domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Thanksgiving

Warmer

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in the USA and Canada. How much do you already know about it? Answer these questions in pairs or small groups:
1. When is Thanksgiving?
2. Why do you think people celebrate Thanksgiving?
3. What foods are associated with Thanksgiving?

Activity 1: The history of the Thanksgiving celebration

Visit http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving and read the first section entitled ‘Thanksgiving at Plymouth.’ In pairs or small groups, look for the answers to these questions.
1. Who travelled on board the Mayflower and why?
2. Was their journey comfortable?
3. What route did their journey take?
4. What problems did the Pilgrims experience during their initial few months in New England?
5. Why was Squanto, a Native American, able to communicate in English with the Pilgrims?
6. What did the Pilgrims learn from Squanto?
7. Who were the Wampanoag and what is there connection to Thanksgiving
8. Why did William Bradford organize a celebration?
9. What kind of food was probably eaten at the first Thanksgiving meal? today?
10. What differences are there between the Thanksgiving meal eaten by the Pilgrims and the
one people eat today?

Discussion

Is harvest celebrated in your country? If so, how is it celebrated?

Activity 2: A traditional Thanksgiving meal

Visit http://www.organicauthority.com/sanctuary/history-of-thanksgiving-table.html Read the descriptions of typical Thanksgiving dishes and find the answers to these questions. Discuss the answers with your partner.
1. Which dish with an exotic background got a sweet addition in the 20th century?
2. Which sweet dish has ancient origins?
3. Which food helped make a brand of soup more popular?
4. Which food is made from different ingredients, depending on the origins of the people
cooking it?
5. Which food is very good for you and can be stored for a long period?
6. Which food made one woman very rich?
7. Which food got its name by mistake?
8. Which food probably wasn’t eaten at the first Thanksgiving meal because of lack of
technology?

Discussion

Which dishes have you already tried? Which would you like to try? Are there any which you wouldn’t like to try? Why not?

Activity 3: Thanksgiving traditions

You are going to read about some typical traditions in North America at Thanksgiving. Before you read the information on the website, decide whether you think the statements below are true (T) or false (F).
1. Many people watch tennis at Thanksgiving every year.
2. Shops often sponsor Thanksgiving parades.
3. Washing neighbours’ cars is the most popular way to help others in the community at
Thanksgiving.
4. The White House is given three turkeys each Thanksgiving - two are killed and one is
pardoned and isn’t cooked.
5. The turkey which is kept is given a name chosen by the president’s family.
6. The president announces the official date of Thanksgiving every year.

Discussion

Are any of these traditions similar in your country?

Activity 4: Thanksgiving in other cultures

Your teacher will assign you a student number. Read your section and make notes using information from the website.
Student 1
Go to www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/story.htm and read the sections on the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. Make notes in the table on how they celebrated harvest time.
Student 2
Go to www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/story.htm and read the sections on the Ancient Chinese and the Hebrews. Make notes in the table on how they celebrate(d) harvest time.
When you’ve finished, explain the traditions you looked at. Discuss any similarities and differences with your partner.

lunes, 19 de octubre de 2015

Halloween

Activity 1: Halloween’s history

Visit http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween and read the first section entitled Ancient origins of Halloween. Look for the answers to these 13 (unlucky for some) questions. 
  1. Where is the celebration of Halloween thought to have come from?
  2. The Celts occupied an area of land covering six modern-day countries. Name at least three of them.
  3. Why did the Celts celebrate ’Samhain’ on the night of 31st October?
  4. What did the Celts believe the ghosts of the dead would cause damage and trouble to?
  5. To commemorate the event, what did the Druids build?
  6. What costumes did they wear?
  7. What did they re-light to help protect them from the coming winter?
  8. By 43 AD, who had conquered the Celts?
  9. What two other festivals were combined with ’Samhain’?
  10. After many changes due to the spread of Christianity, what new celebration was created in 1000 AD?
  11. What were the similarities between this day and ’Samhain’?
  12. What was another name given to this celebration?
  13. What was the night before called and what did this finally become?

Discussion

  • Are you surprised by the history of Halloween?
  • Do you know any other stories about its origins?
  • Are there any celebrations in your country that have a strange and uncertain history?
  • Do you agree with this type of celebration?
  • Do you believe in ghosts and the supernatural?

