Friday, February 27, 2015

Peek of the week 10 - great videos and channels on YouTube

Peek of the week 10 focuses on channels and inspirational videos on YouTube. What they have in common? They are informative, often funny and graphically appealing and, not to forget, they are in English. Here are some of my favorites..

Apart from English, I also teach History and I really like Epic Rap Battles . Important historical figures pop up with fun lyrics, but still with facts woven in..
Here is 
Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr:

Crash Course has illustrative videos with a tiny humoristic twist. Subjects to be found are History, Chemistry, Biology, Literature among others...

How and Why We Read:

It's Okay to be smart has informative videos and this is a current favorite of mine:

Amy Poehler's Smart Girls has some videos where smart girls take a dominant seat - love it! Here is Girls of the World and Hannah from Northern Ireland:

Other good channels to recommend are:

CGP Grey (witty informative videos) 
SoulPancake (Kid President is found here, reflective videos about life...)
Teaching Tolerance

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Homework year 7 - the UK - words

Homework for week 10 (Tuesday for 7A, Thursday for 7B) - learn the words from English/Swedish and Swedish/English:


Also, here are some good videos about life, culture and school in Britain:

Schools in Britain:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Peek of the week 9 - Kid President

Peek of the week number 9 takes a peek at the phenomenon that is "Kid President". 

Robby Novak, age 11, is an American kid who plays the role of "Kid President" in videos produced by SoulPancake - you can find many of them on his channel on Youtube. He has an inspiring approach to school, students, teachers and life - all with humor and good intent. Listen and let Kid President boost your mood! 

A pep talk for teachers and students:

Kid President has a dream!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Week 9 we will start working with the UK in year 7. I will explain in more detail in class what we are going to work with during the four weeks, but for now here you have a little teaser of what is coming...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Different stories - music project, year 9

On Tuesday week 8 we start with a new thematic project called Different stories. It is about music and listening/analyzing lyrics and also choosing a favorite song and describing why it means much to you. I will explain more when we meet up on Tuesday. Below you have some instructions.

Different stories - here you have the material you need

Friday, February 13, 2015

Peek of the week 8 - the Serenity Prayer

Not being very religious I first questioned whether I should include the Serenity Prayer here, but as it is a good lesson for life, and also beneficial to include in one's general knowledge, here it comes.....The Serenity Prayer (short version featured here) is this week's "peek".

I guess I was a teenager when I first heard it. In a movie that I do not remember the name of, and recited by an actor that I cannot visualize right now. It was a he though, and the man's voice was steady and burly as he, with conviction, uttered "God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference." As that teenager I was mesmerized by the prayer and thought it was truth in just a couple of lines. Now, that I am much older and wiser (could be questioned!!!) I can also honestly say that the prayer contains a lot of truth... I mean we all encounter people, situations and happenings that are difficult to just behold and accept. Catastrophes happen; tsunamis, genocides, earthquakes, freak accidents and hopelessness enters into the equation and we try try to make the best of it. Accepting that things happen and cannot usually be altered through my hands, but still holding on to the courage needed for when things are possible to change, is an important life lesson. Eventually I also believe that the wisdom of distinguishing between the two deepens as we get older. At times, I want to believe that my wisdom is finely tuned into distinguishing that difference and making it clear to myself when the action is needed - a much needed capability to accompany me in the classroom!

The Serenity Prayer is said to have been written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It is to be found in several different versions and by different authors, but with the same message. It is simple, beautiful and we can all learn from it. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Peek of the week 7 - the Haka

This week's "peek" takes a look at the "haka". The Haka is a traditional type of Maori war dance performed at various ceremonial get-togethers in New Zealand. From the beginning, the tribes made use of them as moral-boosting chants before going to battle. 

During the last decades it has popped up in other contexts and today the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks, has become famous for performing a traditional Haka at the beginning of their games. Quite intimidating for the opposing team, I guess... 

The lyrics to a traditional haka you can find below the video...

(Lyrics source: BBC )

Ringa pakia
(Slap the hands against the thighs)
Uma tiraha
(Puff out the chest)
Turi whatia
(Bend the knees)
Hope whai ake
(Let the hip follow)
Waewae takahia kia kino
(Stamp the feet as hard as you can)
Ka mate! Ka mate!
(It is death!, It is death!) 
Ka ora! Ka ora!
(It is life!, It is life!) 
Ka mate! Ka mate!
(It is death! It is death!) 
Ka ora! Ka ora!
(It is life! It is life!) 
Tenei Te Tangata Puhuru huru
(This is the hairy man) 
Nana nei tiki mai 
(Who fetched the sun) 
Whakawhiti te ra
(And caused to shine again) 
A upa ne ka up ane
(One upward step, another upward step) 
Upane, Kaupane
(An upward step) 
Whiti te ra
(The sun shines!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Desert Island, year 8

Week 8 is the start of Desert Island, a thematic project in year 8. On Monday week 8 I will introduce the theme to you but I also want you to have a look at the video below to make sure that when you show up for class you already know what we are going to do. 

Following are some links to pages that might come in handy during your writing and work with Desert Island. 

Cast Away trailer (from 2008 - starring Tom Hanks):

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Short films - questions

On Monday we will start watching three short films together in class. After watching them you will get to answer a few questions and discuss the content of the films in smaller groups. The form above contains the questions and I will open the form just before the lesson.