Silly Walk Clock

Who doesn’t remember the wacky Monty Python’s «The Ministry of Silly Walks» sketch? Let me refresh your memory if you don’t:

Mr Teabag – John Cleese- (one of the surreal comedy troupe Monty Python) is a bowler-hatted civil servant in a fictitious United Kingdom government agency entrusted with bestowing grants to those who develop Silly Walks. Throughout the sketch John Cleese is seen to walk in the most absurd, hysterically funny walks: these walks were the reason the sketch earned such popularity as to be rated 15th in the ‘Britain’s Top 50 Comedy Sketches’ list (for a full synopsis of the sketch see here).

And here is the sketch:

 

What great fun to practice reading these Silly Walks with your students ! 

What about practicing some of these walks and say which was sillier, the silliest of all etc. (great opportunity to use comparative and superlative forms…)

 

Now, I’ve made this clock (I love summer because I have more time in my hands to do all the things I cannot do during the school year…)

I used these things (template and instructions here)

 

And more instructions from these videos

Ministry of Silly Walks Clock DIYMinistry of Silly Walks Clock – Build

This is my version of the clock in action ( and my first attempt to make a video using time lapse recording ! )

And this is something I made to use with my students at school when we learn to tell the time!

Watch the Official Lyric Video of The Silly Walk Song:

Maybe it will inspire you too! 😉 

For more fabulous cartoons visit Pete Emslie’s blog, The Cartoon Cave

The Famous Portaits Museum (feat. The Mona Lisa and other famous talking portraits)

Our talking portraits museum is ready to open its door to our esteemed guests!

It was created some time ago (see details here) and my 6th grade students readily responded and created their talking masterpieces!

It was a creative procedure and, at the same time, a good revision of things we learnt in 6th grade (describing people’s appearance, character, clothes) and guided search through the Internet for the necessary information. Then all this body of information had to be condensed (as Chatterpix allows you to record for only 30 ‘) and personalised (each student had to ‘become’ the portrait…)

This is the worksheet we used as a guideline:

Talking portraits

 

Enjoy!

Famous talking Portraits

 

The Museum curator, 

Mrs Mary

Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who wore a little hood of red velvet given to her by her grandmother … The much beloved fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood is ideal to teach to 1st graders (why not 2nd or 3rd or…?) Well known fairy tales provide both children and teachers with a familiar starting point from which to explore stories in a second language. A wide range of activities (from oral storytelling, dramatic play, book making, creating story props, designing masks and making story boxes to name but a few) can be used (have a look here for some ideas).  

Keeping early literacy fun and playful is essential. The foundations of good literacy skills dwell in comprehension and language skills, which are fostered best through listening to stories and retelling them in a fun way. Oral storytelling (with emphasis on opening and closing lines, along with formulaic phrases and repetitive structures) could be enhanced by the use of puppets. All the best-loved bits – particularly the lines children love to listen to could be practiced in a fun and engaging way.

One way to do easy puppets is to print the figures, have the students paint it, then cut them out and stick them to popsicle sticks.

Here is the template:

https://blogs.sch.gr/mdoulgke/files/2021/05/ddc53de97a3f72b1ff75344d86d000db.pdf

Another (more fascinating because of the game of shadows and light) is to try narrating the fairy tale with shadow puppets (see how to make a shadow puppet theatre here).

I have created a set of eleven silhouettes below: a girl, a wolf, a woodcutter, a mother, a grandmother, a house, a tree, and a bush with flowers, a bed, a mushroom and a hare.

Here they are:

https://blogs.sch.gr/mdoulgke/files/2021/05/house-woodcutter-tree.pdf

https://blogs.sch.gr/mdoulgke/files/2021/05/wolf-bed-1.pdf

https://blogs.sch.gr/mdoulgke/files/2021/05/mother-LRRH-granny-mushroom-flowers-hare-1.pdf

Watch this video for some help:

 

Use these templates to create your own shadow production of Little Red Riding Hood with your class! Make the room dark and have fun while practicing students’ narrative skills!

This is the little act I pulled together using the text from the PEAP material  :

 

Good Luck!

Explore the World of Shadows with shadow puppets!

Using puppets is a great way to set the context for any language activity you want! It’s an excellent opportunity for children to refine their speech sounds through listening. But when students use puppets the gains are manifold: children (even the reluctant ones) communicate naturally with puppets and gain confidence in expressing themselves! For some (not so) unfathomable reason, children are more willing to speak to or with a puppet than their teacher! Don’t take it to heart; seize the opportunity to get them to speak!

Moreover, when students make their own puppets their fine motor skills are enhanced.

Stencils or cookie cutters are ideal to help younger learners so that they can bring their characters to life. If the pattern is intricate let them cut the outline and help them with inner details (ideally use precision manicure scissors or a hobby knife for cutting).

Next glue or tape each of your cardstock cut-outs onto a straw, chopstick or popsicle stick. (watch this for more details of how to make a shadow puppet theatre or your figures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHw-4UOcj40 )

 

 

Now let the students explore the potentials of the medium and unleash their imagination!!!

