Monday, June 30, 2014

WHO WERE THE VIKINGS? DESCRIPTION


The Vikings, the brave Norse warriors who arrived in their famous longboats to raid and pillage, remain a source of fascination. They have been the subject matter of many films, television series and films yet do we really know the full picture? How much of what we claim to know is fact? Do your research and find out. Then write your essay.
Familiarize yourself with the topic:
·         “The Vikings” http://prezi.com/zvdynmuvhoc6/the-vikings/
Reading material to annotate:
·         “Who were the Vikings?” http://jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/who-were-the-vikings/  Make sure to go to the links listed on the left of the screen and make notes.
·         “Who were the Vikings anyway?” http://archaeology.about.com/od/vikings/qt/vikings.htm
·         “How the Vikings worked” http://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/viking1.htm Make sure to read the whole text.
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·          “Vikings: Who were the Vikings?” http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvetkr_vikings-who-were-the-vikings-ep-1-hd_shortfilms

Documentary series: “The blood of the Vikings” Episodes 1 through 5; watch and make notes
These are a few of the many documentaries on this sight so watch as many as you like


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WHO WERE THE SAMURAI? DESCRIPTION


The Samurai, the famous worriers of medieval Japan, have been the subject of many films and novels but who exactly were they? How and why did they rise to prominence? What role did they play in Japanese society? What was their philosophy of life? In order to be able to write about these and other similar questions, you will need to do some research and make some notes. It is suggested that you spread your research out over 3 days.
Research schedule
On day 1: listen to the first buzzle article and read the first text. Make notes on both. In the evening, watch the documentary.
On day 2: listen to the second buzzle article and read two more texts. Make notes on both
On day 3: listen to the last buzzle article and read the last text. Make notes on both. Then collect all your notes and write your essay at once without waiting. Working in this way will mean that you learn a lot of vocabulary and structures really thoroughly so be patient while doing your research.
Structures you will need to use.
  • The past tenses
  • The passive forms of the above
  • Used to; if you have covered it
  • Adjective clauses and their reduced forms if you have covered them
  • ‘What’ clauses if you have covered them
  • Prepositions of place and direction
Suggested plan
  • In your introduction, discuss the need for armies and soldiers in general. Then bring the discussion round to medieval Japan and the famous worrier class of the period, the Samurai
  • In your development, discuss the way of life and social role of the Samurai. Use your notes and based on them, decide how many paragraphs you need.
  • In your conclusion, make a restatement or explain that although the age of the Samurai has ended the need for soldiers and armies has not
Listen and follow:
Reading material to annotate
·         “Samurai” http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2127.html
·         “Ten fascinating facts about the Samurai” http://listverse.com/2013/08/06/10-fascinating-facts-about-the-samurai/
·         “Brief history of the Samurai” http://www-personal.umich.edu/~malokofs/SCA/Persona/History/samurai.html
·         “ Samurai and Bushido” http://www.history.com/topics/samurai-and-bushido (This superb text also includes a number of videos you will enjoy watching)
·         “The age of the Samurai” http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/japan_1000ce_samurai.htm
Documentary to watch and make notes on
·         “Samurai” http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-samurai/


Monday, June 23, 2014

FREEDOM OF SPEECH; COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAY


We owe this superb essay task to Füsun Savcı who contributed the interactive map
Freedom of speech is considered one of the basic tenets of democracies yet violations of this right are rife both in the western democracies and in other parts of the world. Which of the violations that have taken place are the worst in your view? In order to decide, you will need a better idea of what violations have taken place so access the link below:
How to view the map: you can drag the map so as to be able to move from left to right or vice versa; you can click on the dots to see what the violation is; you can click ‘more information’ to read and make notes; you can zoom in or out.
How to prepare: study the map carefully and gather as much information as you can about the various violations and select what you feel are the three worst ones. Read and make notes.
Suggested plan: You are ready to write your essay. The essay will be both a comparison and contrast essay and an argumentative essay and here is why:
In your introduction, discuss democracy, the basic tenets of democracy and the importance of freedom of speech. Indicate that violations are taking place all the time all around the world but that there are three instances which are far more serious than the others: state your three choices.
In your development, prove that your three choices are the worst through comparison and contrast. It is assumed that your choices have common points that link them together; this will make writing the paragraph easier.
In your conclusion, discuss what can be done to preserve freedom of speech and expression and as a result, democracy.
The structures you will need to use
·         The present and the past tenses
·         Passive forms of the above
·         Narrative structures
·         Comparison and contrast and superlative structures
·         Adjective clauses and reduced adjective clauses
·         ‘What’ clauses (noun clauses)
·         Cause and effect structures


