Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day is a day dedicated to the celebration of the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas in 1977. It is on May 4th (May the fourth, got the rest?) It is jokingly said: «May the 4th be with you», in reference to the popular catchphrase in Star Wars: «May the Force be with you.» (Others, though, celebrate the Sith Lords and other villainous characters from the Star Wars series rather than the Jedi, on May 6, citing «Revenge of the Sixth» as a play on «Sith»!)

(The phrase «May the 4th be with you» dates back to at least 1979, on the day Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first woman prime minister. Her party took out a newspaper ad in the London Evening News that said «May the Fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations.»)

It all started with the book “Dune” by Frank Herbert. First published in 1965, it is regarded as the main inspiration for Star Wars, an epic space opera written and directed by George Lucas. It premiered in 1977 and became an almost instant cult classic. Even today, almost 40 years later, Star Wars remains one of the most financially successful films of all time (earning over 2.5 billion dollars since the release of the first film).

Star Wars was a real game-changer, beginning a new era of special effect-packed motion pictures. For its time, and considering the limited budget, George Lucas pulled off a massive feat by creating advanced effects and filming impressive space sequences using only small-scale figures and setups.

The world was introduced to the Skywalker-family saga, and beloved characters like Han Solo, Yoda, Chewbacca, and perhaps the darkest villain of all time — Darth Vader.

If you are new to the Star Wars universe, here is the viewing order to watch the movies in:

The original trilogy: “A New Hope” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), and “Return of the Jedi” (1983)

The prequel trilogy: “The Phantom Menace” (1999), “Attack of the Clones” (2002), and “Revenge of the Sith” (2005)

The sequel trilogy: “The Force Awakens” (2015), “The Last Jedi” (2017), and “The Rise of Skywalker”

Many Star Wars events are organized in different parts of the world, ranging from costume contests and Star Wars Day parties to movie marathons with friends, Star Wars trivia games, and even Star Wars themed snacks. Internet photo-meme sensations are spreading fast: first it was the Hadokening trend (a person sticks out their hand or pounds the ground a la street fighter and  a photo is snapped as the ‘enemies’ jump back) and then Vadering: a photo fad (a staged photo) that involves two people recreating the Star Wars scene in which Darth Vader uses the Force to grab an opposing character in a choke hold.

Hadokening

Vadering

You can visit my Star Wars Room (credits: S. Perkins)

For a better look:

Star Wars Day

For recipes, crafts, quizzes, games and much, much more visit: https://www.starwars.com/community

Some pics from my last visit to Madam Tussaud’s with a few of my favourite Star Wars characters:

St George’s Day

St George’s Day in England (on 23rd April every year, the date when Saint George died) remembers St George, England’s patron saint.

St George was born around 280 AD. Even though he is the patron saint of England, he wasn’t actually born there. He was born in a place called Cappadocia (in the modern day, that is in Turkey!) He was a Roman soldier who was tortured and killed by Emperor Diocletian for refusing to renounce his Christian faith in 303 AD on 23rd April.

St George isn’t just the patron Saint of England! Interestingly, St George’s Day is celebrated not just by the English, but by several countries and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint (mainly observed by Christians from the Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox churches). These countries include Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Croatia among others. In Greece, Saint George Day, or Agios Georgios Day, is also celebrated on April 23. However, if Easter is after April 23, then it is celebrated on Easter Monday. He is the Patron Saint of farmers (after all, Georgios, a Greek name, means “worker of the land”), soldiers (since during his life he used to work as a military officer), archers and even… scouts!  

Legend has it that George slew a dragon. The story says that he rode into a place called Silene. There he met a man who told him about a terrible dragon who was terrorising the nearby kingdom. Every day, the dragon demanded the sacrifice of a young maiden and now only the king’s daughter remained alive. St George rushed to the aid of the princess. He told the king that he would kill the dragon if he promised St George that his people would be baptised. The king agreed and St George killed the dragon after piercing it with his sword beneath its wings. He also saved the Princess!

This story, though, was actually made up (during the twelfth century, hundreds of years after his death – the dragon was another way to describe the devil!) Historians believe that St George was never a knight in shining armour… He had never slain a dragon, and he wasn’t a knight either. Regardless of whether the tale is true or not, St George is a symbol of courage in the face of adversity, as well as the English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry.

But what is his connection to England?

During the First Crusade to Jerusalem in 1098, it is said that St George appeared as a vision to lead the Christian knights during a siege. About 100 years later, King Richard III fashioned his army’s uniform on the cross of St. George.

