St Patrick's Day
As St Patrick's Day is near,
now is a good time to look at Ireland in some of our lessons.
There is a lot of information on the net - see the links
below to Ireland in general & also specifically to St
Patrick, Ireland's patron saint.
Below is an abbreviated story
of St. Patrick. It is in skeleton bullet point form to allow
you to tell the story easier. It is best to memorise the
story as this will make it more natural. Have
a look at the article 'Effective
Storytelling - a manual for beginners' - you'll find
lots of tips on how to tell St Patrick's story. If you want
more detail for the story check out the links below.
|- St Patrick
is the patron saint of Ireland.
- In Ireland, March 17th is a national holiday in honour
of his memory.
- He is sometimes known as the Apostle of Ireland and
is credited with bringing Christianity to the country.
- He was the son of a Roman officer who was stationed
in Britain & he was brought up in a wealthy household.
- When he was 16 Patrick was carried off in a pirate's
raid & taken to Ireland and sold as a slave to a
chieftain called Milcho
- Milcho did not like Patrick, so he sent him off to
Mount Slemish to look after pigs and be a swineherd.
Life was very hard for Patrick on the mountain.
- One night he escaped and walked for 200 miles until
he reached the sea.
- He found a ship sailing for Brittany & when he
arrived there he went to Auxerre, where his Mother had
- Patrick wanted to return to Ireland and convert the
tyrannical Pagans there to Christianity.
- He entered the priesthood in Auxerre and spent several
- The Pope agreed to let Patrick go to Ireland and gave
him the special title of "Patercuis", from
the Latin pater civium, which means father of his country.
- Patrick set sail from Brittany in the summer of 432,
and landed near Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland.
- He first went to Milcho's fort & converted him.
- Patrick then converted the rest of Ireland to Christianity.
- Patrick is famous for ridding Ireland of snakes, driving
them into the sea. There are no snakes in Ireland and
nowadays this is believed more the result of the island
separating in the Ice Age.
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To mark Women's Day - on 8th
March, here is some material taken, with permission, from
the United Nations Cyber School Bus website with ideas on
how to use it. United
Nations CyberSchoolBus web site
There is quite a lot of text
- two different sections; the first talks of why we have
Women's Day & the second how the Day came about. I have
chosen to use the first orally & the second as a reading
text. And perhaps you might like to shorten the second text
& only use the first part, until the dotted line.
- rank the women in order of their contribution to women's
right. Stds in pairs rank the women. Feedback.
2. Elicit what Women's Day
is & when it falls & anything the stds might know
about it. Some visuals on the board would help everyone
3. Read the first text aloud -
stds listen. Then they compare ideas on what they heard
- maybe read again if requested.
4. Set the reading task - to identify what the given dates
refer to as quickly as possible. Give out text
& dates. Check & reading task.
5. Stds compare answers.
6. General feedback & discussion of the events as you
work through the dates - picking up on reactions, anything
7. Vocabulary - stds in pairs/small groups underline vocabulary
specifically related to Women's Day & protest. Encourage
the stds to work meaning out from the context & have
dictionaries on hand if they need to confirm their guesses.
See below for a selection of related vocab
from the text.
8. Feedback. You might also like to exploit the reading
text for some grammar areas.
9. Discussion - could begin in small groups & then bring
all together for a class discussion - see later for ideas
on discussion points.
To a print
Rank the following women in order of their contribution
to women's rights & be prepared to justify your
decisions - Margaret Thatcher, Emilia Earhart, Mother
Theresa, Princess Diana, Eva Peron, Madonna, .....put
here some famous women from you country.
Why dedicate a day exclusively
to the celebration of the world's women?
The United Nations General Assembly, composed of
delegates from every Member State, celebrates International
Women's Day to recognize that peace and social progress
require the active participation and equality of women,
and to acknowledge the contribution of women to international
peace and security.
For the women of the world, the Day is an occasion
to review how far they have come in their struggle
for equality, peace and development.
You might think that women's equality benefits mostly
women, but every one-percentile growth in female secondary
schooling results in a 0.3 percent growth in the economy.
Yet girls are often kept from receiving education
in the poorest countries that would best benefit from
the economic growth.
Until the men and women work together to secure the
rights and full potential of women, lasting solutions
to the world's most serious social, economic and political
problems are unlikely to be found.
In recent decades, much progress has been made. On
a worldwide level, women's access to education and
proper health care has increased; their participation
in the paid labor force has grown; and legislation
that promises equal opportunities for women and respect
for their human rights has been adopted in many countries.
