2019 in Pictures

12 Dec

What do you think were the most memorable moments of the year? If you were to make a “Year in Pictures” of your own life, which moments would you include? The New York Times has selected the best photos from 2019 (LINK). A great activity for students could be having them choose 12 photos that represent their year. They could make a slideshow using Google Slides and write a short caption for each photo. The New York Times Learning Network featured this activity (Picture Prompts). I believe it would be an engaging one for all students. I am going to do this activity with my English language learners.

Yakawlang, Afghanistan, May 19
 Students walked home over the mountains from Rustam school, seen behind them. Ninety percent of the school’s graduates get into college. Most are girls. Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times

Time Magazine Person of the Year – Greta Thunberg (2019)

12 Dec

Greta Thunberg, the teen activist from Sweden who has urged immediate action to address a global climate crisis, was named Time magazine’s person of the year for 2019 this week. She is the youngest to receive this award. Thunberg, 16, was lauded by Time for starting an environmental campaign in August 2018 which became a global movement, initially skipping school and camping out in front of the Swedish parliament to demand action.

“In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the UN, met with the pope, sparred with the president of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history,” the magazine said. Click HERE to read the article in Time magazine.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg photographed on the shore in Lisbon, Portugal December 4, 2019Photograph by Evgenia Arbugaeva for TIME

Vox Atlas: Why Iraq’s Great Rivers are Dying

27 Nov

Iraq gets almost all of its water from two rivers: The Tigris and the Euphrates. Both begin in Turkey and make their way down the entire length of the country, before emptying into the Persian Gulf. The problem is – they are drying up. Watch this excellent video from Vox Atlas to learn more about why the history of the great rivers in this region and the problems that their citizens are currently facing as their rivers dry up.

Vox Atlas: China’s Belt and Road Initiative

27 Nov

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern history. It spans over 60 countries and will cost over a trillion dollars. The plan is to make it easier for the world to trade with China, by funding roads, railways, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. China is loaning trillions of dollars to any country that’s willing to participate and it’s been a big hit with the less democratic countries in the region. This makes the BRI a risky plan as well. But China is pushing forward because its goals are not strictly economic, they’re also geopolitical. This video is a fascinating one and a nice connection to lessons related to trade and globalization.

What is Movember?

20 Nov

“Men’s health is in crisis. Men are dying on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons. Unchecked, prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. And across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides.” – Movember

A group teachers, administrators, and parents at the American International School of Lusaka (Zambia) are growing moustaches and raising money and awareness for men’s health issues. Please see my profile page and story on this LINK. I am seeking support this month and have nine days left to raise money for our fundraiser. Our team, the Lusaka League of Extraordinary Moustaches appreciates your support. Check out these links to learn more about Movember.

Movember Instagram

Movember website

Movember Facebook

Vox Borders Series – Check it out!

18 Nov

Governments draw borders. Governments manage borders. But humans live inside them. From the North Pole to the northern shore of Africa to the Himalayas of Nepal, the lines we’ve used to apportion the planet play a decisive role in the past, present, and future of billions.” – Vox Borders series.

A friend and former colleagued shared a video by Johnny Harris, who is the creator for Vox Borders. I was not familiar with his work or this video series on the human impact of lines on a map. It’s terrific!!! Migration, maps, and borders are topics I am very passionate about, and I think that you will like these videos and photos. I have selected a few to show you here. I will share more on my website.

Johnny Harris – Instagram & Facebook

Vox Borders Series – FacebookYoutube ChannelWebsite

Taking Neighborhood Walks

17 Nov
Image source: GuommyBear@23
Image source: GuommyBear@23
Image source: Rob Martin
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Image source: Bumble_Bee_1420
Image source: m_n_m71
Image source: Swedish-IKEA12
Image source: @purple_enderman
Image source: A_Random_Person
Image source: NoobM@ster69
Image source: SunspotLF1
Image source: Rob Martin
Year two for the Out of Eden Walk at the American International School of Lusaka (Zambia) produced some nice photos. Here are some that resonated with me, along with two photos I took. For many students, walking around their neighborhood is not something they are accustomed to. These students are grade 6 students in a Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Alta Conte’s classroom. I provided support and gave students tips on how to take a good photo. I also showed them exemplars from my former students at the American International School Chennai (India). The instructions from Out of Eden Learn for this footstep (activity) are below:
As you walk in your neighborhood or local area, take photos of things that catch your attention. What do you see, feel, hear, taste, or smell? Try to look at the place and the people who live or work there with fresh eyes. Here are some ideas for different kinds of photos you can take:
  • Photos that capture a whole neighborhood scene, and photos that zoom in on a detail you find interesting.
  • Photos where you’re pointing the camera up and photos where you’re pointing the camera towards the ground.
  • Photos of things that are common or familiar in your neighborhood, and photos of things that might be unexpected or surprising.
  • Something special that you’d like to share.

Paul Arrives in Myanmar (Burma)!

13 Nov
Video source: Out of Eden Walk

“Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is inching into the seventh year of a 24,000-mile walk across the globe that is retracing the pathways of our species’ Stone Age journey out of Africa to South America. Along the way, through a steady stream of multi-media reportage, professional media workshops, classroom interactions, and one-on-one mentoring, Paul and our small team of educators are building an enduring community of fellow storytellers of all ages, who will carry on the project’s philosophy of slowing down to tell complex stories of our time by delving beneath the usual shallow headlines, and sharing the human experience with wonder and empathy.”

Support Paul’s journey through a donation. If you enjoyed Out of Eden Learn, continue to follow Paul’s walk across the world. Please see this LINK for how you can support the Out of Eden Walk.

Out of Eden Learn – A New Year!

7 Oct

Jacaranda Trees in Zambia

26 Sep

Here are some photos I took today on our campus at the American International School of Lusaka (Zambia). I love this time of year when the Jacaranda trees are in bloom. According to Wikipedia, these trees are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Latin America and the Caribbean. They have been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal, southern California, Florida, Argentina, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Zambia.

The Bilingual Brain (Ted-Ed Tuesday)

24 Sep

It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? In this Ted-Ed Talk, Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.

In the New York Times last week, The Beauty of Being Bilingual was featured in the opinion section. Natalia Sylvester wrote: “I used to think that being bilingual is what made me a writer, but more and more I see it’s deeper than that. It’s the constant act of interpreting. The journeying back and forth. The discovery that language, and the stories it carries, is not a straight path. Those of us who’ve served as interpreters in everyday life know it’s a bittersweet privilege.” Here is a LINK to the article.

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

cnn10logo3

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.

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