Activity 2: Popular Halloween traditions

Jack-o’-lantern

Read the introductory paragraph at http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history and describe the Jack-o’-lantern tradition to your partner. Then, read the full article entitled The Legend of “Stingy Jack”. Look for the answers to the following questions. Share your answers with your classmates.
  1. The Jack-o’-lantern tradition originated from which Irish myth?
  2. What did Jack do with the coin instead? Why?
  3. Under what condition did Jack free the devil?
  4. What trick did Jack play the following year and how did he prevent the devil coming down from the tree?
  5. What happened soon after?
  6. What problem did Jack then face?
  7. What did the Irish call Jack’s ghost?
  8. What did the Irish then begin to make and place in their windows and doorways and why?
  9. What did the vegetable become in America?

Apple-bobbing

Read the first paragraph of this website link about the rules of apple-bobbing:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_bobbing. Answer the following questions and share your answers with a partner.
  1. How do you play the game?
  2. Why are apples used?
  3. What do players use to catch the apples?
  4. Which part of their body are they prevented from using?

Trick-or-treating

Read the first two paragraphs of this website link about the tradition of ’trick-or-treating’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick-or-treating and answer the following questions, sharing your answers with a partner.
  1. What do children ask for when they travel from house to house? 
  2. What do children say when they arrive at a house?
  3. What is usually the ’trick’?
  4. Since when has this tradition been practised in North America?
  5. What do homeowners who wish to participate usually do to their houses?
  6. In what countries did two traditions similar to trick-or-treating already exist and what were they called?
  7. What did these two traditions involve?
  8. Trick-or-treating has become prevalent in countries outside of America - what do the children ask for in Mexico?

Discussion

  • Have you ever practised any of these traditions? If so, which is your favourite? If not, what do you think would be your favourite?
  • Have you ever seen a real carved-out jack-o’-lantern? Have you ever designed one yourself? Would you like to make one with your classmates?
  • Do you think you would be good at apple-bobbing? Would you like to have an apple-bobbing competition with your classmates? Who do you think would win?
  • Would you be interested in going trick-or-treating? If yes, what would be your costume of choice? What trick would you play?
  • If you had some children knocking on your door, would you opt for giving them a treat or accept the trick?
  • How do you think people from your country would respond to trick-or-treaters?

Activity 3: Halloween around the world

Although Halloween is often seen as a predominantly American celebration, you’ll be surprised to know that many countries around the world also celebrate Halloween. Many have their own unique traditions.
a. Tell your classmates if and how your country celebrates Halloween.
b. Your teacher will give you a country to research from this website link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_around_the_world. Before you begin your research, consider the following questions:
  1. How long has your chosen country been celebrating Halloween?
  2. What unique traditions does it have?
  3. What costumes do people dress up in?
  4. Why has Halloween become popular there?
Note: You may not find information on all these questions, but as you read, write down any other interesting facts you discover about your chosen country to share with your classmates. Write your answers in note form and share them with your classmates.

Activity 4: Terrifying tales

Go to the following website and find a list of titles to scary ghost stories: http://www.americanfolklore.net/spooky-stories.html. Scroll down and click on ’Hairy Toe’ and ready the story. Answer the following 13 (unlucky for some) questions below.
  1. What was the woman digging up to cook for dinner?
  2. What did she uncover?
  3. Why did she put ’the hairy toe’ in her basket?
  4. What did she cook with ’the hairy toe’?
  5. Later that night, what did the voice coming from the woods say?
  6. Was the voice heard in the same place or was it getting closer?
  7. Where was the voice coming from when the old lady woke up?
  8. What did she do when she jumped out of bed?
  9. Where was the old lady when she saw the massive figure in her doorway?
  10. How did the old lady respond to the figure?
  11. What finally happened to the old lady?
  12. What was the only clue to her disappearance?
  13. What was distinct about the footprint?
Go back to the list of stories and choose one that interests you. Read it and make notes in your own language. You may need to use a dictionary or ask your teacher for help with the vocabulary. Once you’ve completed your notes, share the story with your classmates. Did you manage to scare them with your tale?