Friday, 24 October 2014

Immigration to the USA: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

In the late 19th century, people from many parts of the world immigrated to the United States for different reasons: famine, lack of jobs, rising taxes, or because they were politically or religiously persecuted. In fact, U.S.A. was perceived as the land of freedom and economic opportunity. 

At the beginning, the federal government left immigration policy to individual states but then, it decided to regulate the increasing influx of immigrants. In 1890, the president Benjamin Harrison decided that Ellis Island, in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, would be a federal immigration station. It was operational from 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States through “the golden door”.

In 1954 it was abandoned and it began to decay rapidly. In 1965 President Johnson declared Ellis Island part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument but only in the 1970s the Congress allocated a sum to repair it. In 1976 Ellis Island was reopened to the public.

Today you can take a ferryboat from Liberty Island and go on a one-hour guided tour retracing the steps of the immigrants.

                Surf my interactive Thinglink image and learn more. 


Now surf the following sites to investigate 
some aspects related to immigration.

Immigration to the USA

Immigration to the USA, 1851-1900

U.S. immigration before 1965

USA immigration problems

The White House website about immigration (watch the video!)


You are an immigrant at the beginning of the 20th century. Tell me why you are going to the USA, where you are from, which are your expectations. Describe your journey and what you felt when you first saw the "golden door" and "Lady Liberty".

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Victorian Era

The Victorian Age takes its name from Queen Victoria who ruled from 1837 to 1901. Victorian era was caracterised by stability, progress, social reforms, a rapid extention of colonialism but, at the same time, by great problems such as poverty and social injustice.

Surf the great BBC history site.

British History Timeline:

Then take a look at my interactive Popplet mindmap about some aspects of the Victorian age. Click on the image to open it, then scroll around, zoom, click on the links and watch the videos.


          Reading and Writing

1) Choose an aspect of the Victorian age that has particularly affected you. Surf the sites I suggested in my mindmap and write a report.

2) Imagine you are a Victorian child belonging to a poor family, forced to work in a factory. Describe your working day.

3) Which novel (of the two I talk about in my presentation) do you like the most? Why? 


Watch and listen to the video "Life in Victorian Britain" from the mindmap. Take note of the main points of discussion and create your own mindmap.


Work in pairs or small groups. Read the information about the Victorian etiquette and choose a social situation. Would you know how to conduct yourselves if you were Victorians? You can practice taking the  McCord Museum test. Then prepare a sketch.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

October, 5th: The Beatles released "Love me do"... and a legend was born.

On October, 5th 1962 The Beatles released 
their debut single "Love me do".
The song was a hit!

"Love me do" - The Beatles
Now it's up to you!
"Love me do" karaoke

Now take a look at my interactive Thinglink image below. Move your cursor over the image and open the links. You will find information about The Beatles biography and their most famous songs. You can also do some fill in exercises while listening to some songs (to listen to the songs, click on the link under the image).

Here's a list in alphabetical order of The Beatles' songs. For each song you can have information, read the lyrics and listen to the music (or even watch a video):

If you need great worksheets click on this link:


1) Watch the following video. It's an old Beatles' interview with fans. Do you think the fans' questions would be different today? What would you ask to the fab four?

The Beatles interview with fans - 1964

2) Create a Beatles' Fakebook page! Take a look at the Fakebook gallery just to get an idea and use the information you read in the biographies.

"The Beatles will exist without us."
George Harrison