On St George’s Day, a lot of people celebrate with a nice, traditional English meal. Some of the most traditional meals are fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, roast dinner or afternoon tea.

Shepherd’s pie

St. George’s Day is not a public holiday. It is celebrated with parades, dancing and other activities. These activities range from Morris Dancing to even watching a puppet show (Punch and Judy shows).  St. George is also the patron saint of scouting, so the scouts often take part in a parade on St George’s Day.

 

Around St George’s Day, you might see a white flag with a red cross. This is St George’s emblem and also the flag of England.  Flags with the image of St George’s cross are flown on some buildings, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel. The hymn “Jerusalem” (based on the poem written by William Blake in 1804) is also sung in cathedrals, churches and chapels.

 

Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.
I shall not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green & pleasant land.

(William Blake)

 

St George’s Day Activities

St George’s Dragons  

  1. These great paper plate dragons are really easy and inexpensive to make. Paint two paper plates each in contrasting colours. Cut one in half to create the dragon’s body and then draw the head, tails and wings onto the other one. Carefully cut these out. With the flat edge of the body at the bottom, use PVA glue to attach the head on the left corner and the tail on the right. For the wings, attach one to the front of the plate on the top curved edge, and the other behind next to it. Stick on some googly eyes and give your dragon a smiley or fierce mouth. Finally, paint a lolly-pop stick green (or the same colour as the body), and attach this to the bottom of your dragon on the reverse of the plate.   
  2. Make your fierce dragon out of a sock (preferably green, but any other colour will do as well!) On the heel add the tongue and sew the mighty dragon wings, mouth, nose and eyes made out of felt.

For more wonderful activities visit:

Creative Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Shakespeare’s birthday

William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers ever. Although he lived some 400 years ago, his plays and poems are still read and performed all over the world.

He was born on 23rd April (or… thereabouts) 1564. He died when he was 52 … exactly … on 23rd April 1616. What a terrible 52nd birthday! (Actually, the exact birth date is not very certain, but it would have been shortly before his christening on 26th April).

Where did this amazing writer come from? How did he spent his childhood? What did he do when he was a young man? How much do we know about Shakespeare himself? The answer is: … not much!

We know he was born in Stratford upon Avon, a market town in the middle of England, in Henley Street (about two days from London by … horse!) This house is now the Birthplace Museum (and is furnished as it would have been in Shakespeare’s time)

We also know he was born into a wealthy middle-class family: his father, John, was a merchant who worked as a glove-maker 9but also traded in wool and timber), his mother, Mary came from a rich family and William probably worked with his father as a glove maker.

At the local grammar school (where middle class boys like William went) he studied maths, religion, literature and Latin.

At the age of 18 he married a woman called Anne Hathaway (8 years older than him!)They had three children, a daughter and twins (one of them, Hamnet, sadly, died at the age of 11). His wife stayed in Stratford looking after their children (she probably never saw his plays!). In his will Shakespeare left his wife his second-best bed (what happened to his first-best bed remains a mystery…)

In the 1580s, Shakespeare said goodbye to his family and set off to seek fortune in London. The sights and sounds of the bustling city had a big effect on his writing. While he was in London he wrote 37 plays (and performed in some of them as an actor himself!) If Shakespeare had stuck to glove-making, poetry (he wrote sonnets, mostly about love, which were considered more respectable than plays!) and acting, we’d probably have never heard of him – the plays are the reason why we remember him today. He wrote 10 comedies (mostly with happy endings), 3 so-called ‘Problem Plays’ (mainly comedies with unhappy endings), 10 Histories (about real people from the history of England), 6 Romances (comedies that aren’t really that funny) and 10 Tragedies (plays with lots of violence and deaths).

London at the time was a great place for a playwright because it had many theatres, including the Globe. In those days people loved going to the theatre as much as people love watching football matches today (sometimes audiences got rowdy – shouting rude comments or throwing apples if they got bored-  and wanted to get involved in the action). But it was also a dangerous place plagued by religious conflict and the plague! The Lord Mayor and the Puritans saw theatres as a threat to law and religion and were always trying to close down the playhouses. Moreover, outbreaks of the terrible disease were so bad that the playhouses had to stay closed for over two years.

7 years after Shakespeare died (1623) his friends paid for a collection of his plays (36) to be published (known as the First Folio), without which great plays (such as Macbeth) would be lost forever. The ‘Authorship Question’ , whether Shakespeare (an uneducated glove-maker’s son) or somebody else produced such brilliant works arises partly because of the fact that no copies of the plays in Shakespeare’s handwriting have ever been found.

