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martes, 27 de septiembre de 2011

The Solar System

My first of ESO is doing a project with her science teacher on the solar system. As we are learning how to apply the new competences, and I am a lover of Greek mythology, I decided to tell them the names of the planets in English and what they were named after.
In the following link, they could have access to all planet with their satellites. 
So, how do planets and their moons get their names?
With the exception of Earth, all of the planets in our solar system have names from Greek or Roman mythology. This tradition was continued when Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered in more modern times.
  • Mercury (Hermes) is the god of commerce, travel and thievery in Roman mythology. The planet probably received this name because it moves so quickly across the sky.
  • Venus (Aphrodite) is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The planet is aptly named since it makes a beautiful sight in the sky, with only the Sun and the Moon being brighter.
  • Earth (Gaia) is the only planet whose English name does not derive from Greek/Roman mythology. The name derives from Old English and Germanic. 
  • Jupiter (Zeus) was the King of the Gods in Roman mythology, making the name a good choice for what is by far the largest planet in our solar system
  • Mars (Ares) is the Roman god of War. The planet probably got this name due to its red color. 
  • Saturn (Cronus) is the Roman god of agriculture.
  • Uranus is the ancient Roman deity of the Heavens, the earliest supreme god.
  • Neptune (Poseidon), was the Roman god of the Sea. Given the beautiful blue color of this planet, the name is an excellent choice!
  • Pluto (Hades) is the Roman god of the underworld in Roman mythology. Perhaps the planet received this name because it's so far from the Sun that it is in perpetual darkness.

    • In connection with the planets, we can listen to the chorus of the following two songs, or as a warming-up or else at the end of the session.

Work my body like a record keep it moving in heavy rotation
Once I get hot,no I don't stop
Watch me like a video press rewind and let it keep playing
And playin in heavy rotation (Heavy Rotation by Anastacia)

I would fly to the moon & back if
you'll be...
If you'll be my baby
Got a ticket for a world where we
So would you be my baby?(To the Moon and Back by Savage Garden)


By now you should know more about the Solar System.

Teaching English by Fran |British English versus American English 
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lunes, 26 de septiembre de 2011

European Day of Languages

On a day like today, September 26th, a series of events have been held around Europe to emphasize the importance of knowing and learning foreign languages. This event is called European Day of Languages/ Journée européenne des langues. That was an initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and has been celebrated since 2001.
I normally play one of these quizzes with my students and they have some fun.

Teaching English by Fran |Europe's Day
Teaching English by Fran |Eurovision Song Contest

domingo, 18 de septiembre de 2011

Guess who?/ ¿Quién es quién?

If you are an adult, have you ever played Guess who? when you were a child? It was great fun, wasn't it?
With my teens we revise physical descriptions with the characters of this popular game. Other suggestions could be, describing their ideal partner (writing that can be used for Valentine's Day, or finding a suspect of a crime.

So, have a close look at these characters below  and...
1. Find a bald man with dark hair who wears glasses.
2. Find an angry man with a moustache.
3. Spot a woman wearing a hat with flowers and describe her.
4. Choose the ugliest person on the board.
5. How many people are wearing hats?
6. Tell what hairstyle you would choose for yourself.
7. Who has her hair tied up in a pair of plaits?
8. There are a few men who have bushy eyebrows. Can you spot them?
9. Find a man with rosy cheeks.
10. Who is wearing earrings?

Enjoy playing Guess who?/¿Quién es quién?!

Teaching English by Fran | Criminal
Teaching English by Fran | Valentine's Day

Question Words

Wordle: Questions words

lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2011

Labour Day

This entry tries to focus on  the origin of Labour Day in America; the aim of the class is that students get familiariazed with work vocabulary, such as, unions, strike, rights, working hours, etc.
The first video is the history in depth and allows students to practise their listening skills and listen for information


After having watched the video about Labour Day, please answer the following questions below.

  1. When did unions stop being illegal in Canada?
  2. When and why was Labor Day celebrated?
  3. Can you name the starting point and the ending point of New York first Labor Day demonstration?
  4. What was the first US state to legalize Labor Day holiday?
  5. Who was the 22nd US president during 1884 rail workers’ protests?

This glossary can help you with your understanding:

Union “sindicato”
Strike “ huelga”
To rally “concentrarse, solidarizarse”
Blue collar worker “ trabajador de la clase obrera”

For those having problems with understanding, EnglishClass101 has got a simpler version

A spelling remark: the entry is named labour day, using the British spelling, when Americans use instead of . Other examples are color and neighbor

Although Labour Day means almost the end of the summer, don't get depressed! We have an entire year to work together!

Teaching English by Fran |Memorial Day
Teaching English by Fran |Thanksgiving