I LOVE using the Olympics as a theme in the art room. There are so many connections, the most logical for me being the action- the kids love sports, and it's a great chance to work on those people. The 3rd graders explored the Olympic Website with me, chose a sport, and filled out a think sheet about their choices. Then, I taught them to make "pipe cleaner people". These served as our armature. We covered them in old tape, and put paper mache' on top of that. It was a sticky mess, and some of our athletes needed to be propped up with wooden blocks. But, despite the awkward phase, the paint day today really made them come alive. I had the students attach their athlete sculptures to a wooden block (I have an old bunch of wood building blocks in the art room that I've been itching to recycle) and this allowed all athletes to stand proud. We will transition to printmaking after this- using the students' chosen sport as the subject.