Global Updates From World View
May 2008

Games of the XXIX Olympiad
2008 Summer Games in Beijing, China
Information and Lesson Plans

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, which occur every four years, will be held this year in Beijing August 8-24, 2008. This Global Update provides links to history, current news, and lesson plans related to China and the Olympics. Please use this opportunity to include the Olympics in your classroom, regardless of the subject!

As you know, a major earthquake struck the Sichuan province of China on Monday. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragedy and that of the cyclone that struck Myanmar on May 2nd. The International Olympic Committee has already committed 1 million dollars to support the relief and recovery efforts in China. Please see the box on the right hand side for links to follow developing stories and for more information on how you can help in both China and Myanmar.

Beijing, the capital of China, is located in the northern section of the country. For more geographical information, please see the map below, provided by The CIA Fact Book. The official web site for the Beijing Olympics is, and the official web site of the Olympic Movement is Each of these web sites provides a countdown to the opening ceremonies (as of May 15 there are 85 days to go!), a history of the Olympic games, world Olympic records, past and future Olympics host countries, and much more.

Athletes will compete this year at 31 venues all over Beijing, including the newly built National Stadium on the Olympic Green (click here for more information and pictures of the new stadium). There are six additional venues located outside of Beijing. The city is expecting about 10,500 athletes from all over the world to compete in 28 different summer sports, including: aquatics (swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo), archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe (kayak flatwater and kayak slalom), cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline), handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, table tennis, tae kwon do, tennis, triathlon, volleyball (and beach volleyball), weightlifting and wrestling.

Each Olympic Game host determines a new emblem, slogan, mascots, and torch relay logo. Below is some information about each of these representations of the 2008 Olympics.

Emblem: This year's emblem is called "Chinese Seal-Dancing Beijing." You can view this emblem at the official Beijing Olympics website. Here is some information from the official Olympic movement web site about the emblem: “The emblem cleverly combines the Chinese seal and the art of calligraphy with sporting features, transforming the elements into a human figure running forward and embracing triumph. The figure resembles the Chinese character "Jing", which stands for the name of the host city and represents a particularly significant Chinese style. The artwork embodies four messages: Chinese culture, the color of red China, Beijing welcomes friends from all over the world, and to challenge the extreme and achieve the perfect and promote the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).”

Slogan: The slogan of the Beijing Olympics is “One World One Dream.” This slogan was selected to describe the spirit of unity embodied in the Olympics. Despite differences, the hope is that people from around the world will come together at these games in search of peace and a brighter future.

Mascots: Collectively, the official mascots of the Beijing Olympics are named “Fuwa.” Each Fuwa represents the color of an Olympic ring. Their names and characteristics are as follows: Beibei (fish), Jingjing (panda), Huanhuan (Olympic Flame), Yingying (Tibetan antelope) and Nini (swallow). Together their names are Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni (or “Welcome to Beijing ”). You can see the Fuwa on the official Beijing Olympics website here.

Logo of the Torch Relay: This logo can also be seen on the Beijing Olympics official web site. It draws on an ancient Chinese legend of the good fortune brought by the phoenix. According to the web site, “the use of the phoenix image in the Torch Relay logo conveys the idea that the Torch Relay will send the best wishes from the Beijing Olympic Games to people all over China and the rest of the world.”

In order to help people all over the world follow along with the Olympic torch relay, Google has put together a new tool using Google Maps. By visiting this link, you can see the current location of the torch, and get information about and pictures of that location. The torch has already been all over the world, and is now visiting cities and provinces throughout China. This is a helpful tool for students of all ages to familiarize themselves with geography and stay up-to-date with the relay. The Beijing Olympic site also provides a detailed schedule, with photos and videos of the completed routes:

Finally, the Olympic Movement Web site has a section dedicated specifically to teachers, which can be found at: Under “Current Programmes,” there is an “educational kit” available to download as a pdf. This resource is very extensive and informative. It includes information about the Beijing Olympics and its impact on the city. It also offers information about the Chinese language, food, culture, history, environment, and the economy, and how the Olympics will impact these elements. Finally, it includes lesson plans and student worksheets which can be used in the classroom.

