Students Can Decide If Pollution Will Cloud the 2008 Olympics With ABC-CLIO's Free "History and the Headlines" Collection

Share Article

ABC-CLIO Offers Wealth of Resources for Putting the Controversial Beijing Olympics in Historical Perspective

We live in an exciting time of world controversy and change

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing are already garnering lots of headlines on human rights issues as the Olympic torch makes its tumultuous journey around the world. Another issue that is likely to come under increasing scrutiny as the games draw near is the condition of the city's environment. History educators and students can learn more about the impact of holding the Olympics in one of the world's most polluted cities with "History and the Headlines: China's Environment: Cloud Over the Olympics," a free online resource collection from ABC-CLIO and leading history organizations.

For educators who want to teach complete classroom units on the Olympics, ABC-CLIO also recently launched "History Connections: The Olympics," a new resource book. Developed by leading historians and educators, this book includes complete classroom-ready thematic units for engaging students in thinking critically about the context and content of the historical events that are unfolding in their own lives.

"We live in an exciting time of world controversy and change," said Becky Snyder, president, ABC-CLIO. "With our free collection of history resources and our new resource book, history educators can help students put today's tumultuous events in historical perspective, gaining a deeper understanding of why things are unfolding the way they are and what might happen in the future."

In August when the Olympics are slated to begin, temperatures in Beijing typically approach 100 degrees and the city's air becomes a thick soup of industrial smog, auto emissions and particulate matter from coal-burning power plants. Teachers and students can use the information from the "Introduction" section of "History and the Headlines: China's Environment: Cloud Over the Olympics" to think critically about the potential impact of these environmental hazards on the performance and health of the world's top athletes.

In the collection's "Need to Know" section, students will find an in-depth examination of how rapid, unbridled industrialization caused China's capital city to become so polluted. In the "Examine" section, they can read excerpts from the International Olympic Committee's report on the Beijing environment, its potential impact on the games and what Chinese officials plan to do to combat it.

"History in the Headlines: China's Environment: Cloud Over the Olympics" also offers students background on the history of the Olympic games and an overview of the city of Beijing. To sign up to receive information about future topics in "History and the Headlines," visit

"History Connections: The Olympics" provides middle and high school teachers with a complete lesson and activity guide for integrating discussions of the Summer 2008 Olympic Games into any social studies class. With this resource book, teachers can help students understand that 2008 is certainly not the first time in history that the Olympics have sparked controversy that goes beyond the athletic competition.

From the first Olympics games in 776 B.C. to modern day athletes and events, this resource book maps to sixth- to 12th-grade history curricula, with units such as ancient history, modern world history, American history, American government and economics. In addition, the book includes reproducible scholarly essays and primary source materials, five comprehensive thematic units, more than 70 engaging activities and visual timelines of events through history.

Free sample activities from "History Connections: The Olympics" are available at Through a special introductory offer available until June 30, 2008, teachers can save 35 percent by ordering both "History Connections: The Olympics" and "History Connections: The Presidential Election" for $49.99. Individual copies of each are $39.

To order the "Historical Connections" resource books or for more information, visit or call 800-368-6868.

ABC-CLIO provides history teachers and students with authoritative reference information and teacher resources that help students hone the skills of history inquiry and inquiry-based discussion as they master historical content and develop a deeper understanding of history's major themes and lessons. ABC-CLIO's award-winning subscription databases provide a comprehensive collection of references, curriculum and current events that together simplify historical research and help students make sense of world events as they unfold. A premier history publisher for more than 50 years, ABC-CLIO is based in Santa Barbara, Calif. For more information or a list of available titles, visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author


Email >

Lisa Wolfe
Email >