Conversation Starters / Writing Prompts

9 Sep

I found this great resource for conversation starters or prompts on the Internet TESL Journal. I think they are great prompts for all students.

Poetry Generator

27 Aug
Image source: https://www.theelephant.info/culture/2019/07/04/poetry-is-dying-and-poets-are-an-endangered-species/

Grade 4 students at the American School of Lusaka are doing a unit on poetry. Here are two nice websites, poetry generators, that I discovered. They are fun for all ages.

Poetry Games (LINK)

Poetry Generator (LINK)

The Things They Carried (Vietnam War)

23 Aug

A brief introduction or overview of the Vietnam War.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail not only connected North and South Vietnam during a brutal war but also aided Vietnamese soldiers. The trail shaved nearly five months of time off of the trip and was used as a secret weapon of sorts. Cameron Paterson describes the history and usage of the infamous trail. Lesson by Cameron Paterson, animation by Maxwell Sørensen. This is a great video from Ted-Ed.

In Grade 11 IB DP Language (Literature), I am supporting an English language learner as he reads one of my favorite novels, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I created this slideshow to enhance his understanding of the novel and the Vietnam War. I also found the novel translated into Spanish, his native-language. The teacher liked the slideshow, a work in progress, and shared it with all of his students. :>)

First Day of School Rules

8 Aug

Have a good year! Haha…

What is GPS? Mapping and Google Maps (Video)

7 Aug

This cool video from Bloomberg was recently shared with me. It details how GPS went from being a war machine to a tool we reply on every day. Enjoy!

TOP 10 Strategies to Support ELs

1 Jul

This is a nice visual from educator Cindy Garcia (@CindyGarciaTX) of some great strategies to support English learners (ELs).

Hola from Mexico!

23 Jun

Greetings from Mexico City! It has been a while since I last posted on my blog. The end of the school year kept me quite busy. School ended a little over a week ago. Our family spent five days in New York State with my family and we arrived in Mexico City last night to spend two weeks with my wife’s family. I have missed some “Ted-Ed Tuesday” posts so I am going to make up for them here. Since I am in Mexico, I will share two Mexico-related videos, one from Ted-Ed on Frida Kahlo, an artist I really admire, and the another video from The British Museum on the Day of the Dead celebration and festivals in Mexico. Both are excellent!

Video by Ted-Ed

From Ted-Ed: Learn about the life and art of Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, who explored disability, relationships and Mexican culture in her work. In 1925, Frida Kahlo was on her way home from school in Mexico City when the bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. She suffered near-fatal injuries and her disability became a major theme in her paintings. Over the course of her life, she would establish herself as the creator and muse behind extraordinary pieces of art.

Video from The British Museum (2015)

From the British Museum: In 2015 the British Museum celebrated the Days of the Dead in a four-day festival full of color, music, storytelling and art. This beautiful documentary introduces the history and evolution of the Mexican Day of the Dead, from its pagan beginnings to the multi-faceted ceremony it is today.

Ted-Ed Tuesday: Let’s make history…by recording it

4 Jun

What if Anne Frank hadn’t kept a diary? What if no one could listen to Martin Luther King’s Mountaintop speech? What if the camera hadn’t been rolling during the first moon landing? Actively listening to the voices of the past and the people who matter to us is important, and StoryCorps wants you to lend your voice to history, too. Here’s how. Click the link to learn more about this really interesting Ted-Ed video that makes me connections to the work of National Geographic and Out of Eden Walk journalist, Paul Salopek. His walk is about practicing slow journalism and talking to people he meets every day on the trail and hearing their story.

If you could ask any person from the present or past to tell you their story, who would it be? What three questions would you ask them to get the conversation started?

If you could ask any person from the present or past to tell you their story, who would it be? What three questions would you ask them to get the conversation started?

Africa is not a country

3 Jun

Africa is a continent with 54 different countries. The largest black continent in the world and homes to more than 1 billion people, hence one in seven of any human on earth is an Africa.

Africa Map.png

Ted-Ed Tuesday: How Many Verb Tenses Are There In English? / The History Of Chocolate

28 May

How many different verb tenses are there in a language like English? At first, the answer seems obvious — there’s past, present, and future. But it isn’t quite that simple. Anna Ananichuk explains how something called grammatical aspect, each of those time periods actually divides further. LINK to Ted-Ed

Think about/Discuss:

Do you think the way we speak about time in our mother-tongue influences the way we experience time? Why or why not?

