Reading Lesson about Olympics Opening Ceremony

31 07 2012

Wasn’t the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games brilliant?  Danny Boyle and those thousands of volunteers did a fabulous job keeping us entertained for over three hours on Friday night, revelling in the best of British music, history and culture. 

Why not share the brilliance with your students through this reading lesson, based on the BBC  review of the event. 

 

Download:

Olympics Opening Ceremony Reading Students

Olympics Opening Ceremony Reading Teachers

and

Olympics Opening Ceremony Reading Lesson Plan

and your off!

Hope your students and you enjoy it.  Let us know what you think.

P.S. I originally posted this on ih-buenosairesblog.com

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Easy Wedding Preparations in Madrid

24 07 2012

Easy Madrid by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

Having returned to England from Italy, we didn’t get around to running again – too much shopping and family lunches to do.  So once we were in Spain, we did a preemptive run around Retiro before that night’s wedding – the reason we went to Europe at this time of year.  

 

Buen Retiro Park

It was very hot and so we ran around the park trying to stay in the shade as much as possible.  Thoughts were focused on the wedding and how a Spanish wedding would differ from an Argentine one and then already about returning to Buenos Aires, since we were leaving the next evening.  Once back home it was time to start training for the half marathon and if all goes well the marathon in October.  But they’ll both need lots of luck and controlled training if I’m not to get injured again and miss them both.  Even as I was having these thoughts my long-standing calf injury came back to tweak me.





Loving Lake Garda

23 07 2012

Easy Lake Garda by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

On the way back from Venice to Milan for our flight back to England, we stopped off on the coast of Lake Garda, near Lazise, for a few hours on the beach and in the lake.  We swam, we read, we ate carpaccio and hamburgers, and then just before the sun started to set we had a little 5km-ish run up and down the side of the lake.  We didn’t go too far, since the lakeside path seemed to stop on us at one point, but we enjoyed an easy run alongside a beautiful lake with fabulous views of blue.

Lazise, Lake Garda

Mer was running her new webbed shoes for the run, I’m going to let mine wait until back home in buenos Aires so that I can wear them in properly.  If I have lots of injuries with normal running shoes, imagine the problems I might have completely changing my form to a front of the foot running style.  At the same time, by wearing them in and getting used to them slowly, I’m hoping that eventually they’ll help me to run light and stay injury free.

My bare footing running shoes





The London 2012 Olympics

22 07 2012

This week sees the beginning of the Olympic Games in London.  Why not get your students into the mood by doing some Olympics related activities in the classroom?  The idea of this blog is to provide a space for us to share ideas and resources we create around IHWO so that we can motivate and inspire our students to learn English as well as enjoy the way London hosts the Olympic Games.

Please do add your ideas and resources to the platform both as files and here as comments.  I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas to get you underway.  Hope you like them:

Olympic Activities

Present an Olympic sport:

            Rules

Students explain to classmates how one of the Olympic sports / disciplines works.  Great for developing vocabulary and research and speaking skills.  When giving their presentations, the classmates can be making notes, filling in a chart (to later compare sports) or thinking of follow up questions to ask. 

            Olympic history

Students present the Olympic history of a sport or discipline.  How long has it featured in the games for?  When was it first included?  Who were its most famous winners?  What Olympic stories are most connected to this sport.  Listeners can fill in a chart or ask questions or decide on the most Olympic sport / best presentation. 

            Olympic timetable

Students present the where and when and how to watch this Olympic sport, aiming to make it as attractive an event to the other students as possible.  Listeners can choose one event to watch, fill in an info chart or decide which presentation was most successful.  

 

Present the athlete

            Biography

Students choose a favorite athlete to present to the class, giving a summary of their careers to date and previewing their possible participation in the games to come.  Listeners can rank athletes in order of interest of decide on the best presentations.  or ask follow up questions on each athlete.  

            Career in pictures

SS can post a blog about an athlete, describing their career highlights and accompanying it with pictures from the web.  Students then comment on each others’ posts, asking follow up questions about their careers or making simple comments on the pictures posted. 

