Guy Fawkes Night / Bonfire Night

On November 5th, “Guy Fawkes night”, also called “Bonfire Night” is celebrated across the UK. Would you like to know what it is? Watch this video to learn about the origins of the celebration.

ASSIGNMENT (1BC-1E): Remember you have to go to Edmodo. Watch the video about Bonfire Night that you will find there, and answer the questions to it. You need to answer the questions by Sunday 6th November.

EXTRA RESOURCES:

There is a poem traditionally used on Guy Fawkes day, which appears in the film V for Vendetta. You may watch it below (click CC the second time you watch for subtitles):

Kids may carry a “guy” around (a dummy they’ve made), asking passers-by for money, saying “penny for the guy?”. You may see it if you watch this clip from a British TV show:

People in the UK get together to see the bonfires burn. There are fireworks, and they may light sparklers. They eat, among other things, bangers (=sausages). You may see all of this quickly in this supermarket ad (click CC the second time you watch for subtitles):

 Last year, we even had our very own Guy Fawkes at school:

CLIL History and gamification

If you’re teaching History in English, you might find these two games useful at some point in your lessons, maybe as a revision, or to help your students remember essential information in an entertaining way:

Guess Who (English heritage version)

An adaptation of well-known game Guess Who. I came across this game some months ago, and then I discovered some CLIL History teachers in Aragón were already building their own for their classes. Ideal to be played in pairs or small teams, it promotes communication by having students ask questions to their opponents to guess the king / queen / historical character.

If you /your students make up your own game trays, you will be able to choose the characters you want to play with, and you will be able to re-use it in the future with different ones.

Brain Box Kings and Queens of England:

I found this game this summer in one of the oldest and better-known toy shops in London. This game relies on the player’s ability to memorise data, using both linguistic and visual prompts. Then students have to ask one another questions to see how much information they’re able to remember.

IMG_7751

 

IMG_7753

IMG_7754

IMG_7752

Again, you may create your own cards, instead of buying this, in order to deal with the characters and historical periods you’re really interested in.

International Women´s Day (March 8th)- some classroom resources

In 1977, the UN established March 8th as “International Women’s Day” (why March 8th?). It may be a good excuse to deal with issues of gender relations and gender equality, as well as the role of women along history, in the classroom. Here are some resources you might like to use:

SUFFRAGETTES: 

One of the origins of the celebration is women’s fight for suffrage in Europe. This has been depicted in popular culture lately: extensively in the film Suffragette (2015), and as a subplot in a special episode of the BBC show Sherlock (“The Abominable Bride”, 2015):

  • Sufffragette (B1- B2)

(subtitled trailer in http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/suffragette.html)

  • Sherlock – “The Abominable Bride” (B2-C1)

A rather peculiar (and perhaps ideologically objectionable) depiction of a suffragette appears in Mary Poppins (1964), in the character of Mrs. Banks. (Maybe it’s time to deconstruct a children’s film):

UNICEF VIDEOS: 

You may use this video about Fatna, a girl in eastern Chad, and her struggle to be able to go to school (A2):

(subtitled in English here: http://watchinenglish.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/educating-fatna-unicef-tv.html)

UNICEF Youtube channel

EMPOWERING WOMEN: 

Different campaigns apparently aim at showing more empowered women roles, from Disney to sanitary towels brands, probably in order to suit their own marketing needs:

  • Disney- “I am a princess” (A2)

(subtitled in Spanish in Youtube- to watch with subtitles in English, click here)

It’s very classroom-friendly: use of comparatives, superlatives; lots of vocabulary related to relationships, personality adjectives…

  • Always- “Run like a girl” (A2-B1) (H/T Miriam A.)

(subtitles in English available on Youtube)

SONGS:

  • Beyoncé- If I Were a Boy (A2-B1)

(With the song, you also get to practise type 2 conditional clauses, obviously)

EMMA WATSON-  He for She campaign

The British actress Emma Watson, best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. In September 2014, she gave a speech at the UN about gender inequality and how to fight it.