If you can’t imagine life without chocolate, you’re lucky you weren’t born before the 16th century. Until then, chocolate only existed as a bitter, foamy drink in Mesoamerica. So how did we get from a bitter beverage to the chocolate bars of today? Deanna Pucciarelli traces the fascinating and often cruel history of chocolate. LINK to Ted-Ed.

Think about/Discuss:

Chocolate is made into cakes, cookies, candy and ice creams. What are the chemical properties of chocolate that enable the product to be transformed into so many other items?

 

Image

Dog Humor – Happy Friday!

24 May

Dog Humor

Ready, Set, Wonderopolis

23 May

Wonderopolis

A colleague shared this really neat website today, Wonderopolis (LINK). According to their website, it’s “a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Each day, we pose an intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day®—and explore it in a variety of ways.” Go to the website and see some the many, many wonders that are being explored. Vote on your favorite wonders too! I certainly plan to try this in my own class. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 1.00.15 PMScreen Shot 2019-05-23 at 1.00.40 PM

News You Can Use – CNN 10 and “What’s Going On In This Picture?”

22 May

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CNN10 is a great website that offers 10-minute news updates. It is very student-friendly. According to their website, the “show’s priority is to identify stories of international significance and then clearly describe why they’re making news, who is affected, and how the events fit into a complex, international society. Viewers will learn from every story on CNN 10.” It replaces CNN Student News. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 9.54.08 PM Image source: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters – What’s going on in this picture?

What’s Going On In This Picture?” is a great site on The New York Times Learning Network. It shares an intriguing or interesting photo with no caption. Viewers are invited to create a caption after doing a See, Think, and Wonder and responding to some questions. The photo is posted on Monday and students have three days to respond to the photos in a reply box, before the newspaper shares the caption on Thursday. 

The History of Dogs / Why Do We Itch #Ted-EdTuesday

21 May

I have rediscovered how awesome Ted-Ed videos are and I have decided to share one or two each week on Tuesday (hence my hashtag). Check out the Ted-Ed website (LINK) to see more cool videos. Most videos average about 4 – 5 minutes in length, and you could watch them in the car on the way to school. Learn something new, hear some fun facts, and enjoy. 

Since their emergence over 200,000 years ago, modern humans have established communities all over the planet. But they didn’t do it alone. Whatever corner of the globe you find humans in today, you’re likely to find another species as well: dogs. So how did one of our oldest rivals, the wolf, evolve into man’s best friend? Learn about humanity’s first domesticated animal.

The average person experiences dozens of individual itches each day. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of an inconvenient itch — but have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place? Is there actually an evolutionary purpose to the itch, or is it simply there to annoy us? Emma Bryce digs deep into the skin to find out.

BTS Performs ‘Boy With Luv’

16 May

This reminds me of my former Korean students at AISC who loved BTS (Well, not all of them!). We had lots of fun last year talking about K-Pop, and I learned more about this band. BTS performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night.

The Onion also featured a funny picture about a new member joining the band. Haha! :>) :>) :>)

Korean Pop Group BTS Shakes Up Lineup By Adding Really Old Guy

 

Save the Homo Sapiens? Hmmm…Let me think about it.

13 May

Jimmy Kimmel Asks People If Homo Sapiens Should Be Saved, And The Answers Show The Level Of Stupidity. Click HERE to see read this article and some of the excerpts from these people. Funny…well, not so funny.

s-l300

Planet of the Apes

Fire Burns Notre Dame Cathedral

16 Apr

Notre Dame

I was very sad to read the news and watch the videos of the fire at Notre Dame. I feel very fortunate to have visited Notre Dame in January 2018.  It is not just a French treasure. It is an international treasure. These short videos feature some interesting facts about its history. 

An 800-year history of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral (National Geographic)

Pictures of Notre-Dame Before the Fire: A Cathedral That Defined a City (New York Times)

Let’s Explore Zambia

1 Apr

This is a video I recently saw on social media. It was shared by a friend. It highlights the amazing beauty of the country I now call home. Enjoy. 

