorter races, but her coach encouraged her to try a marathon. That’s 26.2 miles!
Always one to accept a challenge, Jean entered the Boston Marathon’s female wheelchair division. Not only did she beat the world record, Jean won six more times in a row.
Over her athletic career, Jean earned five gold medals and a place in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame for her Paralympic successes. Though her muscles did a lot of the work during competitions, it was Jean’s attitude and determination that got her there!
Real-World Activity: Craft Your Own Olympic Torch
Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!
A few months before the Olympics begin, a torch is lit in Greece at the site of the ancient Olympic games. The torch then begins its journey to the site of that year’s Olympic games. It continues to burn until the closing ceremony!
Make your own paper torch using these materials:
- Cardboard tube
- Markers and/or stickers
- Red, orange, and/or yellow paper (tissue or construction)
- Decorate your cardboard tube with markers and stickers.
- Holding your papers hamburger-style, tear along the top edge.
- Stack the papers together with the ripped edges on top.
- Bunch the stack together at the bottom.
- Stuff the bunched bottom into the top of your cardboard tube. Secure it with tape.
- Feel free to fold or scrunch the colored paper on top to look more like a real flame!