«Οι αξίες του σχολείου» – Manners Matter: Our A Class project, about manners at school, in 1 minute!

Our A Class project has just come to an end! All the activities, the songs, the games, the art, the practice, everything has been summarised in this short video. Lovely! Have a great summer!

Jack Smith, detective story 5th grade comics

My 5th graders are very imaginative. They were inspired by the Jack Smith detective story in our textbook, and they worked in groups to come up with their own comics. I really loved the process, even though they seemed to want more time. They did manage to finish according to schedule, however, which was lovely (apart from 5 students who were not able to cooperate fast or well enough, and so in the end they didn’t produce their own story). Here is a video I made with all their efforts.

Happy Lunar New Year 2019!!!

Today I wanted to talk about the Lunar New Year to my 1st grade students; it’s a great opportunity to get them acquainted with things other than what they already are familiar with. 2019 is the Year of the Pig! I brought a couple of handouts for them, a nice colouring printable and a bookmark to make and use. The nicest part of today’s lesson, though, was the music I brought for them to listen to: The Butterfly Lovers Concerto and Moon Reflected in the Erquan.

Here is more information about the Lunar New Year, for you to use and explain a few things to your students. These are the worksheets I used today, but I’m thinking I could teach animal vocabulary for our next lesson, using the 12 zodiacal signs for the 12 months:

The funny thing about today was that we also cut the vasilopita in our school, for all the students! Happy New Year to all!

«Οι αξίες του σχολείου»: Manners at school

Ένα εξαιρετικό πρόγραμμα αγωγής υγείας ξεκίνησε στο 2ο Δημοτικό Σχολείο Αμαλιάδας, από τις τάξεις Α1 και Α2 και τις υπέροχες δασκάλες τους, Λέττα και Λένα, με θέμα «Οι αξίες του σχολείου». Για τη συμμετοχή μου μέσω του μαθήματος των Αγγλικών αποφάσισα να χρησιμοποιήσω το βιβλίο της Carrie Finn, «Manners at School», μεταφρασμένο στα ελληνικά από τις εκδόσεις Ψυχογιός («Καλοί τρόποι στο σχολείο»). Απευθύνεται με επιτυχία σε παιδιά αυτής ακριβώς της ηλικίας, είναι γραμμένο με λίγα λόγια και λέει αυτό ακριβώς που πρέπει να πει, ενώ συνοδεύεται από μεγάλες εικόνες, που ελκύουν το ενδιαφέρον των παιδιών.

Ως μια πρώτη γνωριμία, ξεφυλλίσαμε το βιβλίο και συζητήσαμε κάθε σελίδα και το θέμα που θίγει. Έπειτα, φτιάξαμε ένα σπιτάκι διπλώνοντας κατάλληλα μια κόλλα Α4 και ζωγραφίσαμε μέσα το σχολείο, όπως θα μας άρεσε να είναι. Γιατί το σχολείο είναι όντως το σπίτι μας.

Getting ready for All Hallows’ Eve

«A soul cake, a soul cake,
Please, good missus, a soul cake,
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
A soul cake, a soul cake,
Please, good missus, a soul cake,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
And three for Him that made us all.
God bless the master of this house
And the mistress also,
And all the little children
That round your table grow,
The cattle in your stable,
The dogs at your front door,
And all that dwell within your gates
We’ll wish you ten times more.
A soul cake, a soul cake:
Go down into the cellar
And see what you can find,
If the barrels are not empty
We’ll hope that you’ll be kind,
We’ll hope that you’ll be kind
With your apple and your pear,
And we’ll come no more a-soulin’
Till Christmas time next year.
A soul cake, a soul cake:
The streets are very dirty,
Me shoes are very thin,
I have a little pocket
To put a penny in,
If you haven’t got a penny
A ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny
God bless you.
A soul cake, a soul cake»


Soul cake recipe can be found here.

The students wanted us to prepare soul cakes in class! Two even volunteered to have their moms bake them for us… Stay tuned!

«Party with Mr. Men and Little Miss»: Our story book!

Have you ever felt that things somehow fall into place, and you suddenly see they are going to work out just fine? Well, it was the case this last week of May. I really felt we were left behind on the project, but in a mysterious way there was finally time for us to complete the process.

First all the students wrote a story (in Greek), for a new character of Mr. Men or Little Miss. Then, they all read it aloud and then they voted for their favourites. We ended up with Ο κύριος Σοβαρός, written by Katerina.

The next time, we put the scenes down and illustrated the story. The Art teacher had helped immensely by asking the students to create a character for Ο κύριος Σοβαρός.

But, we did run out of time, so I created the video myself… And here it is:



«Party with Mr. Men and Little Miss»: Little Miss Contrary and Mr. Cheerful (with a visit from Little Miss Splendid)

The last two Roger Hargreaves books we dealt with in class were Little Miss Contrary and Mr. Cheerful. The students were willing to read the books this time, page by page, and I was very pleased they are feeling comfortable in Greek -it’s an important «step» if they are to be comfortable with English, a year from now. They also paid attention to what was being read, and even added their own «colour» as they read.

They were introduced to opposites like «black – white» and «day – night», and also elements of British culture (with Little Miss Splendid). I explained to them that next time we are going to start working on creating our own «Little Miss» or «Mr. Men» character or book, and they were thrilled! It remains to be seen if we can actually do it, or if it’s too much to ask…

Black Belt Ballet and how one can’t judge people by appearance: An important lesson

Year after year, my 6th graders are usually very hard to deal with. They are beginning to hit puberty, they talk back every chance they get, they rarely want to do their homework, they stay up late wasting their time instead of sleeping, they have fights with each other. This year, they also come from a rural area, and some of them are immigrants who have more than one reasons to feel they «don’t belong», a common teenage feeling.

I recently happened to find out about George Birkadze, an amazing person, ballet dancer (also choreographer, teacher, coach) and martial arts fighter, through this video, called Black Belt Ballet. The idea was very inspiring for me, as it struck me as a «must bring to class» thing, so I designed this little activity for my 6th graders. You can share and use it freely, if you want. It was interesting to see the girls watch in amazement, and some of the boys initially make provocative comments, and then suddenly fall awkwardly silent, then make negative comments about themselves. We can’t judge those kids, we can only work to empower them. I am thinking of taking it further, this «You can’t judge people by their appearance» line is too powerful for me to stop here, so I am thinking of new ways to incorporate the video in my lessons, and perhaps do a whole project.

Happy nameday, George Birkadze!

Birkadze teaching the pre-professional program at Boston Ballet. Photo by Igor Burlak – Source: https://www.georgebirkadze.com