Information and Lesson Plans on CHINA “Building an Empire: Mapping China ” -

Discovery Education -

Education World -

Mr. Donn's Lesson Plans on China -


Resources for Teaching about China 's Transformation on the Eve of the Olympics -

TeAchnology -

Visit Beijing -

Information and Lesson Plans on the OLYMPICS

A to Z Teacher Stuff: Olympics -

The Ancient Olympics -

BBC: Ancient Greece -

Education World -

The Lesson Plans Page -

Microsoft: The Olympic Games -

Mr. Donn's Lesson Plans on Ancient Greek Olympics -

Olympic History -

Olympic Q&A -
(take a new Olympic quiz every day!)

OzProjects -

Shambles -

U.S. Olympic Academy -
(Create a free user account and log-in to access lesson plans for all grades K-12)

Wikipedia: Bidding Process -

News about the OLYMPICS and CHINA

BBC Sport -

EIN News: Inside China Today -

Official Beijing Olympics Web site-

Official Web site of the Beijing 2008 Torch Relay -

Official Web site of the Olympic Movement

U.S. Olympic Team -

Additional Facts

1.) Olympic sites are chosen several years in advance ( Beijing was chosen as the 2008 Summer Olympics site by the Olympic Commission in 2001!) The future sites which have already been determined are:
- Vancouver, Canada – Winter 2010
- London, United Kingdom - Summer 2012
- Sochi, Russia – Winter 2014

2.) The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens in 1896.

3.) Women were first able to compete in the Olympics in 1900.

4.) The Olympic Games were cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944 due to World Wars I and II.

5.) Previous Olympic Locations include:

Olympic Summer Games:

Athens, Greece 1896 Berlin, Germany 1936 Moscow, USSR 1980
Paris, France 1900 London, Great Britain 1948 Los Angeles, USA 1984
St. Louis, USA 1904 Helsinki, Finland 1952 Seoul, Korea 1988
London, Great Britain 1908 Melbourne/Stockholm, Australia 1956 Barcelona, Spain 1992
Stockholm, Sweden 1912 Rome, Italy 1960 Atlanta, USA 1996
Antwerp, Belgium 1920 Tokyo, Japan 1964 Sydney, Australia 2000
Paris, France 1924 Mexico City, Mexico 1968 Athens, Greece 2004
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1928 Munich, Germany 1972  
Los Angeles, USA 1932 Montreal, Canada 1976  

Olympic Winter Games:

Chamonix, France 1924 Squaw Valley, USA 1960 Calgary, Canada 1988
St. Moritz, Switzerland 1928 Innsbruck, Austria 1964 Albertville, France 1992
Lake Placid, USA 1932 Grenoble, France 1968 Lillehammer, Norway 1994
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany 1936 Sapporo, Japan 1972 Nagano, Japan 1998
St. Moritz, Switzerland 1948 Innsbruck, Austria 1976 Salt Lake City, USA 2002
Oslo, Norway 1952 Lake Placid, USA 1980 Turin, Italy 2006
Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy 1956 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia 1984  

Education around the World

The importance of a good teacher: A lively class in China. World Teachers' Day (5 Oct) is an occasion to remember that teachers are at the heart of the education process.

© UNESCO/Serraillier

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, shoot us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Natural Disaster Resources and Relief Efforts

News Agencies and Resources:
CNN, The New York Times, The BBC

Emergency Response: A Tale of Two Disasters

Learning Activity: Understanding Earthquakes

Relief Efforts and Agencies:
Catholic Relief Services
Doctors without Borders
International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent
Save the Children
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
World Food Program


Registration Open!
Register now for World View’s Fall Programs

K-12 Global Education Symposium:
Bringing World Cultures to the Classrooms

October 22-23, 2008
UNC at
Chapel Hill

As the world’s national boundaries continue to dissolve, students today need to learn how to work and live with others from different cultures who are speaking multiple languages and practicing varying religions.  World View’s symposium offers educators from all subject areas and in all grade levels techniques for integrating global content across the curriculum, as well as other global education resources.  There will be general sessions, concurrent sessions on both content and classroom applications, and support for school-based teams in creating an Action Plan for globalizing schools.  CEU credits offered.

Community College Symposium:
Global Health and the Environment

November 12-13, 2008
UNC at
Chapel Hill

The 2008 Community College Symposium addresses a topic central to understanding globalization and vital for community college educators preparing students and faculty for the 21st century:Global Health and the Environment.  There will be general sessions, concurrent sessions, and support for college-based teams in creating an Action Plan for globalizing colleges. This program is designed for administrators and faculty in all disciplines.

Registration for 2008 Symposiums
Registration for each fall symposium is $150 per person. Reduced registration fees are available for schools and colleges registering 4 or more persons. A team of 4 is $500. Only $125 for each additional team member.

