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Teaching Tips 126

Kiss me, Hardy
A grid, clues: down & across (9)

Kiss me, Hardy

You have surely got the idea that we really like lessons that are relevant to what's going on in the world at large, one reason for the emphasis on the special Days, apart from making what to put in the Tip a little easier! But this last one that H.M. sent me does seem to be pushing the limits a bit. It's National Kissing Day in the UK on 28th April. This was dreamed up by a dental insurance company, & seems to work, in that it is known & gains more publicity for the company.

So it seems as if anyone can start a Day. What would you choose? National Nosepicking Day?

But should we take this Kissing Day on? I presume you've got to go round actually kissing people. Apart from not really wanting to get within half a metre of 99% of the people I meet, let alone kiss them, it would be a fairly unhygienic way to spend the day, depending on the type of kiss of course.

Anyway, why not, it's as good any other theme & gets us away from the staple diet of travel, shopping, describing people etc... the usual stuff in coursebooks. So, in the interests of world harmony (!) here are some lesson ideas.

- To get the ball rolling with some visuals - do a quick search in Google Images:
'The Kiss by the Hotel de Ville', by Robert Doisneau, which has been described as the most famous photograph of all time.
'The Kiss', the famous Rodin sculpture.
'The Kiss' by Man Ray.
The famous Life Magazine photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on V-Day in Times Square.
Show the students & get reactions.
Give one to each student & their partner guesses the content, or the holder describes to their partner.

- I'm sure you diidn't want to know - the longest recorded kiss took place in New York City on December 5, 2001, between Louisa Almedovar and Rich Langley. It lasted 30 hours, 59 minutes and 27 seconds. Yuck!

- Start with some aspect of kissing - the photos above, introduce the idea of the Day, see what they think, & then move on to different nationality customs when greeting. e.g.which cheek do you begin with when giving the two-cheek kiss?
And then on to other gestures used, comparing them to other nationalities.

- Related vocab: kiss, kiss of life/death, air kiss, blow a kiss, kiss better, kiss & tell, kiss goodbye etc...

- Little did Nelson know that amongst his victories, he would also be remembered for his famous line 'Kiss me, Hardy'. For the attempted cover up & explanation:

- For the younger learner 'Sleeping Beauty' is the obvious choice for that famous kiss.

Wikipedia's page on kissing:

- In the film 'Casablanca', the song 'As Time Goes By', sung by Dooley Wilson (the only person in the film to have actually been to Casablanca & purportedly ripped off for his performance, receiving only $150 of the agreed $500) talks of the kiss. The content's even more relevant today & if you've got the film to use all the better. Should go down well in class.

As Time Goes By...

This day and age we're living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension
Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein's theory
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension
And no matter what the progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed
You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you"
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny
Well, it's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by

Ideas on using the song - anything but a gap fill!
- look at the vocab - is there any crucial vocab you need to pre-teach? Would it be too much for lower levels or could they get the general idea?
- simply play for pleasure - what did they think? Could be connected with a viewing over several lessons of the film.
- put eight key words on the board, students predict & then listen to verify.
- straightforward listening procedure - give a simple extensive task: what's it about > play > compare in pairs > feedback > more intensive task: What's the attitude to the present? What does the singer feel we need? etc.. > play > compare in pairs > feedback....
- cut up every 3/4 lines, students put in order & listen to verify.

- Kissing tips & facts from - stuff for your teenagers:

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A couple of Days this week with lesson material on the site:
22nd - Earth Day
Unexpected situations:
23rd - St. George's Day - England
Slaying Dragons:

Last year the 25th April was International Noise Awareness Day & so one would assume it would be the same this year. But no, it was on the 16th! I'm not sure who really decides all of these Days but in order not to miss such a worthy Day entirely, better late than never, here are some ideas for using 'noise' as a theme, as well as looking at Noise Awareness Day:

- Noise lexis; a noise, make a noise, noisy, noiseless, noise pollution, soundproof...

- Students list 5 most pleasant noises & 5 worst noises & then compare to see if they have any similarities.

- Order the following in order of irritation, most to least:
* aircraft
* loud neighbors
* traffic
* leaf blowers and other lawn equipment
* loud music, "boom cars"
* sirens, car alarms, horn honking
* barking dogs and other animals, jet skis, snowmobiles
* other?

- Play a series of sounds & the students work out a story - see the Tip 'Sounds Intriguing':

- Develop comprehension strategies, ways to clarify comprehension, by introducing language such as 'I didn't catch that.', 'Could you repeat that, please?', 'Could you talk a little slower, please?'... Maybe make your own audio recording of a conversation with lots of background noise that makes the dialogue dificult for both speakers, & include some of the clarification exponents. Deal with the content of the dialogue with appropriate tasks & then notice & pull off the language, clarify it & go on to practise it.

- Noise complaint roleplays - e.g.
A: You are fed up wiuth the noise from your neighbours. At all hours there is music coming from their flat. You would like some peace & quiet. Go & talk to your neighbours about the problem.
B: Your neighbours are very sensitive to noise, totally over the top. You play music but don't play it excessively, or loudly.

