Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Focus on news stories

Type: Article

In May's editorial, Keith Kelly draws attention to materials relevant to the eruption of, and disruption caused by, the Icelandic volcano among other recent world news stories.

Dear colleagues,

Volcanic activity
As Europe was dramatically brought to a standstill by Eyjafjallajokull’s volcanic activity, we’re taking the news as the focus for this month’s update. There are images of volcanoes on the site for those of you who want to study the topic and need something to visualize the process of volcanic activity as well as links to another volcano event used for a group speaking activity. You can also link the volcano with our Selections poem for children entitled The long walk home.

Scientific discoveries
Also in the news was the announcement that Swedish scientists have discovered a new species of bacterium known as Endoxenoturbella lovénii. You can link to the bacteria theme with the materials on the topic of food chains, ecosystems, a debate about Life on Mars, and also the wonderful bug battery animation which shows how power can be captured from bacteria. Dealing with slightly larger species, the third instalment of Carol Reed’s Amazing world of animals focuses on animals' adaptability and is called Animal camouflage.

In the news and literature
There are several new items with a news focus. There is a Guardian Weekly news lesson based on the intriguing geography of things, a Business Spotlight lesson plan on politics and hidden agendas in relation to Indian slums, as well as a Spot on news lesson for teens on single-sex education. This is all combined with an offer to get 3-for-2 on brand-new Macmillan Readers (Barack Obama, Michael Jackson: the King of Pop and Slumdog Millionaire).

Celebrity news
For those into celebrity news, the second mini-play, called Celebrities, has two Sun readers pouring over their newspaper and chatting about celebrity scandals. Famous science celebrity Stephen Hawking suggests this week that we pray alien life forms never notice our planet and so we have an M Tunes song video about aliens with interactive games.

Art news
In a month when the Chateau de Versailles marks the 300th anniversary of the Royal Chapel with an exhibition, we provide you with the fourth part of our series on Using art in the classroom on concepts, themes and issues.

Investigations
Always under investigation, the climate is still on the agenda this month with our worksheet on climate change, and for some instructions on investigations, where better to go than to Jean Brewster’s methodology article Investigating investigations in CLIL: Part 2.

It really is a news-filled update this month. Why not help us keep up to date with your news and send us your ideas and suggestions? We always welcome your contributions to the discussion forum and the Lesson Share competition, news-related or not!

Best wishes,

Keith

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