Today, Shakespeare’s plays still excite audiences of all nationalities. The plays have been put on in modern dress, as operas, musicals, ballets and films. But, apart from his plays his legacy lives on. In fact, many of his words and phrases have become part of our everyday lives. If you have ever tried to ’break the ice’ (strike up conversation with a stranger), gone on a ‘wild goose chase’ (a search for something that isn’t there), have a ‘heart of gold’ (being kind) or used words such as ‘hostile(an unfriendly person), ‘lonely’, ‘ode’ (a lyrical poem), and many others,  then you are using the words and phrases of the great playwright, the Bard, Shakespeare himself!

 

Visit my virtual museum for some more information on his life and works:

For a better look:

Shakespeare’s Museum

 

For younger children:

2 minute Shakespeare stories with comprehension activities

 

For interesting facts visit this site:

Shakespeare’s Birthplace trust

Watch a celebration of William Shakespeare with my favourite theatre group Dave’n’Luke (David Gibson & Luke Prodromou, along with David Crystal – Penelope Prodromou – Judy Boyle – Nick Michelioudakis, sponsored by the British Council & Global ELT)

 

Easter

Easter is a very important Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is celebrated by Christians throughout the world.

In the Christian faith Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to live on Earth as a man. When Jesus became 33 years old he taught the word of God to his 12 disciples and the people and gained many followers. The leaders in Jerusalem captured Jesus because he claimed to be the Son of God and took him to the Roman ruler of Jerusalem at the time, Pontius Pilate. Pilate found Jesus not guilty but under the pressure of the Jewish leaders allowed Jesus to be crucified. Jesus was tortured and crucified (on a Friday, Good Friday), but after three days, on Sunday, he rose from the dead (resurrected), which brought the defeat of death and the hope of salvation to people.

Easter day moves around on the calendar each year, but is always on a Sunday. It is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also different for Catholic and Orthodox Christians (the Orthodox Easter always falls later than the Catholic one – between one and four weeks after Catholic Easter).

There are various customs, religious and secular connected to Easter.

Would you like to learn about the different Easter traditions in various countries around Europe? Press here:

For a closer look: 

Easter customs around Europe

You can also read many Easter books in Mrs Mary’s book library:

For a closer look: 

Easter Library

Or visit this Easter craft library:

For a closer look: 

Easter Craft Library

Peter Cottontail and his cousin, Easter Hare wish you all a ‘Hoppy Easter’!

 

April Fool’s Day

April Fools’ Day (aka All Fools Day) is celebrated on April 1st every year in many countries. On April Fool’s Day people play tricks (or pranks or hoaxes or practical jokes) on others, often yelling ‘April Fool!’ to the person who falls for the joke!

The origins of the celebration go back a long way in the past. Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking around the time of the March equinox (one of the two dates a year when the length of night and day are nearly equal). Some of the activities on the Hilaria (held in ancient Rome on March 25th , involving dressing up in disguises and mocking people) resemble those associated with April Fools’ Day. April 1st and foolishness was mentioned in the Canterbury Tales1 by Geoffrey Chaucer as early as the 14th century. Some historians believe that April Fool’s day dates back to the switch to the Gregorian calendar (in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar, hence the Gregorian, to replace the old Julian one): the start of the new year moved to January 1st but people continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1st, and were ridiculed for that by the rest.

How do people celebrate the day across the world?

In the UK (and other countries influenced by their traditions) April Fools’ Day is in fact only half a day: if you play a trick before 12 o’clock you can say ‘April Fool’. But if you do it after 12 o’clock you are the fool! In Scotland, though, April fool’s day (or Huntigowk Day – meaning ‘Hunt the gowk’ -gowk is another name for a cuckoo, and a symbol of a foolish person) actually lasts for two days! During the first day they prank each other and on April 2nd, Tailie Day, they place paper tails (or ‘kick me’ signs!) on other’s backs.

In France children stick a paper fish on the victim’s back and shout ‘Poisson d’Avril’ (‘April Fish’!) This tradition goes back to the old times, when people placed dead fish onto the back of their friends’ shirts! Today, real fish have been replaced with fish-shaped paper. Shops and bakeries also offer special fish-shaped sweets. Sticking a paper fish to someone else’s back is also practiced in Italy (‘Pesce d’Aprile’).