Sunday, June 22, 2014

WORLD HERITAGE SIGHTS; INTERACTIVE MAP RELATED DESCRIPTION


According to UNESCO, there are close to a thousand world heritage sights around the world; some are areas of natural beauty, others are historical monuments of great significance. In order to find out more about them, go to the website below:
Now make the map full screen and start exploring:  click road, relief, hybrid and satellite in the right hand corner after you click on a dot to see the sight; then click on the title for more information about the sight. Do your reading and enjoy your research. Which area is of greatest significance in terms of natural beauty? Which is the most impressive historical monument? When you have made your selection, take notes on the accompanying article and write your essay?
Structures you will need to use
·         The present tenses
·         The past tenses
·         Passive forms of the above
·         Prepositions of place
·         Adjective clauses and reduced relative clauses if you have covered them
·         Noun clauses with ‘What’ if you have covered them
Suggested plan
·         In your introduction, discuss world heritage sights in general then narrow down the discussion to your two choices. In your thesis statement, state that your two choices are of special significance and deserve special attention.
·         Write a two paragraph development and discuss your choices individually in each; use the notes you made during your research

·         In your conclusion, write about how important it is to raise awareness so as to be able to preserve such areas for posterity

Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE RISE AND MYSTERIOUS FALL OF THE MAYA; NARRATIVE


The Mayan civilization flourished in what is known as the Yucatan peninsula before its sudden and dramatic downfall. What were the basic features of the Maya? What led them to glory and what caused their sudden and dramatic collapse? Do your research and see if you can shed light on this mystery which has puzzled anthropologists for years. The essay you will end up writing will have descriptive elements as well as narrative structures.
The structures you will need to use:
  • The past tenses
  • Passive forms of the above
  • Narrative Structures
  • Prepositions of place and direction
  • Past forms of modals if you have covered them; alternatively, use words like perhaps, maybe and probably
The plan:
In your introduction, write generally about the many wonderful civilizations that flourished in Mesoamerica like the Inca, The Aztecs and lastly the Maya. Thesis statement: the Maya built a wonderful and highly advanced civilization but mysteriously and rather suddenly disappeared.
In your development, first discuss Maya civilization then deal with the reasons why it collapsed.
In your conclusion, discuss what lessons we can learn from the rise and fall of the Maya
Note to the student: it is suggested that you spread your research over three days for maximum benefit. Read, watch and make notes in order to master vocabulary, learn structures and organization and hone your reading, listening and note taking skills.
Getting to know the Maya
Reading material to annotate
·         “The Maya: Glory and Ruin” http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/08/maya-rise-fall/gugliotta-text
·         “Maya facts and summary” http://www.history.com/topics/maya (This site includes some wonderful videos which you should not miss)
·         “Rise and Fall of the Mayan Empire” http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/15nov_maya/
Documentaries to watch and make notes on
·         “Dawn of the Maya” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVMt-_11CFI
·         “Mystery of the Maya” http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/mystery-of-the-maya/
“Who killed the Maya?” http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/who-killed-maya/

Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE KON-TIKI EXPEDITION; NARRATIVE


The famous Kon-Tiki expedition that took place in 1947 had an important aim: to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that ‘something’ was possible. What was the purpose? Was the venture successful? What conclusions can be drawn from it? Do your research and find out.
Structures you will need to use
·         The past tenses
·         The passive forms of the above
·         Cause and effect structures
·         Prepositions of place and direction
·         Past forms of modals if you have covered them, and words like ‘perhaps, probably and maybe’ if you have not
Suggested plan
·         In your introduction, discuss the ancient Peruvian peoples and introduce the theory that they were widely travelled.
·         In your development, introduce Thor Heyerdahl’s theory, describe the Kon-Tiki and state Heyerdahl’s purpose in setting out on the journey. Then describe the journey briefly.  In the second developmental paragraph explain what we can deduce from this experiment.,
·         In your conclusion, discuss the importance of such endeavors in increasing our understanding of past civilizations.
This is what the journey looked like
·         “The Kon-Tiki expedition color film” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m2Z5amr_DE
Reading material to annotate
·         Kon-Tiki”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki
·         “The Kon-Tiki expedition” http://www.coopertoons.com/caricatures/kontikiexpedition.html
·         “Thor Herdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition” http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/thor-heyerdahls-kon-tiki-expedition-13358/
·         “American Indians in the Pacific: A 50 year retrospective of the Kon Tiki expedition” http://community.plu.edu/~ryandp/AIP.html (This text is for advanced students covering this task)