India’s Holiest City Reincarnates Itself (Out of Eden Walk)

26 Mar

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Photo by Rob Martin (March 2018)

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Photo by Rob Martin (March 2018)

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Photo by Rob Martin (March 2018)

V4

Photo by Rob Martin (March 2018)

An excerpt from the latest Out of Eden story. Click HERE to read the article and to see the photos. Paul’s story made me think about my own trip to Varanasi last spring, one of my final trips in India. I was a bit nervous about going and thought it might be overwhelming. I am so glad I went. It is such a historic city, full of life and death I would regret it if I had not gone, especially in light of the changes going on there now. Floating on the Ganges River as the sun rose was an image and feeling I will never forget. These are some of my photos that I took on that trip.  

“India’s holiest city, the Jerusalem of Hinduism, was clouded in dust—in powdered brick, in powdered mortar. A worker army pummeled the walls of the Lahori Tula neighborhood with sledgehammers and crowbars, leveling its twisted maze of alleys and lopsided buildings. One of the city’s most timeworn districts lay bombed out amid heaps of rubble. At night, spectral trains of mules and horses saddled with baskets carted away ton after ton of debris.” 

– Paul Salopek, Out of Eden Walk 

Girl Rising (Poverty Unit)

26 Mar

Senna’s family struggles to survive in a bleak Peruvian mining town. Her father has dreams for her and insists she go to school. There, she discovers the transformative power of poetry. Her passion and talent seem to ensure she’ll have a better future, and be the success her father dreamed she’d be. Peruvian writer, Marie Arana, shares her experiences with Girl Rising and what it was like getting to know Senna and the community of La Rinconada.

In grade 10 Individuals and Societies (Social Studies/History), students are learning about poverty and the causes of it. The Girl Rising channel on Youtube features excellent videos from around the world. You can find them HERE

 

What is Poverty?

21 Mar

 

Directions: Watch the video. Think about it and discuss:

  • What is poverty?

  • What causes poverty?

  • How can we reduce poverty?

Connecting Our Own Lives to the Past

4 Mar

BoxerRAGE

Image by BoxerRage

Cat1212

Image by Cat1212

chickychickydog

Image by chickychickydog

Gumball_machine

Image by Gumball_machine

Salah

Image by Salah

Out of Eden Learn, Learning Journey 2 – Connecting Our Own Lives to the Past

  • BRAINSTORM. Make a list of the ways in which you think our human past or history is connected to who you are and the life you are living or expect to live. You can include events, individuals or groups of people, trends, developments, places that you’ve visited or lived, and/or themes that extend over a few or many years. You do not need to turn in this list.

  • DIAGRAM. Now use this list to help you to draw a diagram or picture to explain how our human past or history is connected to who you are and the life you are living or expect to live. Organize your diagram in any way you want. If you like, you can use lines or arrows to show connections or influences among the different parts of your diagram. You can draw your diagram by hand and then photograph or scan it, or you can draw the diagram electronically in any application you like. Remember not to include your real name in the diagram.

One Year in India (Out of Eden Walk)

27 Feb

OOEL India

This image was shared on Out of Eden Walk’s Facebook page today. 

India: A Culture of Selfies (Milestone 62)

31 Jan

selfie2013

Ellora Caves, India (2013) – selfie

Out of Eden Walk:

“India is a culture of selfies. The men mugged for the camera. My filming only drew more. Until I started filming their feet. This act crossed some unknown boundary of delicacy. The crowd did not like their feet filmed. It made them anxious. And in this way, one by one, the onlookers drifted away.” Click on this LINK to see photos, video and an interview by Paul Salopek for Milestone 62 in India. 

Teaching about Refugees

31 Jan

radionz

Image Source: Radio NZ

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Image Source: UNHCR

With forced displacement reaching historic levels, schools all over the world are welcoming increasing numbers of refugee children. Teachers are facing new challenges in making sense of forced displacement and its complexities. With refugees and migrants regularly making headlines in the media and the internet bustling with information on the topic, explaining the situation of refugees and migrants to primary and secondary school children has become part of many educators’ daily work.

In this UNHCR Teachers’ Toolkit, you can find free-of-charge and adaptable UNHCR teaching materials on refugees, asylum, migration, and statelessness, and a section dedicated to professional development and guidance for primary and secondary school teachers on including refugee children in their classes.

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