Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling


Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson that allows students to practice grade-appropriate reading comprehension, foundational reading, and reading fluency skills. These reading comprehension lessons are designed to be completed in one or two class settings.

Each lesson discusses a subject that students want to read about and that teachers will want to incorporate into their reading instruction. The lesson is appropriate as a whole-class, stand-alone lesson or as an independent small-group activity. Be sure to check if there is a Learn Bright video that goes with this lesson!

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What our Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about the intense sport of Greco-Roman wrestling. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson and remind you what to focus on. It explains that you can teach this lesson in a whole-class setting or as an independent, small-group activity. The blank lines on this page are available for you to write out thoughts and ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.


History and Fame

The Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling lesson plan contains two content pages. Have you ever watched the summer Olympics? If so, you may have watched wrestling, one of the oldest sports in the Olympic Games. There are two types of wrestling in the Olympics—freestyle and Greco-Roman. Today, we’re learning about the ancient art of Greco-Roman wrestling. Get ready to step onto the mat and discover what this historic sport is all about!

Greco-Roman wrestling has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years to ancient times. It originated in ancient Greece and was later adopted by the Romans, who made it a popular sport in their empire. The Greeks and Romans believed that wrestling was a sport and a way to honor their gods and demonstrate bravery and skill. Over time, Greco-Roman wrestling evolved into a structured sport with rules and competitions, becoming one of the world’s oldest forms of organized wrestling.

Greco-Roman wrestling allows strong, skilled athletes to compete in intense battles of strength and technique. Participants in Greco-Roman wrestling are typically individuals who have trained hard to build their muscles and learn special moves called “throws” and “holds.” These athletes come from around the world, representing their countries with pride in competitions like the Olympics, world championships, and local tournaments.

Cool Facts

There are different types of competitions in Greco-Roman wrestling. One type is called a dual meet, where teams from various schools or clubs face off against each other. Another type is a tournament, where individual wrestlers compete against each other in a series of matches until one wrestler is crowned the champion. These tournaments can range from small local events to large international championships, drawing crowds eager to witness the action-packed bouts unfold.

Greco-Roman wrestling has seen numerous historic rivalries between athletes and nations. One notable rivalry is between Russia and the United States, which has produced intense matches and memorable moments on the international stage. Also, many countries prioritize youth development programs to encourage talent in Greco-Roman wrestling from a young age. These programs provide aspiring wrestlers with access to training facilities, coaching expertise, and competitive opportunities, laying the groundwork for future success in the sport.

What You Need

To compete in Greco-Roman wrestling, you don’t need a lot of stuff. You would wear a special tight outfit called a wrestling singlet and unique shoes made just for the sport. You might also wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and headgear for your noggin, but not always. Some wrestlers use special grips or tapes on their hands. These help wrestlers hold onto each other more tightly. The grips are like sticky hands to help control your opponent and make your moves without slipping. All this stuff helps keep wrestlers safe and make it easier to wrestle their best.

Greco-Roman Wrestling 101

Athletes use their strength and smarts to grab and hold onto each other, trying to outsmart their opponents with throws and locks. In Greco-Roman wrestling, they don’t grab each other’s legs, so it’s all about controlling and using the upper body. Each match shows off the skill and toughness of the wrestlers, from fast throws to tricky holds.

Let’s learn the basics of the game. Matches happen on a round mat, and players try to earn points by executing throws or making their opponent’s back touch the mat. In Greco-Roman wrestling, because you can’t grab below the waist, it’s all about using throws and moves with the upper body. Wrestlers use strategy and their skills, timing, and strength. Strategy can be as important as strength. Anticipating your opponent’s next moves or incorporating a new move your opponent is not ready for can lead to a victory!

In Greco-Roman wrestling, there are unique words to discuss moves and plans. An arm throw is when you use your opponent’s arm to make them fall. A hip toss is when you use their hip to throw them off balance. When you do a body lock, you hold your opponent tight so they can’t move. Pummeling means grappling closely to try and control your opponent’s arms and body. Hand fighting is when wrestlers try to get the best grip and position to win on the mat.

Why It’s So Fun

What’s so cool about Greco-Roman wrestling? It’s all about showing off your strength and smarts and playing fair. From ancient times to the big Olympic Games today, Greco-Roman wrestling keeps people interested because it mixes old traditions with new ways of being strong and fast. Greco-Roman wrestling brings out the best in sports, making everyone feel excited and inspired, no matter where they’re from.


The Sports: Greco-Roman Wrestling lesson plan includes two worksheets: an activity worksheet and a practice worksheet. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity, students will research a few different Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestlers. First, they will look at some videos of past Olympic wrestling events. Then they will choose one person to research further and list five facts about them. Then they will answer the questions at the bottom of the page about a couple other wrestlers and about what they learned.


The practice worksheet lists 10 questions based on the content. These questions all relate to the content pages, so students will need to refer to them often for the answers. In addition, each question provides which reading tool the question corresponds to, such as text feature, vocabulary, or comprehension.

Worksheet Answer Keys

At the end of the lesson plan document is an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them with students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Social Studies, High-Interest Reading

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.