AccessArt Olympics: Friendship Towers

Explore the project below to help pupils consider how they might create a collaborative sculpture inspired by the Olympic Values or Ceremony.

Friendship Towers

Aim: To introduce pupils to the ethos of the Olympics and create a body of work in response. Pupils will get the opportunity to practise their making skills and will go on to create a collaborative sculptural piece based on the Olympic values.

Step 1: Introduce

Begin by introducing pupils to the Olympic and Paralympic ethos and the 3 values Friendship, Respect and Excellence with “Talking Points: The Olympic Ethos“. Watch the videos and invite pupils to create “Visual Notes” in their sketchbooks inspired by what they see and hear. Prompt discussion using the questions.

Step 2: Make

Using the “Prompt Cards for Making” as inspiration, devise your own challenges for the children such as…

“Make something which represents friendship.”

“Make a team of things.”

AccessArt Making Prompt Cards Saatchi Learning Workshop By Lala Thorpe

Step 3: Continue Making and Sketchbooks

Decide whether you would like the friendship tower to celebrate the values through an exploration of nationalities, athleticism or the opening ceremony performance. 

Use “Drawing Source Material: Ceremonies and Celebrations” to explore the performances, costumes and national teams in the Olympic ceremonies. 

Or if your class is using athletics to celebrate the values then explore the videos in “Drawing Source Material: Athletes in Action“. 

Invite pupils to draw what they can see in their sketchbooks. See “Show Me What You See” to find out how to run the guided session.

Screenshot 2024-03-12 at 11.53.51

Follow on by using the “Friendship Tower” resource, inspired by the work done so far.

Invite pupils to think about a position of their figures. Are the sculptures waving to the crowd? Performing a dance? Playing a sport together? Invite pupils to think about what the figures are wearing and how that reflects who they are and what they do.

A carnival with added feathers

Step 4: Reflect

Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

Invite children to display the work in a clear space on tables or on the wall. Recap with them about the exploration – where they started, what they discovered and what they enjoyed. 

If you have class cameras or tablets, invite the children to document their work, working in pairs or teams.

A Brazillian football team



A3 Cartridge Paper

Drawing materials

Making Materials: Card, Coffee stirrers and/or lolly sticks, Twigs, Foam board, Toothpicks, Wire, String, scrap fabric etc

Soft wire

Wire cutters

Plaster for the plinth or wooden base, and a stick


Acrylic Paint


Ensure you adapt the content to align with the focus of the project, ie. Ceremony or Values.

You might like to focus on designing clothing, using the sculptures as mannequins. Incorporate and adapt “Fashion Designs with Painted and Decorated Paper“.

Explore Other Resources in Values:

Explore other olympic themes