For a lesson plan on neighbourse & complaints:

- Noise quotes for discussion:
'The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.' Benjamin Franklin
'Silence is the true friend that never betrays.' Confucius
'Silence is a source of great strength.' Lao Tzu
'The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom: Silence.' Walter Bauer
'Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation.' James Thurber
'Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.' Margaret Lee Runbeck

- Reading - from the League for the Hard of Hearing - lots of short reading that couold be used for some nice jigsaw reading - see the following - change the texts to suit:
Facts on noise:
* Noise & Hearing
* Noise & Health
* Noise in the Workplace
* Recreational Noise
* Personal Stereo Systems & Headsets (mp3 players)
* Noise & Music
* Noise & Health Clubs
* Noise in the Home
* Noise Levels Common in Our Environment
* Airport Noise
* How To Handle A Noise Complaint

- Recipe for A Quiet Diet - from the above site - students brainstorm what they might do on the Day & then compare with the list of things below, deciding on the best ideas. The same for the younger learners but they try to do the tasks as quietly as possible, whispering to each other.

Take these few, simple steps to preserve the peace and quiet in your life:

Pay attention to the noises you make and respect your neighbor's right to peace and quiet.
Turn down the volume two notches on your radios and personal stereo systems with headphones.
Turn down the volume one notch on your television.
Do NOT honk your horn, except in the case of imminent danger.
Do NOT tip cab drivers who honk their horns illegally.
Avoid noisy sports events, restaurants, rock concerts and nightclubs unless you use hearing protection.
Replace noisy activities with quiet ones such as taking a walk, visits to libraries and museums.
Ask your health club instructor to lower the music.
Ask the movie theater manager to turn down the volume.
Wear adequate hearing protection if you must be in a noisy environment (the subway, mowing the lawn)
Turn off the television during dinner and have a quiet conversation instead.
Get a free hearing screening.
Organize a town meeting to review (or develop) a local, enforceable noise ordinance.
Participate in the Noise Center's letter writing campaign to reestablish the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Noise Abatement & Control.
Spread the word about the danger of noise,

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first crossword

A grid, clues: down
& across (9)

Crossword Puzzle Day is coming round again on 18th April, so this week we revisit a couple of past Tips on using crosswords in different ways & a couple of articles on crosswords:

Crosswords can be lots of fun at any time & there are any uses from them in the classroom. Here are a few:

- Collaborative Crossword: a normal crossword that reviews recently taught vocabulary or is leading into a theme, done collaboratively with the whole class - it's fun to do it together. Encourage them to give further clues rather than shout out the answers when they have them.

- Pairwork Crossword: give half of a completed crossword to each person in the pair. They have to make up the clues for their set of answers & then they tell each other until both have a completed crossword.

- Class Crossword: give out a crossword to each student but with a different answer filled in on each. The students think of the clue to their answer & then mingle telling each other their clues & listening to each other until all have completed the crossword. Good for revising vocab.

- Advanced Crossword: give out the crossword, with all of the clues about the vocabulary that is going to come up in the next two weeks. As the fortnight proceeds the students can do a bit more of their crosswords - the first to complete it gets a small prize. Then use the crossword to review the vocab covered.

- Invented Crossword: in pairs, get your students to make their own crosswords up based on the vocab recently covered. When finished, swap them around for each pair to do a new one. Lots of vocab reviewed in both parts of the activity.

- Coursebook Crossword: at the beginning of a course when you are showing the students what is involved in the coursebook, instead of a list of questions that asks them to look through the book for the answers, design a crossword to fill 3 across: the section near the back with lots of verbs (9, 4, 4) (Irregular Verb List).

- Comprehension Crossword: As in the above activity, when students are looking for information to answer comprehension or scan reading questions in a text, they can be presented in the form of a crossword.

- Picture Crosswords: for the younger learner, the clues are in picture form instead of definitions.

- Phonology Crosswords: design a crossword that reviews vocab but instead of putting in the letters for the words, the students put in the phonemes for the words. For word stress, choose the pattern you want to look at & for each clue give three words, the right answer being the one that fits the pattern.

Don't forget about the logistical language the students might need to do the above activities & deal with it beforehand to maximise the effectiveness of the tasks e.g.- have you got the clue for four across? - the language of dis/agreement - the language of negotiation

Most people find crosswords interesting & if integrated into classes, they can be motivating & fun for your students. And for the teacher in a non-English speaking country, normal newspaper crosswords are a great way of trying to keep your English vocabulary from diminishing.

A History of Crosswords:

Brief History of Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history. The first crosswords appeared in England during the 19th century. They were of an elementary kind, apparently derived from the word square, a group of words arranged so the letters read alike vertically and horizontally, and printed in children's puzzle books and various periodicals. In the United States, however, the puzzle developed into a serious adult pastime.

The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World. Wynne's puzzle(see below) differed from today's crosswords in that it was diamond shaped and contained no internal black squares. During the early 1920's other newspapers picked up the newly discovered pastime and within a decade crossword puzzles were featured in almost all American newspapers. It was in this period crosswords began to assume their familiar form. Ten years after its rebirth in the States it crossed the Atlantic and re-conquered Europe.