The world now has an ever- growing number of women
participating in society as policy-makers.
However, nowhere in the world can women claim to
have all the same rights and opportunities as men.
The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute
poor are women.
On average, women receive between 30 and 40 per cent
less pay than men earn for the same work.
And everywhere, women continue to be victims of violence,
with rape and domestic violence listed as significant
causes of disability and death among women of reproductive
Read the article quickly & decide what events the following dates refer to.
8 March 1857
8 March 1908
28 February 1909
19 March 1911
25 March 1911
the last Sunday in February 1913
23 February 1917
27 February 1917
Vocabulary connected to the lexical
expansion and turbulence
booming population growth
staged a protest
inhumane working conditions
marched through NY City
demanding shorter work hours, better pay voting rights
and an end to child labour
the declaration of the Socialist Party of America
an international conference
an International Day to mark the strike
the proposal was greeted with unanimous approval
established to honour the movement
the right to vote
a series of rallies
they demanded the right to work and an end to discrimination
on the job
lack of safety measures
led many protests
the peace movement brewing on the eve of
to express solidarity with
opposed the timing of the strike
granted the right to vote
How It Happened -
A Brief History of International Women's Day
The idea of an International Women's Day first arose
at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized
world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming
population growth and radical ideologies.
On 8 March 1857, women working in clothing and textile
factories (called 'garment workers') in New York City,
in the United States, staged a protest. They were
fighting against inhumane working conditions and low
wages. The police attacked the protestors and dispersed
them. Two years later, again in March, these women
formed their first labour union to try and protect
themselves and gain some basic rights in the workplace.
On 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New
York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay,
voting rights and an end to child labour. They adopted
the slogan "Bread and Roses", with bread
symbolizing economic security and roses a better quality
of life. In May, the Socialist Party of America designated
the last Sunday in February for the observance of
National Women's Day.
Following the declaration of the Socialist Party
of America, the first ever National Woman's Day was
celebrated in the United States on 28 February 1909.
Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday
of that month through 1913.
An international conference, held by socialist organizations
from around the world, met in Copenhagen, Denmark,
in 1910. The conference of the Socialist International
proposed a Women's Day which was designed to be international
in character. The proposal initially came from Clara
Zetkin, a German socialist, who suggested an International
Day to mark the strike of garment workers in the United
States. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval
by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries,
including the first three women elected to the parliament
of Finland. The Day was established to honour the
movement for women's rights, including the right to
vote (known as 'suffrage'). At that time no fixed
date was selected for the observance.
The declaration of the Socialist International had
an impact. The following year, 1911, International
Women's Day was marked for the first time in Austria,
Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The date was March
19 and over a million men and women took to the streets
in a series of rallies. In addition to the right to
vote and to hold public office, they demanded the
right to work and an end to discrimination on the
Less than a week later, on 25 March, the
tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took place.
Over 140 workers, mostly young Italian and Jewish
immigrant girls working at the Triangle Shirtwaist
Company, lost their lives because of the lack of safety
measures. The Women's Trade Union League and the International
Ladies' Garment Workers Union led many of the protests
against this avoidable tragedy, including the silent
funeral march which brought together a crowd of over
100,000 people. The Triangle Fire had a significant
impact on labour legislation and the horrible working
conditions leading up to the disaster were invoked
during subsequent observances of International Women's
As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve
of World War I, Russian women observed their first
International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February
1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of
the following year, women held rallies either to protest
the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.
With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war,
Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February
1917 to strike for "bread and peace". Political
leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the
women went on anyway.
The rest is history: Four days later the Czar of
Russia was forced to abdicate and the provisional
Government granted women the right to vote. That historic
Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar
then in use in Russia, but coincided with 8 March
on the Gregorian calendar used by people elsewhere.
Since those early years, International Women's Day
has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed
and developing countries alike.
In December 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted
a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for
Women's Rights and International Peace. Four global
United Nations women's conferences have helped make
the demand for women's rights and participation in
the political and economic process a growing reality.
In 1975 the UN drew global attention to women's concerns
by calling for an International Women's year and convening
the first conference on women in Mexico City. Another
convention was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980.
In 1985, the UN convened a third conference on women
in Nairobi, Kenya, to look at what had been achieved
at the end of the decade.
In 1995, Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference
on Women. Representatives from 189 different countries
agreed that inequalities between women and men has
serious consequences for the well-being of all people.
