Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Middle Ages and its castles

People use the phrase “Middle Ages” to describe Europe between the fall of Rome in 476 AD and the beginning of the Reinassance in the 14th century. Many scholars call this era the “medieval period” instead. “Middle Ages, they say, incorrectly implies that the period is an insignificant blip sandwiched between two much more important epochs.
The phrase “Middle Ages” tells us more about the Renaissance that followed it than it does about the era itself. Starting around the 14th century, European thinkers, writers and artists began to look back and celebrate the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Accordingly, they dismissed the period after the fall of Rome as a “Middle” or even “Dark” age in which no scientific accomplishments had been made, no great art produced, no great leaders born. This way of thinking about the era in the “middle” of the fall of Rome and the rise of the Renaissance prevailed until relatively recently. However, today’s scholars note that the era was as complex and vibrant as any other.

During the Middle Ages many castles were built in Europe and in the Middle East. A medieval castle was the fortified home of an important person, a lord or king. They ranged from simple wooden enclosures to vast stone palaces. From the castle the lord could control his land and keep his family and treasure safe from rivals while he was at war.

Now surf the following interactive map I made by Cacoo and Thinglink. Move your cursor over the image and some links will appear. Click on the image to enlarge.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The European Union

The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.
The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.
The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, a huge single market has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential. 

Surf the following interactive image I made using Cacoo and Thinglink. Clic on the imag to enlarge.


Monday, 13 June 2016

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday this year. She celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday, on April 21st, and her official birthday, on the second Saturday in June.

Surf the following sites to get more information.

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen' s birthday

The Queen in 90 images. One picture from every year of her life.

Birthday' s celebrations:


The Queen at 90

Trooping the Colour 2016

Some information about the UK form of government

Surf my mindmap. You can also click here to open the image.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Shakespeare for young learners - A webquest and some resources

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in the Tudor England at the time of Queen Elisabeth I. He is one of the world's greatest writers. He wrote plays for the theatre but he composed sonnets, too.
At the beginning of his career he went to London  to be an actor, but he suddenly became famous for writing plays.

Nowadays Shakespeare plays are performed all over the world. 
Shakespeare died 400 years ago, on April 23rd 1616.

Surf the following mindmap I made with Cacoo  and Thinglink. Then answer the questions.

Click here to open and enlarge.

  1. In 2016 England, and all the world, will commemorate 400 years since the death of the Bard. Can you list any of the events and activities planned on this occasion?
  2. What is the "Complete Walk"?
  3. Where and when was Shakespeare born? 
  4. Who were Shakespeare' s parents? 
  5. When did he get married? 
  6. When did he move to London to begin his theatrical career?
  7. Where did he die and  where was he buried?
  8. Where does the name "Globe" come from?
  9. Was the Church happy with theatre performances? What did the Church call the theatre?
  10. What was the name of Shakespeare' s acting company?
  11.  Describe briefly the structure of the Globe.
  12. Where there any actresses in the Elisabethan theatre?
Some resources

Shakespeare invented a lot of words and expressions that are still used today all around the world! Here you can find some of the most famous Shakespeare' s quotes:

Would you like to perform any Shakespeare' s play in your school? Below you can find some free scripts, adapted and revised, for students. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The London International Mime Festival: an idea for a lesson about miming and non-verbal language

The London International Mime Festival  is taking place from Saturday 9 January to Saturday 6 February 2016. It  is an annual theatre event in London and it features live art, new circus, clown and physical theatre at various London venues. It was established in 1977 by Joseph Seelig and Nola Rae.

Click on my Blendspace lesson below to get more information.

An example of a Mime Performance at the Festival

Mime stimulates imagination, physical control and self confidence, moreover non-verbal language is doubtless a very important part of the communication (most of all for non-native speakers who use it while speaking a foreign language to be better understood!). For these reasons I prepared a lesson for esl students about miming and non-verbal language,  using some sources from the Web.

What does "mime" mean?

Some Esl Miming Games!

Miming Games Worksheets

Let's have fun with mime vocabulary and theatre audience etiquette with flashcards, quizzes, tests and games!

Can you guess what they are miming?

What is non-verbal communication?

Cultural differences in non-verbal communication
As an Italian, I can say that non-verbal communication is very important in my language!

(slides from  my presentation "Differences between Italians and British")

Watch the following videos

Now describe some gestures or body movements that are typical of your own culture.