The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 230,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 10 days for that many people to see it.
This is a fun Christmas trivia quiz for the last day of term. Bring prizes for the winning team.
Split the class into small groups and get them to come up with a festive team name. There are two rounds, the first is the picture round. Show the pictures in the picture round handout, students have to name the items they see.
The second round is the trivia round. Read out the questions below one at a time, students write their answers on a piece of paper. You can download the list of questions here. Christmas Trivia Quiz
What are the names of these dates? 24th + 25th, 31st of December, 1st of January. Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year’s eve, New year’s day.
What do people traditionally do under the mistletoe plant? Kiss
Where do children hang their stockings on Christmas Eve? Next to the fireplace.
Which English author wrote the book ‘A Christmas Carol’? Charles Dickens
In Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, how many ghosts visited Ebeneezer Scrooge? Extra points for their names. 4 Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Xmas past, present and yet to come.
Name 2 of Father Christmas’ reindeer apart from Rudolph. Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Alternative question: Which of these names is NOT one of Father Christmas’ Reindeer? Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Chaser, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen
The character Jack Skellington appears in which 1993 Tim Burton film? The Nightmare before Christmas
What are the names of the three wise men said to have brought gifts to the baby Jesus? Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar (or Gaspar – Interestingly the Bible does not states state their names, nor even the number of wise men: “…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem… and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh…” from Matthew 2:1 and 2:11. Thanks A Russell.)
What is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland? Christenmouse, Hogmanay, pigmany
In which modern country is St Nicholas’s birthplace and hometown? Turkey (St Nicholas, bishop ‘Nikolaos of Myra’, 270-343AD, was born a Greek, i.e., of Greek parents in Patara, Lycia. He lived in and was bishop of Myra, Lycia. Patara and nearby Myra, in Lycia, or fully Lycia et Pamphylia, were then technically provincial territory of the Roman Empire with no specific country name. Patara became ruins centuries ago. Where the ancient town of Myra stood, now stands the Turkish town/district of Demre, Antalya Province, Turkey)
From which country does the poinsettia plant originate? Mexico
How many points does a snowflake have? Six
What is the name of the cake traditionally eaten in Italy at Christmas? Panettone
Which country does the tradition of Christmas trees come from? Germany
What do people in England do at 3pm on Christmas day? Listen to the Queen’s speech.
Name 3/5 traditional English Xmas dinner ingredients. Turkey, potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, parsnip, broccoli, cauliflower, sausages with bacon.
What 3 things do children leave next to the chimney for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve? A drink, some food, carrots for the reindeer.
A quick post of different ways to say “for example” that I found at https://www.englishforums.com/English/AnotherWayToSayForExample/znhzk/post.htm
“This can be seen when…”
“… is one example of …”
“…as illustrated by…”
“…as seen in …”
“…which is made apparent when…”
this is illustrated…
As an example
e.g.(meaning “exempli gratia”)
“by way of illustration”,
“as a case in point”,
“an example being…”
This is a sheet of phrases for the CAE/CPE speaking part 1. In speaking part 1 you are required to answer some questions about yourself. These questions could be about a number of subjects. On the sheet there are nice phrases to use divided by category. Put students in pairs to go over the vocabulary, encourage them to choose their favourite expressions and then test each other on them. Tell students to come up with 1 question related to each category and ask them to their partner, then switch partners and repeat.
This is a lesson plan to practice the 3rd conditional using clips from the film Jurassic Park. There are two different activities, one for FCE level and one for CAE/CPE.
Use the Jurassic Park powerpoint to introduce the characters from the film and the formula for the 3rd conditional and then show the t-rex attack video:
Then students come up with as many 3rd conditional sentences as they can.
If Ian hadn’t run to the toilet, the t-rex wouldn’t have eaten Gennaro.
If the kids hadn’t been so stupid, the t-rex would have left them alone.
If Alan hadn’t distracted the t-rex, it would have eaten the kids.
You can also repeat the exercise with Dennis Nedry’s death scene:
The video can also be used to practice the more advanced conditionals needed for the CAE and CPE exams. Use my prezi on advanced conditionals to go over the grammar first. Then introduce the characters and story with the powerpoint from the link above.
Use the video to practice conditionals with noun phrases:
If it hadn’t been for Alan’s bravery, the t-rex would have eaten the kids.
But for Ian’s stupidity, Gennaro wouldn’t have been eaten.
Or inverted conditionals:
Had the kids not attracted the t-rex’s attention, it might have left them alone.
Had it not been for the glass, the t-rex would have eaten the kids.
I recommend giving students the noun phrases you want them to use before watching, then let them watch the video. Afterwards, they make the sentences together in pairs.
Alan Grant’s bravery
the kid’s stupidity
Ian Malcolm’s stupidity
Again, if you have time or if you want to recap at the end of the class or the beginning of the next lesson, show the Nedry video.
Composition: Review/letter of complaint about a trip to Jurassic Park. It would be a good way to practice formal phrases for complaining but in a funny context.
This is a lesson plan for higher levels (C1+) based around Shawn Achor’s TED talk “The happy secret to better work” about ways to apply positive psychology in our day to day lives.
Shawn speaks very quickly, so some students may have trouble keeping up. I suggest setting the video as homework and giving students the link to the transcript as well (you can find it on the TED website); in this way they can watch and rewatch to ensure they understand it fully.
Before watching give out the handout and read through the vocabulary and comprehension questions.
Boarding school – school where the students live on campus
Bunk bed – two single beds one above the other
Tailor st towards sb – to make something specifically to fit somebody
Glean information – to gather/collect
To be at the vanguard of something – to be leading st (This laboratory is at the vanguard of cancer research)
Advil – a painkilling drug
What happens in the anecdote Shawn tells at the start of the talk? His sister falls off the bed and he uses positive psychology to stop her from crying and waking up their parents.
Why does he tell the anecdote? To introduce the topic of positive psychology
What is the purpose of the graph he shows? To introduce the idea of “the cult of the average” and his cynicism about modern psychological studies.
What example of “the cult of the average” does he give? The speed at which children learn to read.
What effect does watching the news have on Shawn’s brain? It changes his perspective of the ratio between positive and negative things.
What is “medical school syndrome”? When medical students start studying symptoms of different disease, they start to think they have them all.
What do Shawn’s friends assume about Harvard students? That they will all be happy just because they go to Harvard
What does Shawn think of the boarding school’s “wellness week”? That it is actually a “sickness week” because it focuses too much on negative things
What problems with the way happiness and success are related in society does Shawn highlight? That happiness is always on the other side of success
How can we rewire our brains to be more positive? Through techniques such as: documenting our gratitude for 3 things a day, by journaling a positive experience every day, doing more exercise, meditating, and random or conscious act of kindness.
Which of these activities do you do?
Which of these activities would you consider doing?
Do you keep a diary/journal? Did you use to when you were younger?
What is the message of the video?
In which fields do you think this theory would be helpful?
How could they be implemented?
Tell the class a similar anecdote about your childhood to the one Shawn tells at the start of the video.