mardi 21 avril 2015

This April, at English and Creativity we are celebrating National Poetry Month

Television  by Roald Dahl

The most important thing we've learned,

So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.


jeudi 16 avril 2015

Planting sunflowers

So it's official, SPRING  IS  HERE !

What better way to celebrate than to plant flowers ?

Sunflowers, to be exact 

After creating a decorative "flower and ladybug" top ...

We learned about the life cycle of a flower :

and what a plant needs to grow :

We put clay beads in the bottom of our jars ...

covered them with soil...

planted our seeds...

and then watered our seeds...


Next, we sang "The Planting Song" to remember the different steps of planting :

 We made little wooden markers to identify our plantings...

And voilà !  Here are our creations...

For fun, we watched "Sid the Seed" 

and Peppa Pig

Stay tuned to see how the sunflowers grow !

The Easter Bunny left us some eggs last month

The Young Learners made Easter baskets before searching for Easter eggs

Chocolate.... yum !

Happy Easter ! Happy Spring !

Spring is finally here !

And we are celebrating BIG TIME at English and Creativity !

The Young Learners made some terrific Spring trees ...

mardi 17 février 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day party with the big kids...

Making cards and eating candy

jeudi 12 février 2015

Countdown to Valentine's Day 2015

At English & Creativity we just LOVE chocolate, love poems and songs and telling people how wonderful they are, so Valentine's Day is right up our alley !

The Bilinguals enjoyed discovering both Chet Baker versions of "My Funny Valentine"



Ben made the class awesomely creative Valentine cards ...

They all tried their hands at creating cinquain poems about someone or something they love

A light-hearted love song by Cole Porter...

You're the Top - Cole Porter

At words poetic, I'm so pathetic
That I always have found it best
Instead of getting them off my chest
To let 'em rest unexpressed

I hate parading my serenading
As I probably miss the bar
But if this ditty is not so pretty
At least it'll tell you how great you are

You're the top, you're the Coliseum
You're the top, you're the Louver Museum
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare's sonnet
You're Mickey Mouse

You're the Nile, you're the Tower of Pisa
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop
But if baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top

You're the top, you're Mahatma Gandhi
You're the top, you're Napoleon Brandy
You're the purple light of a summer night in Spain
You're the National Gallery, you're Garbo's salary
You're cellophane

You're sublime, you're the turkey dinner
You're the time of the Derby winner
I'm a toy balloon that's fated soon to pop
But if baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top

You're the top, you're an arrow collar
You're the top, you're a Coolidge dollar
You're the nimble tread of the feet of Fred Astaire
You're an O'Neill drama, you're Whistler's mama
You're Camembert

You're a rose, you're Inferno's Dante
You're the nose on the great Durante
I'm just in the way, as the French would say, "De trop"
But if baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top

You're the top, you're a Waldorf salad
You're the top, you're a Berlin ballad
You're the basic grand of a lady and the gents
You're an old Dutch master, you're Mrs. Astor
You're Pepsodent

You're romance, you're the steppes of Russia
You're the pants on a Roxy usher
I'm a lazy lout which is just about to stop
But if baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top

They learned various expressions using the word "heart" ...


Another love song by Cole Porter...

”So In Love” -  Cole Porter

Strange dear, but true dear,
When I'm close to you, dear,
The stars fill the sky,
So in love with you am I.
Even without you,
My arms fold about you,
You know darling why,
So in love with you am I.
In love with the night mysterious,
The night when you first were there,
In love with my joy delirious,
When I knew that you could care,
So taunt me, and hurt me,
Deceive me, desert me,
I'm yours, till I die.....
So in love.... So in love....
So in love with you, my love...
Am I....

Of course, no Valentine's Day celebration would be complete without chocolate, conversation heart candies, heart-shaped marshmallows and 
candy kisses....

Think you know what Valentine's Day is all about ? Try this fill-in-the-blanks (answers at the end) :

Some famous love poems ...

She Walks  in  Beauty
By Lord George Gordon Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

My  mistress’ eyes  are  nothing  like  the  sun (Sonnet 130)
by William Shakespeare

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
The White Rose
by John Boyle O’Reilly
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”-  Ingrid Bergman