The first appearance of a crossword in a British publication was in Pearson's Magazine in February 1922, and the first Times crossword appeared on February 1 1930. British puzzles quickly developed their own style, being considerably more difficult than the American variety. In particular the cryptic crossword became established and rapidly gained popularity. The generally considered governing rules for cryptic puzzles were laid down by A. F. Ritchie and D. S. Macnutt.

These people, gifted with the ability to see words puzzled together in given geometrical patterns and capable of twisting and turning words into word plays dancing on the wit of human minds, have since constructed millions of puzzles by hand and each of these puzzlers has developed personal styles known and loved by his fans. These people have set the standard of what to expect from a quality crossword puzzle.

This would make an interesting reading, & afterwards you could present the students with the very first crossword - see below - there is a link to the solutions. You might let them have a go first & then give out the answers, mixed up, to choose from to make it all manageable.

The world's first crossword puzzle

By Arthur Wynne, December 21, 1913
from The New York World


2-3. What bargain hunters enjoy. 6-22. What we all should be.
4-5. A written acknowledgment. 4-26. A day dream.
6-7. Such and nothing more. 2-11. A talon.
10-11. A bird. 19-28. A pigeon.
14-15. Opposed to less. F-7. Part of your head.
18-19. What this puzzle is. 23-30. A river in Russia.
22-23. An animal of prey. 1-32. To govern.
26-27. The close of a day. 33-34. An aromatic plant.
28-29. To elude. N-8. A fist.
30-31. The plural of is. 24-31. To agree with.
8-9. To cultivate. 3-12. Part of a ship.
12-13. A bar of wood or iron. 20-29. One.
16-17. What artists learn to do. 5-27. Exchanging.
20-21. Fastened. 9-25. To sink in mud.
24-25. Found on the seashore. 13-21. A boy.
10-18. The fibre of the gomuti palm.

And then there's an interesting article about how a crossword nearly gave the game away:

The Crossword Panic of May 1944

During World War II the daily newspapers were at their most popular even though they consisted of only a few pages. People throughout Britain could find out what was happening in the parts of the world where our troops were engaged in the fight against Hitler and the Nazis

At the beginning of the war, the news was mainly bad with the German blitzkrieg advances throughout Europe, but as the years rolled on, the news slowly became better …and in October 1942 British morale was greatly bolstered by General Montgomery’s famous success at El Alamein in North Africa.

But it wasn’t just the news that was eagerly sought in the papers; there were other matters of interest. Nearly all newspapers had crossword puzzles in them and they were very popular as they helped fill in the hours spent in the Air-Raid Shelters, waiting for trains or just simply engaged in that great British tradition of queuing.

One of the popular ‘Dailys’ of the time was the Daily Telegraph, and so too was its crossword puzzle.

It was in January 1943 that the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D Roosevelt met and agreed that the future of the war must include an invasion of northwest Europe or a ‘return to the Continent’.

Planning for the invasion started almost immediately, and after extensive research it was decided that the sheltered Normandy coastline with its wide sandy beaches presented the best option for the surprise attack that was to be the D-Day landings. The assault was code-named Operation Overlord by Churchill himself.

The US General Dwight D Eisenhower was made overall commander of Operation Overlord in December 1943, with the British hero General Bernard Law Montgomery assuming control of ground troops. It was in early May 1944 that Eisenhower decided that D-Day would fall on 5th June 1944.

A huge security blanket had been thrown over all aspects of the operation, including the place and exact date of the landings, in order to maximise the element of surprise and minimise casualties. One US major-general was even demoted and sent home for simply speculating at a cocktail party on the date of the invasion.

But while some members of MI5, Britain’s counter-espionage service, were whiling away their spare moments in May 1944 by doing the Telegraph Crossword, they noticed that vital code-names that had been adopted to hide the mightiest sea-borne assault of all time, appeared in the crossword.

They noticed that the answer to one clue, ‘One of the USA’, turned out to be Utah, and another answer to a clue was Omaha. These were the names, given by the Allies, to the beaches in Normandy where the American Forces were to land on D-Day.

Another answer that appeared in that month’s crossword was Mulberry. This was the name of the floating harbour that was to be towed across the Channel to accommodate the supply ships of the invasion force. Neptune another answer, referred to the code-name for the naval support for the operation.

Perhaps the most suspicious was a clue about a ‘Big-Wig’, to which the answer was Overlord. This was the code-name given for the entire operation!

Alarm bells rang throughout MI5 …was the crossword being used to tip-off the Germans?

Two officers were sent immediately to Leatherhead in Surrey, where a man called Leonard Dawe lived. He was the crossword compiler, a 54 year-old teacher.

Why, the officers demanded to know, had he chosen theses five words within his crossword solutions?

“Why not?” was Dawe’s indignant reply. Was there a law against choosing whatever words he liked?

MI5 eventually became convinced of Dawe’s honesty and he managed to convince them that he had no knowledge of the coming D-Day invasion.

His crossword solutions it appears were perhaps just another of life’s astonishing coincidences!



Puzzle Solution


Links to crossword creating software:

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