In Germany a usual prank (an ‘Aprilscherz’) is to send people on fool’s errands, looking for things that don’t exist: this is called ‘sending someone into April’.

In Poland no important work is done on this day because they know anything is possible. You have to be careful not to be tricked, because as they say: ‘Prima Aprilis, uważaj, bo się pomylisz!’ (‘April Fools’ Day, be careful — you can be wrong!’)

In Sweden when you trick someone you say: ‘April, April, din dumma sill, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill!’ (meaning: ‘April, April, you stupid herring, I can trick you wherever I want!’) This may be quite long, but the joke is not complete without it!

In Portugal April Fool’s Day is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday prior to Lent. The occasion calls for throwing flour on someone, and most people go for the face!

In Brazil April Fool’s Day is called ‘Dia das mentiras’ (The day of lies) or Dia dos bobos’ (The day of fools).

In India, apart from the usual pranks, they celebrate the beginning of the spring with the Holi festival and people throw coloured powder or water on their ‘victims’.

In Greece the tradition holds that if you prank someone, your year will be filled with good luck and you will have a year full of good crops!

In recent years newspapers, radio, TV stations, big companies and websites have been trying to fool their audiences / clients on April 1st by reporting fictional claims. You’ll likely hear fake news while friends, family or co-workers will do their best to play a trick on you. No one is safe!

Have a look at this interactive presentation:

For a better look:

April Fool’s Day around the World

Is there a special day for jokes and tricks in your country? Do you like playing tricks on people? Have you ever been tricked?

 

Have a look at this video. What is the prank Tia plays on Tofu? What is the prankTofu plays on Tia?

Colour the Court jester. The court jester or fool, was a servant of a nobleman or a king during the medieval (5th-15th century) and Renaissance (15th-17th century) times who wore brightly coloured clothes and eccentric hats and entertained him and his guests.

Do the exercises to see who the fool is after all!

Do you want to play some pranks on your friends? Get some ideas here.

1The Canterbury Tales is a book of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer. It was written in the 14th century. It was one of the first books to be written in the English language (before that, stories were written in Latin or French!) The book is about a group of pilgrims travelling from London to Canterbury. As they travel along, each person tells a story to pass the time.

World Puppetry Day

World Puppetry Day has been celebrated every year on March 21st since 2003. Even though the art of puppetry is very old it was not until the first half of the 20th century that puppeteers began sharing more information about their work. The proposal for the celebration of the day was made in 2000 at the XVIII Congress of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, (UNIMA) in Magdeburg.

Puppetry is a very ancient form of theatre which was first recorded in the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece. Some forms of puppetry, though, may have originated as long ago as 3000 years BC. In almost all human societies puppets have been used for the purpose of entertainment, as sacred objects in rituals, as symbolic effigies (in celebrations such as carnivals), and as a catalyst for social and psychological change in transformative arts.

There is a wide range and many different varieties of puppets, ranging from the simple finger and sock puppets to hand (or glove) puppets (larger forms such as the Japanese Bunraku may even require two puppeteers for each puppet!) and  to more elaborate marionettes, suspended and controlled by a numbers of strings or rods. Shadow puppets are also widely used: flat figures (which have been treated to make them partly translucent), they are pressed against the screen with a strong source of light behind them.

Today, puppets are everywhere. Puppets can be seen on stage, on television, and in the movies.

Some of the most famous puppets include:

Pinocchio / Punch and Judy / Kermit the Frog / Elmo et al.

Using puppets in the classroom can be an engaging and useful way to help students develop emotionally and grow their language and communication skills. Research shows that using puppets in education has many benefits especially with language skills. Children can practice their oral speaking skills by telling a story to a puppet or explaining words or expressions. If the puppet is “confused” and doesn’t understand something, the child can explain and show the puppet what he has learned.

When used by the teacher, puppets are a good tool to get young children’s attention and create teaching scenarios: puppets can sing songs, tell stories, count, and deliver learning across the whole curriculum. They are an excellent tool for developing listening and attention, phonics and maths skills, and personal development.

I have been using puppetry in my teaching for all the aforementioned reasons, but mostly because I have reserved the child enthusiasm for puppets in my heart!

My feeble attempts have all been linked to my lessons:

1st grade: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (for details see here) / A party in the jungle (puppets) (for details see here) / A party in the jungle (paper puppets) (for details see here)

3rd grade: Pinocchio 

6th grade: Mythical Creatures (shadow puppets): Polyphemus the Cyclops (for details see here)

Christmas elves: Rosie and Nosie 

Most of the times my ‘Homemade Productions’ aim at instigating students to find their own inspiration and artistic voice! 