Transcript

Since then, she has been actively involved in the He for She campaign. You may watch an interview with her, along with some comprehension exercises on the British council Learn English teens website

WOMEN IN COMPUTING: 

Read towards the end of this blog entry to find out about Ada Lovelace (Lord Byron’s daughter) and Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr’s contribution to early computing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bletchley Park

Una de mis visitas de este verano fue a Bletchley Park, lugar que conocí a través de la película The Imitation Game (Descifrando Enigma) (ver entrada de este blog sobre la película). Bletchley Park está a un minuto de la estación de tren de Bletchley, unos 45 mins. en tren desde la estación de Euston (Londres). Durante la segunda guerra mundial, esta finca fue la sede del Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), dependiente del Servicio de Inteligencia Británico, y desde allí algunas de las mentes matemáticas más brillantes del Reino Unido intentaban descifrar los códigos secretos alemanes, para conocer con antelación sus estrategias militares. En Bletchley Park trabajó Alan Touring, considerado hoy en día uno de los fundadores de la informática contemporánea.

photo 2(3)

Hoy en día, toda la finca ha sido recuperada como patrimonio histórico, y es una atracción turística, cuyo impacto se ha visto aumentado últimamente por el estreno de The Imitation Game. En la visita se combinan el interés histórico, por una parte, con el tecnológico, por otra: hay multitud de objetos, carteles de propaganda, periódicos…conservados de la época expuestos, así como amplias explicaciones del devenir de la guerra, y la función de Bletchley Park en cada momento. Igualmente, se pueden ver tanto originales como recreaciones de las máquinas Enigma, con las que los alemanes encriptaban sus mensajes, y de las Touring machines, con las que desde Bletchley se iban descifrando dichos mensajes.

Carteles de propaganda del Gobierno Británico durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Objetos y partes de Bletchley Park conservados como en 1940-1945:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Máquina Enigma:

IMG_2428

Máquina diseñada por Alan Touring para descifrar los mensajes alemanes:

Apuntes de agentes británicos que aprendían japonés en pocos meses:

IMG_2433

La visita es muy recomendable para profesores de historia, tecnología, anglófilos en general…Puedes pasar todo el día allí, y no se hace pesado. A ciertas horas hay visitas guiadas gratuitas.

En el momento de mi visita había una exposición temporal sobre los riesgos de internet, y cómo podemos proteger mejor nuestros datos, y otra sobre el vestuario y los decorados utilizados en el rodaje de The Imitation Game.

vlcsnap-2015-09-04-10h11m07s204

IMG_2413

Más sobre Bletchley Park:

 

Keep Calm and Carry On?

Some years ago, the WWII propaganda poster “Keep calm and carry on” was discovered (watch this video for the story behind the poster). Apparently, it never saw the light of day, until 2001. Since then, parodies, tributes and cultural appropriations have spread ad nauseam, both in the UK and worldwide, as some would argue (read this BBC article).

On a different note, this summer, I could not help but stumble upon Minion-related stuff every minute, wherever I went, even back in Spain. So, imagine my reaction when I came across this:

FullSizeRender

Christmas in Britain- Sainsbury’s ad / remembering the Great War

Durante todo el año 2014 se van a realizar en Reino Unido una serie de actos con motivo del centenario del comienzo de la primera guerra mundial. Entre esos actos, cabe destacar la “alfombra” de amapolas rojas (poppies) que han cubierto los jardines de la Torre de Londres (una amapola de cerámica por cada fallecido británico o de la Commonwealth en la guerra).

1412296557089_wps_22_Tower_of_London_Poppies_f

Junto a este y otros eventos, los medios de comunicación y la publicidad también se están haciendo eco de este centenario. La cadena de supermercados Sainsbury’s, por ejemplo, ha dedicado su campaña de Navidad a la tregua de la Navidad de 1914 entre británicos y alemanes.

(si lo veis en youtube podréis activar subtítulos en inglés en el vídeo)

Sin embargo, este anuncio ha recibido muchas críticas, alegando que la guerra es un asunto demasiado triste y serio como para ser usado con fines comerciales.

Para los profesores de historia en inglés, quizá si tenéis que hablar de la primera guerra mundial, alguno de estos enlaces o vídeos os puedan servir de recurso. También pueden servir para trabajar en clase de inglés como tema de debate, ¿hasta qué punto se puede usar la historia (trágica) para una campaña de publicidad? ¿Qué tratamiento se le ha dado al tema?