Videos and documentaries to watch and make notes on

·         “The Tangoroa expedition (the Kon –Tiki expedition) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29waAjmbO2w

THE STORY OF ATLANTIS; FACT OR FICTION? NARRATIVE


The story of Atlantis, a mighty civilization that vanished beneath the sea, has always fascinated people. Was the story that Plato told of this mythical land a cautionary tale, a story with a moral, or is it in fact based on facts? Is there, in other words, a historical basis for the story? Do your research and find out. When you are done write an essay. It is suggested you deal with the various myths in one or two paragraphs and the Santorini connection in a different paragraph.
The structures you will need to use:
  • The past  tenses
  • Passive forms of the above
  • Narrative Structures
  • Prepositions of place and direction
  • Past forms of modals if you have covered them; alternatively, use words like perhaps, maybe and probably
·         Reading material to make notes on
      ·         Lost city of Atlantis fact and fable http://www.livescience.com/23217-lost-city-of-atlantis.html
·         Reconstructing A Catastrophe: The Minoan Eruption Of Santorini http://www.science20.com/tuff_guy/reconstructing_catastrophe_minoan_eruption_santorini-80529
·         The wave that destroyed Atlantis http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6568053.stm
Reading material with accompanying videos
·         Atlantis http://www.history.com/topics/atlantis
Documentaries to watch and make notes on
·         The Lost City Of Atlantis: History's Mysteries
·         Naked Science Atlantis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqauNqFwt5I
·         Atlantis: The Lost Continent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q2bLQZ3a5k

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

THE MYSTERY OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE; NARRATIVE


The Bermuda Triangle and the mysterious disappearences that have taken place there have confounded scientists for years. What is the story of the place and what is the possible explanation? Do your research and find out. Do your reading and make notes, watch the videos and continue making notes; lastly watch the documentary and make some more notes. Then use all you have learnt and your own impressions to write the story.
The plan
  • The Introduction: where you introduce mysteries in general like the Bermuda triangle and then narrow down the topic to the Mary Celeste. Remember to have a thesis statement stating clearly that the story itself and a possible explanation will be discussed.
  • The Development: where you have two paragraphs; one including what actually happens  and the second involving possible explanations.
  • The Conclusion: where you write a restatement

The structures you will need to use
  • Past Tenses
  • The present perfect
  • Passive forms of the above and that of the present simple
  • Narrative structures
  • Prepositions of place and direction
  • Modals as alternatives to “maybe, perhaps and probably” if you have studied them.

Reading material to annotate
·         “Bermuda Triangle mystery: facts and myths” http://www.bermuda-attractions.com/bermuda2_00004e.htm
·         “The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle” http://www.unmuseum.org/triangle.htm  (make sure to watch the videos as well)
Videos to watch and make notes on
·         “Bermuda Triangle: Bermuda Triangle mystery”
·         “Bermuda Triangle: rogue waves” http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/rogue-waves/  
BBC Documentary watch and make notes on

·         “Bermuda Triangle: secrets revealed” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GICglVEAIlI (This is a 44 minute documentary and the presentation is superb. The quality of English, the intonation and the accent are all wonderful. Plus, it is relatively simple)
     Discovery Science Documentary to watch
·         Bermuda Triangle: Secrets and mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle  

THE MYSTERY OF THE MARY CELESTE; NARRATIVE


One of the greatest legends of the sea is that involving the brigantine the Mary Celeste. In order to find out what the mystery is, do some research and make notes (Remember notes are phrases not full sentences). Then use your notes and your own impressions to write the story of this famous ghost ship. Your suggested plan is as follows:
The plan
  • The Introduction: where you introduce mysteries in general like the Bermuda triangle and then narrow down the topic to the Mary Celeste. Remember to have a thesis statement stating clearly that the story itself and a possible explanation will be discussed.
  • The Development: where you have two paragraphs; one including the story and the second involving possible explanations.
  • The Conclusion: where you write a restatement
The structures you will need to use
  • Past Tenses
  • Narrative structures
  • Prepositions of place and direction
  • Modals as alternatives to “maybe, perhaps and probably” if you have studied them.
THE RESEARCH:
Videos to watch and make notes on
·         “Ghost Ship – Mary Celeste” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUSzRiiwAGc&feature=kp
·         “In Search of the Ghost Ship Mary Celeste” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVW5zJLBQsw
Reading material to annotate
·         “Abandoned ship: The Mary Celeste” http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/abandoned-ship-the-mary-celeste-174488104/?all

