A Darwinian Theory of Beauty: Denis Dutton

 

Walking in the Air – Aled Jones

We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the moonlit’sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly

I’m holding very tight
I’m riding in the midnight blue
I’m finding I can fly so high above with you

Far across the world
The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills
The forests and the streams

Children gaze open mouthed
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes

We’re surfing in the air
We’re swimming in the frozen sky
We’re drifting over icy
Mountains floating by

Suddenly swooping low on an ocean deep
Arousing of a mighty monster from its sleep

We’re walking in the air
We’re dancing in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly

We’re walking in the air
We’re walking in the air

Christmas with the Snowman

The Snowman

The beautifully animated film ‘The Snowman‘ formed the basis of several groups’ final Christmas and Winter themed lessons. We firstly learnt some warm winter clothing nouns, then we had fun either trying them on or winter dressing a live ‘snowman’.

Winter Clothes

We then watched the film, in full or in part, naming things and animals as we went along. Our next step was to create snowmen for ourselves, so out came our scissors, glue and colours. 🙂

The-Snowman with cake

However, what is a winter without Christmas? So, over the final lessons we played with Christmas words, outlined Santa’s tasks, and sang Christmas songs. And to top it off we created funny old Father Christmases of our very own.

Ending with a Gruff

The older classes in Križ and I managed to finish our Gruffalo project together before the closing of 2012. We watched the entire BBC Animated adventure over a period of several sessions, mixed in with readings from the adorable picture book.

We continued with descriptive worksheets of the forest scenes; Mouse meets Fox; Mouse meets Owl; and Mouse meets Snake. And Mouse’s descriptions of the Gruffalo; his description to Fox; his description to Owl; and his description to Snake.

All of which was interspaced with autumn activities, Gruffalo word games and paper crafts. 🙂

In our final lesson we brought the unit to an end with a dose of reality by looking at which real animals share the Gruffalo’s various features.

We only scratched the surface of what the book has to offer, but thankfully the children are eager to hear all about ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’. 🙂

Robotic Christmas

The final Sveti Ivan primary school project of 2012 was a two week project concerning robots.

We began our first session with a look at the distinction between real and make-believe robots by watching some wall-e shorts and the Honda Asimo commercial. Then we started working with some humanoid robotic worksheets to learn the names of humanoid body parts. We began by looking at the head, then we continued to the basic body nouns, and  finished off with naming our main movable joints.

At the end of our first session we got funky, and got up from our chairs to dance robotic Gangnam style. It was fantastic.

The second session of the project was also ‘Christmas week’, so we had a robotic Christmas session. I first attempted to amaze the young learners with a look at icub.

It worked! 🙂 So, as a class we took the opportunity to translate the video’s key verbs into Italian and Slovenian.

We next looked at some Christmas vocabulary with the help of some internet generated worksheets and then got robotically funky again with Electronic Santa Claus.

The kids loved that one! We finished up the lesson with a little creativity, as the children drew their own Electronic Santas. 🙂

The Gruffalo Comes to Križ

I was delighted to discover that the kids at the Križ primary school had yet to discover the gleeful tale of The Gruffalo. So, a new children’s literature project was born.the gruffalo

We started the journey by looking at the story’s incredibly intelligent heroic mouse and watching a part of the beautiful animated adventure.

We then went on to examine the meeting of Mouse and Fox by pinpointing some of the scene’s features and by reliving how Mouse had described the gruesome Gruffalo.

I am really looking forward to our next meeting. 🙂

A Wallace and Gromit Inspired Rocket

A Wonderful Space Rocket

Here is a wonder rocket which recently blasted off at Sveti Ivan primary school. Well done, Jil. 🙂

Here is the template which started the creative juices flowing.

My Robotic Mission, by Jan, aged 12.

My robot’s name is Armageddon. In this mission he needs to go into the enemy’s base. He needs to take photos and videos, find the enemy’s weak points, and discover how to destroy him.

Armageddon has a missile, an ultrasonic sound ray, two front lasers, and very potent propellers to push away the enemy.

 Armageddon can fly, he can travel off-road, but he can’t go underwater.

He communicates with his base via a satellite connection and he can connect with any computer he finds on the enemy’s base.

Grand Robotic Mayhem

Following on from Wallace and Gromit‘s meeting with the luna-robot, I thought that we would have some more robotic fun for ourselves.

Barcola primary school was the lesson’s ‘advanced guard’, but my other English groups will not be too far behind. 🙂

We began the session with some youtube enhanced discussions concerning real and make-believe robots. Firstly we looked at a Wall-e short, which the children correctly identified as make-believe.

Then we watched a Honda commercial featuring Asimo.

I explained to them that Asimo was indeed a real robot, but that he needed a squad of technicians on hand to program him even for ‘simple’ tasks. Some of the children seemed relieved to hear this!

After a simple worksheet linking us back to the Wallace and Gromit adventure, we got down to some real fun. So, out came the cardboard boxes, balloons, and Lego for some grand low-tech robotic creations. (more…)

A Grand Project for ‘A Grand Day Out’

Earlier this week some of the children began their first Wallace and Gromit project, based on the duo’s first animated adventure: ‘A Grand Day Out‘.

We started out by watching the film, which all of the children seemed to love, and then we went on to a comprehension exercise. With the youngest classes we completed simple comprehension sentences, while with the slightly older classes answered some comprehension questions.

The remainer of the lesson was spent on either building our own rocket-ships or designing our very own luna-robots.