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Olympic Turns

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

Olympic Turns

Here are photos of some Olympic sports that involve turns and angles in different ways. Choose one of these photos to investigate and see what angles you can find.

Can you estimate them?

Can you measure them? 

How do we use angles to help us when we take part in different sporting activities?


On the Olympic website you can find lots of photos, images and video clips that show turns and angles in different ways. Explore your favourite Olympic event for angles and turns.

Photograph acknowledgements can be found at the bottom of the Teachers' Resources


Why do this problem?

Different sports involve angles in different ways. Gymnastics involves making the body twist, turn and spin to accomplish different feats. Ball games involve choosing the angle at which to pass the ball to another player or to aim for the goal. The Olympic Games can offer children a motivating context in which to explore angles and turns and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts involved in a real world setting.

Possible approach

Print and laminate the photos in the collection and ask children to explore the angles they can see. Pupils can draw the straight lines they can see on top of the pictures and then estimate or measure the angles that are made by these lines. They could begin by choosing their favourite event and exploring the angles and turns involved in that. Some sports will be easier to explore than others.

Key questions

Which angles are important? Why?

What would change if that angle was bigger/smaller? Why has the athlete chosen to position their body at that angle?

Can you estimate that angle? Can you measure it?

Look at a video clip. Are there any angles involved in the sport that are important? Are there turns involved? How much does the athlete turn? How do the angles at which they hold their arms, their legs or pieces equipment affect their success?

Possible support

The icons on the Olympic website provide static images which will be easier to explore using protractors to measure them. If you print out the images then it will be possible to draw lines on them to make the angles easier to see and to measure.

Possible extension

Ask the children to choose a sport and explore the Olympic website to find videos and photos that show angles and turns in the context of that sport. The dynamic situations in the video clips will be harder to explore than the static images and should provide challenge for the most enthusiastic learners with the best grasp of angles and turns.