            Daily Olympic journal

 Students choose an athlete to follow throughout the games and each day / class/ week write a journal entry as if they were that athlete.

 

Present the country

            Top three athletes

Students research a country’s Olympic team and choose three athletes to focus on.  These can be presented as an article, a blog post, a picture presentation or a short speech.  

            Top three teams

As above, but focusing on teams rather than individuals (e.g. the women’s football team, the cycling team, the yachting team). 

            Gold medal possibilities

Students write a summary of a country’s best medal prospects.  The class can keep a log of each student’s recommendations as the games progress – did they win the medals predicted? 

            Country background /  Country history

 Students choose a country to write or speak about and can summarize their background or history, either sporting or entire, perhaps focusing more on lesser known or smaller countries. 

 

The host country

There are myriad articles available on the internet about all of the topics below and many more.

Students can each choose an article to read from the internet on the given theme and then in class they discuss the information in their articles, comparing and contrasting their research or giving each other tasks to do based on their texts (e.g. use of Englsi closes or reading comprehension tasks).

            Games preparation

            The bidding process

            The Olympic village

            Security arrangements

            The Olympic torch

            The Opening Ceremony

 

The Olympics

History

Each group can present a summary of a previous Olympic games 

Ideals

Students discuss what the Olympics mean to them and debate their value to society in the modern world.  

Future

How will the Olympic movement continue beyond 2012?

Students could prepare a pitch for their countries/cities to host the Olympic games.  

 

I’m sure there are millions of other activities that can be done using the Olympics theme and making the most of all the written and spoken materials that there is out there on the web.  but I hope some of these ideas help you to incorporate the excitement of the games into your lessons and help your students learn some English in a fun way.  

Happy Olympics everyone!

Neil 





Hitting The Hills, Hitting The Beach! in Venice

17 07 2012

Hills Venice by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

From England we headed to Italy to watch Operas at La Scala (Manon), the Arena in Verona (Aida) and La Fenice in Venice (Carmen), which were all brilliant in their own way.  The day we arrived in Venice, Mer couldn’t stand the heat (39 degrees) and so insisted on going to the beach.  The beach! I was expecting museums, churches, canals and gondolas and found myself on The Beach!  We had fun though and saw great views of Venice from the vaporetto on the way out to the Lido, I might even recommend it.  

But when we got back to Venice proper in the evening, it was time to take a look around and what better way to do it than to go for a run (very Woody Allen in Everyone says I love you I found out afterwards!)

It was lovely to meet Venice again by running up and down it’s bridges and getting cut off by canals.  I’d been once about 15 years ago for a day and it had rained and I hand;t thought much of the place.  But now, returning in a couple and enjoying The Beach and then a run, the magic of the place really came out.  It was also excellent hills training with all those steps to deal with and the breathtaking architecture meant we had run three or four kilometers without even realizing it.  We also got quite a lot of odd looks as we walked back through St Mark’s Square on the way back.  It seems Woody and Julia haven’t made running through the streets of Venice all that popular! 





Brighton beach – running abroad

17 07 2012

Easy Brighton by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

There’s always incredibly rewarding things about running on holiday.  First of all the sheer goodness you feel about enjoying running enough to take the time to do it when you’re allowed to be doing nothing.  Secondly, the freshness and curiosity of running in a completely new environment, enjoying the reaction of differently cultured passers-by, the differing weather and taking in the new views and paths and landscapes.

And so even though I’ve run in Brighton before (my little sister lives there), I was filled with enthusiasm and energy as the wife and I set off down the seafront.  Especially since I was in my new shoes, purchased in Run and Become a few days before.  I was also nursing a calf injury, so was a bit worried it might not hold up and I would;t be able to run again on the holiday – we were in England, Italy and Spain for three weeks in total, visiting family, watching operas and going to a wedding in each respective country.

But the calf held up, the sea breeze invigorated and the shoes felt very comfy.  I’d gone for springier ones from Mizuno rather than the rather rigid Sauconys I’d had before.  I was worried they might not give me enough support, but so far so very good, I felt I was bouncing more and hopefully this means my knees will benefit from more bend and I might even lessen the injuries.  Time will tell!