Me and my puppet ‘arsenal’

 

 

World Poetry Day

Each year on March 21st World Poetry Day is celebrated. World Poetry Day was introduced in 1999 with the aim of promoting the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry around the world.

In a world filled with technology, what place can there be for poetry? I couldn’t have put it in words better than the beautiful poem of Fiona Gobin:

POETRY MY PASSION

Poetry is my joy, my passion

It’s my heart’s melodious song.

It takes me on magical carpet rides

Soaring to victorious strides.

From my wildest imaginations birth creativity

Indubitably, that’s the art of poetry.

It removes anger, hurt and resentment

Poetry is a soothing balm for all sentiments.

The pen is certainly mightier than the sword

It empowers, educates and mends discord.

It erodes barriers of communication.

Poetry also chastises yet it brings motivation.

Poetry relieves depression

And brings much inspiration.

At times it offers humour and comedy

It also brings peace of mind and serenity.

Poetry is a medium of expression

For love and affection

It paints a picture so artistically

Poetry is my language, my destiny.

Fiona Gobin

 

As regards teaching children, poetry can have copious advantages: Being rich in varied language and poetic devices, poetry introduces children to new vocabulary and rhythms.

Moreover, since it requires children to think and interpret what they’ve read (and it often takes reading a poem several times to truly understand its meaning!), poetry improves children’s reading skills and creative thinking.

Poetry allows children to see the world from new perspectives and learn more about other parts of the world through the eyes of various poets and their poems. When reciting it, poetry is a great way to improve children’s memory and help them remember new words and phrases. But, most important of all, when experimenting with it (with the aim of producing something of their own) poetry teaches children how to express their emotions and put their feelings into words.

What better way to celebrate the day, then, than initiate children into the magic poetry holds!

Some ideas included here:

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids

BBC Bitesize

And my favourite resource:

Shel Silverstein Poet tree

A vast resource of  poems for children here:

Poetry Foundation

Get some help with your rhymes here (while working on your way to fame ! 😆 ):

Rhymebrain

Now, try writing a poem in this Magnetic Poetry Board!

International Children’s Book Day

Since 1967, on 2 April (on or … around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday !), International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to promote children’s books and to inspire a love of reading. Each year IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster.

2004 was the year Greece was chosen: Angeliki Varella was appointed to write the message to the children of the world and Nicholas Andrikopoulos to design a poster of the year.

This year, the message was written by Cuban-American poet Margarita Engle and the poster illustrated by the Brazilian artist Roger Mello.

Here is the poem: (The poster of the day and the poster with the poem in other languages as well )

The music of words

When we read, our minds grow wings.

When we write, our fingers sing.

 

Words are drumbeats and flutes on the page,

soaring songbirds and trumpeting elephants,

rivers that flow, waterfalls tumbling,

butterflies that twirl

high in the sky!

 

Words invite us to dance—rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,

hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,

fantasies and true ones.

 

Whether you are cozy at home

or racing across borders toward a new land

and a strange language, stories and poems

belong to you.

 

When we share words, our voices

become the music of the future,

peace, joy and friendship,

a melody

of hope.

 

‘The Fantastic Flying books of Mr. Morris Lessmore’ (written and illustrated by William Joyce ) is a little gem, an ideal way to celebrate this day! A true masterpiece about the love of Mr. Lessmore for books. In a world of eBooks, and apps, the power of the traditional book is still holding strong. A synopsis from Kirkus Reviews:

The story, in a nutshell, concerns the titular book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose personal library is blown away in a terrible wind but who finds meaning caring for the books in a marvellous library. Filled with both literary (Shakespeare, Humpty-Dumpty) and film references (The Wizard of Oz, The Red Balloon and Buster Keaton), the picture book version of Joyce’s story has a quiet contemplative charm that demonstrates the continuing allure of the printed page. Paradoxically, the animated books of the film and app are captured as though in a series of frozen frames. The motif of the bound, printed book is everywhere. Even the furnishings and architectural details of the old-fashioned library in which the books “nest” like flying birds recall the codex. The unifying metaphor of life as story is a powerful one, as is the theme of the transformative power of books. The emphasis on connecting readers and books and the care of books pays homage to librarianship. Rich in allusions (“Less is More”) and brilliant in depicting the passage of time (images conflate times of day, seasons and years), Joyce’s work will inspire contemplation of the power of the book in its many forms.