Create your own shadow puppet theatre!

Shadow Puppetry is said to have originated in China over two thousand years ago! It is now a popular form of entertainment in countries all over the world. Its simplicity, portability and mesmerising shadow and light performances are perfectly suited for impressionable young minds!

Shadow puppet theatre can be used in primary ELT in many ways (you can get an idea if you read this wonderful article by Tatjana Jurisic here)

Well? Are you up for it?

If yes, you need to build your theatre!

Here is how I made mine:

Any cardboard box will do the trick. If you want your students to collaborate you need to find a big one: the more students behind the scene, the more space you need! (I found a quite big, but rather shabby box—but don’t worry, in the dark no one can see, everyone is engrossed with the performing shadows).

Baking parchment or rice paper can be used to cover the opening which will be used as the screen, and a light source is necessary (be it the light from your mobile phone or any type of clear bulb). I used a led rigid strip hard light tube lamp.

The decoration is entirely up to you! I made a wavy pattern which I mirrored and some other decorations (from the paper that was left from the opening of the scene).  This is a bit difficult as it takes some skill end effort with the box cutter. Alternatively you can paint the whole box with the help of the students!

Bring the magic of shadow puppet theatre into your classroom! Let the children be spectators and watch the shadow story unravel, or let them take the roles of actors and directors to create their own world of shadow adventures!

Watch this for some help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpqmNys-jLQ

 

 

The very Hungry Caterpillar puppet

This epic, timeless, much-loved favourite book for so many of us, illustrated and written by Eric Carle (first published in 1969) lends itself to soooo many enjoyable activities that I can’t honestly say if the students enjoy it more than teachers! In fact, there are so many that it is hard to pick just a few!

The ones I like the most, though, are the puppets which you can make and use to bring the story to life along with the students!

There are so many variations of it. Over the years in order to make the Very Hungry Caterpillar we’ve used  pom poms / paper chains / egg cartons / craft sticks (popsicle sticks) / bamboo skewers / construction paper for finger puppets

and

plasticine / self drying modelling clay / construction paper and a hole punch for the food.

This year in order to convey the undulating wave motion of a caterpillar I thought about doing it in the accordion-folded shape out of two even strips of green paper (preferably two shades of green).

This is how you do it: take the two strips and position them in a 90° angle. Glue the connecting papers together. Fold the bottom strip over the top and crease the fold along the edge. This will make the accordion fold tight! Continue this process until all the paper has been folded.

Then use red paper for the head, yellow and green for the eyes and a piece of pipe cleaner for the antennas. Finally, use a hot glue gun to add 2 chopsticks at the front and bottom of the accordion among the creases.

The caterpillars (two, one smaller and one bigger, since it will gobble up all that food!) will stretch and fold like real ones!

Now, your own Very Hungry Caterpillar is ready to give you and your students countless opportunities for fun and learning!

 

International Museum Day – May 18th

Ever since 1977 (when the International Council of Museums (ICOM) organised International Museum Day) museum lovers all over the world seize the opportunity to celebrate «the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible» museums host, on May 18th. The aim of this day is to raise awareness of the vital role of museums as a means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.

What better way is there to celebrate Museum Day than to take a trip down to a nearby museum (either alone or with friends)? Thousands of museums around the world are organising special activities!

A fun activity promoted by many cultural heritage institutions challenge people to recreate famous artworks from their own homes. A lot of people respond to this challenge using their imagination and creativity with everyday objects.

Have a look at some imaginative interpretations of famous works of art:

Here is a list of the World’s best Museums for Kids (or for those who are still kids at heart… 😉 ):

https://www.amexessentials.com/best-kids-museums-worldwide/

and Best Children’s Museums in Europe:

http://museums.eu/highlight/details/105472/best-childrens-museums-in-europe

 

Here are some of the weirdest museums:

https://www.theactivetimes.com/travel/weirdest-museums-around-world-gallery/slide-30

Which one would you like to visit?

 

But if visiting an actual museum is difficult, there is always the option technology has to offer: virtual tours!

Visit some of the following museums:

London Museums and Galleries:

The British Museum

The National Portrait Gallery

Tate Modern

The Courtauld Gallery of Art

The Globe Theatre

 

The Acropolis Museum

The Greek War of Independence in PLAYMOBIL Dioramas

Philhellenism Museum

Goulandris Natural History Museum

The Dali Theatre Museum in Catalonia, Spain

The American National Museum of Natural History

 

THE LIST OF ALL THE MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS IN THE WORLD YOU CAN VISIT VIRTUALLY

E-BOOK: MUSEUMS & LANDMARKS ADVENTURES

 

And…

Here are my three own creations!!!

Shakespeare museum (more about Shakespeare here.)

Sherlock Holmes’ Museum

Famous talking portraits museum (soon to be filled with more other than the Mona Lisa! Have a look at my blog entry for more details.)

 

However you decide to celebrate Museum day, jump at this opportunity to find out about the history of the human race in a museum of your choice!

 

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