K-12 Online Globalization Courses
October 1-
November 11, 2008

Globalization: An Introduction for Principals and Other School Leaders

Globalization: An Introduction for K-12 Teachers

Both online courses immerse educators in an intensive exploration of rapid global changes. The courses discuss global issues in government, economics, cultures, technology, environment and health, culture, and technology impacting our schools and communities, our country, and the planet. By the end of the "Principals and other School Leaders" course, educators should be able to provide leadership in planning and implementing school and system programs to help faculty and students become more globally aware. The goal of the "Teachers" course is to help teachers become aware of the effects of globalization on our world, our country and especially our schools. By the end of the course, teachers should be able to significantly contribute to curriculum planning to help faculty and students become more globally aware.

Registration for 2008 Online Courses
Registration is $200 per person, per course for World View Partners, or $250 per person for non-World View Partners.

For more information and to register please visit:


World View - Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar E-pals


Have you checked out the World View-Rotary Scholar Blog? See what World View-Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at-large, Sarah Price is up to in New Zealand.  Do you students have questions about what school or life’s like at the other end of the Earth?  Ask Sarah!  Learn more about this program and connecting your classroom to a Scholar all over the world.  Find educator resources for teaching about New Zealand, too!


Asia Society Forum for Policymakers and Practitioners
Putting the World into World-Class Education
July 10-12, 2008
Washington, DC

Asia Society's Forum for Policymakers and Practitioners is designed to advance student international knowledge and skills as an integral part of a world-class education.  Join educators, decision-makers, and thought-leaders from throughout the country to examine leading policy innovations and educational best practices.  For more information, and to register go to: or click here.


A Nation at a Loss

New York Times contributor and North Carolina resident Edward Fiske recently reexamined the legacy of "A Nation at Risk", a public report exposing the mediocrity of the American education system. Although a powerful document for its time, Fiske calls for a revitalization of the report in order to clearly define the new 21st century challenges facing American education.

Fiske's article, "A Nation at a Loss" is available on The New York Times web site:


2008 Youth Prizes for Excellence in International Education

Asia Society and The Goldman Sachs Foundation announce the 2008 Youth Prizes for Excellence in International Education. Up to five winners will be selected to receive up to $10,000 each as well as an all-expense paid trip to New York City in November to receive their prize. Students are asked to create an in-depth written essay or multimedia feature examining a social or economic issue that has relevance to them in a global context.

Please visit for the contest questions, eligibility rules, guidelines and helpful hints, and submission instructions. Youth Prizes application deadline:  June 12, 2008.  


Mbira Musician Cosmas Magaya
Possible School and Community College Visits

We’re delighted to say that the session on Mbira music with Zimbabwean musician Cosmas Magaya and Paul Berliner of the Duke University Department of Music at the March 2008 Understanding Contemporary Africa seminar was a great success. If you did not attend this session, you can sample Mr. Magaya’s playing and teaching at the following web sites: (see video clip at bottom of article)

Because of the response to the lecture/ performance at our seminar, and others presented in the last few months, Duke University is considering inviting Mr. Magaya to return to North Carolina as a visiting artist the year after next (likely spring semester, 2010)

If Mr. Magaya returns, he might be able to visit schools and community colleges for a lecture-demonstration or musical performance, or stay for a longer period to work with students. If you would like to know more about this possibility, please answer the following questions:

1. Are you interested in arranging for Mr. Magaya to come to your school or college?

2. Would your school or college prefer a single lecture/performance, or a series of working sessions with students?

3. Would your school or college be able to pay for the visit, or would you need funding for the payment?

Please send your responses to Regina Higgins at World View ( and she'll forward them to Paul Berliner. We hope you’ll be able to offer this great musical experience to your students! Summer Workshop

The Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute for International Relations and Commerce is hosting "Going Global: Users Workshop" on June 16th and 17th, 2008.  Taking place at Levin's state-of-the art building in mid-town Manhattan, this workshop will bring together educators from across the country to discuss how to integrate globalization issues into the classroom and how the web site, can be used as a teaching resource. Workshop discussions will focus on framing the issues, internationalizing the curriculum, and using interactive technologies in the classroom.  Educators who have used the site in the classroom will share their experience and will offer suggestions about how to effectively integrate online resources in the curriculum.  We will all share ideas for the expansion and development of such resources.

To RSVP, e-mail or call 212-317-3566.