Monday, 31 March 2014

April Fools' Day

April, 1st is known as the April Fools' Day
On this day people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other called April fools. What is the origin of this celebration? 
One theory dates it back to 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian Calendar, which changed the observance of New Year's Day from the end of March to the first of January.  But some people, out of ignorance, continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st and were made the butt of jokes  because of their foolishness. 


To learn more about April Fools' Day surf the website below and answer the questions:

On this day jokes can range from simple tricks played on friends, family or colleagues to elaborate media hoaxes.
One of the greatest media hoaxes of all time was perpetrated on April 1st, 1957 by the BBC, which told the people that Switzerland was experiencing a bumper spaghetti harvest thanks to favorable weather conditions. They showed happy peasants plucking strands of pasta from trees, it was so convincing that many viewers called the network to ask how they could grow their own! 
Watch the video (as an Italian, I got a lot of laughs!)


What about you?  Do you like playing practical jokes to your friends? 
Tell us...

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Earth Hour - March, 29th

Today we have to celebrate our planet. It's the Earth Hour. 

Visit the following site to learn more.

This year Spiderman is the Earth Hour superhero ambassador!

On this occasion I'm sharing with you a video 
I prepared  with some of my students. 
We imagined that someone from the space 
wrote a message to help us...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Avatar - do we respect our world?

In this blog I have several times had occasion to say that I like using movies in my classes. Last week we saw Avatar. My students really loved it. I chose this film because it allows to discuss and study in deep many themes, as the respect for nature and for others.

Watch the trailer

Avatar is a 2009 American science-fiction action movie written and directed by James Cameron. We are in the 22nd century and humans are mining a precious mineral on a habitable moon, Pandora. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the existence of the local tribe of Na'vi. "Avatars" are genetically engineered Na'vi bodies with the minds of remotely located humans, and are used to interact with the natives of Pandora.
There are many themes in this film that we could think over.

The world on Pandora demonstrates the healing power of Mother Nature. One of the more amazing themes in Avatar is the "neural connection fibers" of each living creature on the planet. Animals, humanoids, trees and flowers have these neural connection fibers, allowing all living creatures to "plug in" to each other's neural networks. Once connected, they can feel each other's emotions and thoughts. Also in our real world plants talk to each other through their roots and other sensory systems.
The way the Na'vi live in harmony with the rest of the universe is one of the most beautiful elements of the film. We should remember the universal oneness that is at the core of our spiritual essence. As we should remember to honor the sacredness of our land. The Na'vi honour their Hometree (where they live) and their Tree of Souls (where they worship). 
How interconnected do you feel toward other people, living creatures, planet and universe?
How do you honor your own space?  

Western nations use their military force to invade lesser developed countries, terrorize their people and plunder their lands for natural resources.
It happens every day, for example much of what takes place in Avatar could be compared with the struggle between petroleum companies and the indigenous populations of the Amazon rainforest.
Do you think it's right to colinize a country?


Now try the following amazing official Avatar's site. You will find any kind of information about the film, images and videos:

The link below is really incredible! Click on Pandorapedia and learn everything about Pandora's fauna and flora and the Na'vi's life. You can even learn the Na'vi language!


Surf on the Pandorapedia (link above). 
You are a Na'vi and live on Pandora. 
Describe your typical day, tell what you eat, what you do, where you go, etc.
Eywa ngahu! (Goodbye in Na'vi language)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

World Water Day - March, 22nd

This year, for the World Water Day in Tokyo, the UN will recognize the water-energy nexus, particularly highlighting the needs of the world’s population who are without access to clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and adequate food and energy services.
Link on the following link to learn more:
On the occasion of the World Water Day, I want to share with you a short video I made with my students a few years ago. We made it for a Comenius project and it is about the symbolism of water.

Watch the VIDEO

“In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference”

 Rachel Carson

Friday, 21 March 2014

Shopping around the world

Let's go shopping!

Shopping in London

London is a shopping town! You can find chic boutiques, department stores, traditional old men’s shops, or market stalls. The following links allow you to go shopping around the city... Let's have a walk.

At the above link you can find different shopping areas and you can choose your favourite shop, from luxury shops to vintage shops, departement stores or street markets. You can even choose your shops by categories.

Here you can visit London shops street-by-street!
London shopping areas
 ... and now a tour inside Harrods!

Shopping in New York

Here  you can find the top 25 NY shopping destinations.

And now let's go to the main artery of New York City's shopping scene... the Fifth Avenue!

 Top five stores in New York City

Shopping in Bari

Ok, now let's go to Italy. But I'm not talking about a big city like Rome or Milan. I'm going to Bari. 
Bari, the second largest city of Southern Italy, is capital of the Apulia (or Puglia) region and it's where I live. To learn more about Puglia go to the following link of my blog.

Shopping in Apulia:

Bari's most elegant shops:

 Bari's most famous shopping street, Via Sparano

Do you like going shopping? 
Did you ever go to one of these cities?
What about shopping in your town?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

International Happiness Day - March, 20th

The International Day of Happiness was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012. It is celebrated throughout the world on 20th March. 

The General Assembly,[…] Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,[…] Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples, Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities[…]


To learn more click on the following links: 

 And now sing along with Pharrel Williams ... 
because we're happy!
 What about you?

What makes you happy?
How do you usually feel?
Why do you feel so?
Where do you usually feel happier?
When do you feel happier?
Who makes you feel happy?

You can write a report, take or choose a picture that symbolizes happiness for you, write a poem or draw a picture.

Friday, 14 March 2014

A theatre performance at our school

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

As an English teacher, I have to say that theatre activities really capture the attention of the students. Students can listen to English mother-tongue actors speaking in a quasi-real language situation.
Every year at my school our students have the chance to attend theatre performances played by native English speakers. After the show, the actors organize a workshop with some games and give the students the opportunity to interact with them.
These shows are very important because they allow interaction in the target language, the assimilation of a whole range of pronunciation in a contextualized and interactive way and the contextualized acquisition of new vocabulary and structure.
And, most of all, the students have a lot of fun! 

Watch our VIDEO!

A BIG...