The conference declared a set of goals for progress
of women in various areas including politics, health,
and education. The final document issued by the conference
(called the "Platform for Action") had this
to say: "The advancement of women and the achievement
of equality between women and men are a matter of
human rights and a condition for social justice and
should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue."
Five years later, in a 23rd special session of the
United Nations General Assembly, "Women 2000:
Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st
Century" reviewed the progress the world has
made towards achieving the goals set out by the Beijing
conference. This conference has come to be known as
the "Beijing +5" conference. Delegates found
both progress and perservering obstacles. The delegates
made further agreements to continue carrying out the
initiatives of the 1995 women's conference.
With your partner(s), consider the following points:
1. Is there a need in your country to celebrate Women's
Day? Why (not)?
2. What can we do to help women's rights?
3. What could your government do to help?
4. What could be done in schools to help?
a print friendly version
Advertising is a great theme
to use at any level. We are all bombarded with ads all day
long & when an interesting one comes along we take notice.
There are a lot of materials in coursebooks as it is a very
exploitable theme. Here's another way of getting into the
theme with intermediate & up.
The Guardian published an
article recently on their web site about an advertising
company that is offering money to students to put logos
on their foreheads.
Here's the text:
Students cash in on 'human billboards'
John Cassy, media business correspondent
Friday February 7, 2003
Instead of using their brains to better themselves,
students are being encouraged to use their heads to
alleviate their debts. Or, more precisely, their foreheads.
A creative marketing agency, best known for projecting
an image of the television presenter Gail Porter on
to the Houses of Parliament, has embarked on an initiative
to turn students' foreheads into billboards.
The agency, Cunning Stunts, is offering students
up to £88.20 a week to wear a corporate logo
on their head for a minimum of three hours each day.
The brand or product message will be attached by a
vegetable dye transfer and the students will be paid
to leave the logos untouched.
The "lads" magazine FHM and the youth pay-TV
channel CNX, have signed up, and there is a recruitment
drive for students at Oxford, Umist in Manchester,
Leeds, and Roehampton in London.
"With student debt becoming such a massive issue,
we thought we'd offer students maximum reward for
minimum input," said Anna Carloss, managing director
of Cunning Stunts. "Participating brands get
a unique advertising medium as well as giving something
back to students." She said the students would
need to be "out and about"; it would not
count if they displayed the logos sitting in the library.
Although many students are reluctant to take part,
others are eager to sign up. Oli Merrel, at Falmouth
College of Arts, in Cornwall, said: "I don't
see the difference between an advert on a billboard
and one on my forehead - except I'll be earning money
Meanwhile, a second marketing firm, Comm-Motion,
wants drivers to allow their car to be "wrapped"
in the livery of a high-profile brand. Lindsay Kennard,
marketing director, said the fee for covering a car
in an advert could be up to £220 a month.
go to the original article
A possible procedure for
- elicit any interesting recent
adverts - at the moment we have the Pepsi ad that uses Real
Madrid & Manchester United players in a western shoot
- brainstorm advertising vocab
- build up a map of the lexical set on the board &,
from the text, include: billboard, marketing agency, corporate
logo, brand/product message, advertising medium.
- elicit where adverts are
usually found - billboards, TV, radio, magazines - & then ask the students to think of any unusual places one
might put an advert. Put them into pairs for this.
- as they do the task put
the title on the board - 'Students cash in on 'human billboards'
plan' - & get them thinking along these lines while
they continue their discussion.
- reading - give 20 seconds
for them to work out what the text is about. Have a pair
work comparison before general feedback as if they don't
know the word 'forehead' they might not get it. In pairs
they could work it out.
- more detailed reading -
a comprehension task, designed by the students - they write
6 questions of their own & swap them for others to answer.
- discussion - would they
do this, how much would they do it for, will the idea take
off, what about the car wrapping, any other imaginative
Follow up ideas:
- design a logo for your school,
company, family, you! If you want more material on how to
go about designing a logo, a good place to start is the
logo page of About.com:
- you need to find a variety
of logos from the media & without the students seeing
the logo (they close their eyes), stick logos on their foreheads
with cellotape & then they mingle to give & be given
hints as to the logos with the object of guessing their
own logo. Then collect in all of the logos for the class
to vote on the one that best represents the product/company.
Could begin the lesson with this.
- roleplay - confront a logo
wearer in the street - Olif & passer-by/friend/parent/partner
who thinks it is a daft idea.
The Guardian went on to run
a competition on the same theme. They issued a sticker of
the Guardian logo & you had to put it on your forehead
& be photographed in interesting places. The winner
would be the most imaginative. You could do the same with
your school's logo!
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