·         “Tales of mystery and imagination” http://www.maryceleste.net/part1.htm (Make sure to click and then read: the true story, the court inquiry, Captain Briggs and the conclusion links to which are at the bottom of the page)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

FEUDALISM VERSUS THE CASTE SYSTEM; COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAY


Some form of social stratification has always existed in human societies and efforts to produce a classless society have proved to be a pipe dream. In the modern day, the divisions between classes are determined through education, family background and profession, and social mobility enables people to better their situation. Yet this has not always been the case: in Feudal Europe for instance, the social classes were pretty much fixed and in India, they were set in stone so to speak. The Feudal system has long since disappeared but the caste system lingers on. These two rigid forms of social stratification have a lot in common despite their differences. Do your research and write an essay in which you compare and contrast the two systems.
Familiarize yourself with the topic
Power point presentations
·         “Feudalism in the Middle Ages” http://prezi.com/hsjtoyl2o_fx/feudalism-in-the-middle-ages/ 
·           “The Caste System” http://prezi.com/6wdxpmeumrlp/the-caste-system/
Reading material to annotate
·         “The History of the Caste System in India” https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~epandit/page2.html
·         “The Caste System” http://www.ushistory.org/civ/8b.asp
·         “Feudalism” http://www.lordsandladies.org/feudalism.htm
·          
Videos to watch

Saturday, June 7, 2014

THE EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS VERSUS THE CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAN PYRAMIDS; COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAY


When we refer to pyramids, what immediately comes to mind is the wonderful pyramids of Giza. However, far more pyramids were, in fact, built in the Americas. Which ancient civilizations built pyramids and how were they different from the Egyptian pyramids? Were they used for the same purposes or not; how did they feature in the social and political life of the time; in short, what functions did they serve? To answer these questions, you will need to travel back in time and do some research. It is suggested that you spread your research out over a few days for maximum benefit. When you are done, write a comparison and contrast essay
Reading material to annotate and videos to make notes on
·         “Pyramids in Latin America – Ancient History” http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/pyramids-in-latin-america (Make sure to watch the videos and make notes as well)
·         Chichen Itza:El Castillo, pyramid of Kukulkan” http://www.world-mysteries.com/chichen_kukulcan.htm (Make sure to watch the video and make notes)
·         “Egyptian Pyramids” http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/the-egyptian-pyramids (Make sure to watch the videos and make notes)
Virtual tours:
·         “The great pyramids of Giza” http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Egypt-Cairo-Pyramids
·         “Maya pyramids – Chichen Itza, Mexico” http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Chichen-Itza-Mexico

·         “Maya pyramids – Tikal, Guatemala” http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Tikal-Guatemala
Documentaries to watch and make notes on:
·         “Secrets of the Egyptian pyramids” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcKahraBiBY
·         Mystery of the Maya http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/mystery-of-the-maya/
·         Mexican pyramids  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HopKnewx1zc

Thursday, June 5, 2014

WHERE TO GO DURING YOUR VACATION? VIRTUAL TOUR ASSISTED DESCRIPTION OR COMPARISON CONTRAST ESSAY / PARAGRAPH


You are going on holiday with three friends and each of you wants to go somewhere different. Persuade them that your choice is best. In order to do this, use comparison and contrast structures. State your choice clearly in the thesis statement and then go on to compare your choice to the other three to prove you are right.
Procedure:
Try out the vitual tours. As you watch, make notes on the facts and your impressions. Remember to make use of all the opportunities to enjoy the virtual tour by zooming in and out, clicking the helicopter for an arial view and the like. When you have made your choice, write your essay.
Ireland
·         “Historical Sites Ireland – Virtual Tours” http://www.virtualvisittours.com/category/historical-sites-ireland/  
Mexico
·         “Cancun, Mexico – Arial panorama” http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Cancun-Mexico
Montenegro
·         “Montenegro – Kotor bay” http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=montenegro-virtual-tour
The isle of Capri – Italy
·         “Virtual travel to isle of Capri – Italy” http://www.italyguides.it/en/campania/isle-of-capri