 

William Joyce holding an Oscar for his short film «The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore» during a parade in his honour in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana.

Ironically, this book in praise of books, first appeared as a much-praised iPad app and Academy Award-winning animated short film !!! The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a 2011 animated short film directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, and produced by Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. The film has received 14 awards (including the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, «Best Animated Short» at the Cinequest Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.)

 

 

 

Buster Keaton, an American silent film actor, comedian and stunt performer was the model for the character of Morris Lessmore. The film drew inspiration from the storm scene in Keaton’s film ‘Steamboat Bill, Jr.’ and the tornado from ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Also an inspiration was the real-life Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Like The Wizard of Oz, the film utilizes the contrast of colour and black-and-white as a narrative device. In this case, the black-and-white represents the sadness and despair brought about by the storm.

Here is the short film:

 

And here is a worksheet I made about both the book and the film:



Λήψη αρχείου

For more food for thought (and laughs!) about books watch these short videos:

 

 

And…my favourite ad (Paper VS ipad or tablet): Emma!

And here’s a worksheet for the adverisement ‘Emma’:



Λήψη αρχείου

 

   You can always visit my eclass library to find information about the day in Greek (and many other interesting ebooks both in Greek and English!)

St. Patrick’s day

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish all over the world on the 17th of March (the anniversary of his death in 461).

But who was Saint Patrick?

Even though the patron of Ireland, he was born in Britain near the end of the 4th century A.D.  At the age of 16 he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. During this time, he worked as a shepherd and became a devout Christian. Patrick escaped after 6 years as a prisoner, but after a vision returned to Ireland as a missionary and managed to convert the Irish to Christianity. There are many legends around him, for example, that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. He used the shamrock (plant, each of whose leaves is divided into three leaflets) to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish people.

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries with people of Irish descent. It was emigrants, (especially to the United States), who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a secular holiday of revelry and celebration of all things Irish. Green is connected with the day and people participate in the “wearing of the green” by usually putting a shamrock (the Irish national plant) in their lapel. Even beer is sometimes dyed green to celebrate the day!

 

Forgot to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. St. Patrick’s revellers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns. 

But what are leprechauns?

Leprechauns are fairy creatures who would pinch anyone not wearing green. A leprechaun looks like a little old man and dresses like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and leather apron. According to Irish folklore, leprechauns are tricksters who mend the shoes of Irish fairies. The fairies pay the leprechauns for their work with golden coins, which the leprechauns collect  in large pots. The legend says that if you catch a leprechaun, you can force him to tell you where he hid his pot of gold. Supposedly, this pot of gold is hidden at the end of a rainbow.

Let’s make a leprechaun, shall we? Then we might be able to find his hidden pot of gold (this is something you must draw!!!)

Find a paper roll and either paint it green with ginger hair and beard or use the template to cut green paper for the hat and orange for the hair and beard.

Have a look:

Here is the template:

 

Have a look at this St. Patrick’s lesson created with Nearpod:

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle’s work is loved and admired throughout the world. It’s not only his ingeniously crafted children’s stories but his iconic collages and artistry that have fascinated children and adults alike.

For more than 50 years (since it was initially published in 1969) The Very Hungry Caterpillar has ‘nibbled’ its way into everyone’s hearts and has become one of the top selling children’s books of all time, translated into 66 languages worldwide. The story of the helpless, small, insignificant caterpillar which turns into a beautiful butterfly sends out a message of hope.

 

I tried to bring the story to life with simple materials:

For the caterpillar:

spongy foam cupoid (I found in the packaging of something!)

bamboo chopsticks (from Chinese takeaway food!)

roll of green sewing thread

little green pom pom balls

googly eyes for crafts

acrylic paint

hot glue gun

 

 

 

For the food:

kids plastic toy food (whatever I kept from my girls!)

self drying modelling clay (for the food items I couldn’t find…) OR playdough/plasticine

For the background:

coloured cardboard paper (blue for the night, brown for the tree, green for the leaves, white for the sun, various colours for the butterfly- I used a plush caterpillar)

watercolours

scissors (the background is something of a collage)

A little bit of imagination and … bish bash bosh! bada bing bada boom! Voila! Your Hungry Caterpillar storytelling set  is ready!

Mind you, my little silly rendition of the story took a lot of time and effort after all! The plan is to have the students create and then act out the story! I’m sure they’ll love it!

Here is the end product!