English Class Blog

A blog of English Classes at Crete University Pilot Senior High School

Renaissance Arts & Artists: Leonardo da Vinci – Mona Lisa

Μάι 202010

by Georgia Kourti

One of the most famous pieces of art of all time is Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in about 1503. The painting is not only known for its artistic value, but also for the mystery behind it.
Da Vinci lived in Florence, Italy,  thus Mona Lisa belongs to the Italian Early Renaissance. The fact that Da Vinci also worked as a sculptor, engineer and inventor makes his work more impressing. The technique of the specific painting is really interesting. DaVinci used dark colour in order to create depth and an enigmatic atmosphere. In particular, behind the sitting woman, there is a landscape which demonstrates DaVinci’s competence to give his portraits’ perspective. In addition, due to Mona Lisa’s three-quarter view, it seems that she is turning toward the viewer. Another peculiar detail is that her eyes have neither eyelashes nor eyebrows.
As it has already been mentioned, Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the whole world. Nonetheless, the identity of the depicted woman remains unknown. Several theories have been developed and some of them want Da Vinci to be the person in the portrait. However, the most amazing fact is that the painting was not really recognized until it had been stolen in 1911! It was then that Mona Lisa captured the attention of the public and became a real thrill, especially for her intriguing smile.
As such, Mona Lisa has set the standard for all future portraits and it is studied by artists all over the world. The painting now belongs to the French government and it is exhibited in The Museum of Louvre in Paris.

Reading Club Activity 1: “Crime and Punishment” Reading

Δεκ 201719

Crime and Punishment (Russian: Преступлéние и наказáниеtr. Prestupleniye i nakazaniyeIPA: [prʲɪstʊˈplʲenʲɪje ɪ nəkɐˈzanʲɪje]) is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866.[1] Later, it was published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky’s full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his “mature” period of writing.[2]

Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov, in an attempt to defend his actions, argues that with the pawnbroker’s money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a vermin. He also commits the murder to test a theory of his that dictates some people are naturally capable of such actions, and even have the right to perform them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov compares himself with Napoleon Bonaparte and shares his belief that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.  Read more

Reading Clubs

Δεκ 20173

What is a reading club?

A reading club is a group of people who have agreed to meet at regular intervals (usually once a month) to discuss books which they have all decided to read.

In effect, a reading club is a group of people who get together to read and discuss books, accepting a simple schedule for its operations.

It is an extremely simple, and increasing popular way to cultivate a creative relationship with reading, and a pleasant and constructive means of spending one’s free time.

One can encounter various types of literature or choose a specific subject matter. Below is a list of clubs dealing with mathematical literature which exist in Greece. How can you set up a club dealing with philosophy? Everything depends on the interest shown by its members.


Collaborative learning

Ιούν 201717

Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.). More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles. Put differently, collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. These include both face-to-face conversations and computer discussions (online forums, chat rooms, etc.). Methods for examining collaborative learning processes include conversation analysis and statistical discourse analysis.

Thus, collaborative learning is commonly illustrated when groups of students work together to search for understanding, meaning, or solutions or to create an artifact or product of their learning. Further, collaborative learning redefines traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom which results in controversy over whether this paradigm is more beneficial than harmful. Collaborative learning activities can include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates, study teams, and other activities. The approach is closely related to cooperative learning.

For more information read the following article

Collaborative learning (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

or watch the following video

[teachertube collaborative-learning-186234]





World Poetry Day

Απρ 201418

The following link leads to posts about World Poetry Day which is currently dedicated to Lord Byron, a famous English poet who stood by the Greeks during their revolution against the Ottomans.

World Poetry Day Digital Lesson: http://blnds.co/1ph0ThB

Season’s greetings

Δεκ 201320

Christmas card

Have A Great Time As You Go Back To School!

Σεπ 201323


Have lots of fun at school
and you’ll be sure to do all right,
you’ll make new friends and learn a lot,
your whole year will be bright.

Enjoy Yourself!

Getting the 1st prize at the 5th English on the Spot Festival

Ιούν 20139


Our students’ fantastic performance fascinated the critics in yesterday’s music competition at the 5th English on the Spot Festival. El. Tsourlaki, M. Salvaraki, Ag. Tournaki, Chr. Apostolaki got the 1st prize by singing their own fabulous song entitled “DREAM 4.2/KISS IT BETTER”, in which they used the mash up technique according to which a song or composition can be created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.

Watch the YouTube video of the song: DREAM 4.2/KISS IT BETTER

Read the lyrics: DREAM 4.2/KISS IT BETTER

Celebrating May Day

Μάι 201310

Like Candlemas, Lammas and Halloween, May Day is one of the corner days which fall between the solar festivals of the year (the equinoxes and solstices). The ancient Celts called this holiday Beltane and began celebrating at sunset on April 30th. It marked the beginning of summer, time to move with the flocks up to the summer pastures.

Alexander Carmichael, a 19th century amateur folklorist, describes the annual procession to the summer pastures in language which reminds me of more contemporary summer pleasures, like summre camp, summer vacations, summer cabins:

On the first day of May the people of the crofter townland are up betimes and busy as bees about to swarm. This is the day of migrating, bho baile gu beinn (from townland to moorland), from the winter homestead to the summer sheiling. The summer of their joy is come, the summer of the sheiling, the song, the pipe and the dance, when the people ascend the hill to the clustered bothies, overlooking the distant sea from among the fronded ferns and fragrant heather, where neighbour meets neighbour, and lover meets lover.

Get some more information from The School of the Seasons website.

Easter Day by Oscar Wilde

Απρ 201329

The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
‘Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest.
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.’

Oscar Wilde
Get some information about him

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