Lesson Archive


Winter is one of four seasons. It follows autumn and precedes spring. In the northern hemisphere, winter is between December and March. It’s the darkest and coldest time of the year in Europe, as the nights are long and the days short. The shortest day of the year is December 21.

We associate snow, frost, and ice with winter. It’s when icicles form and hang from buildings and snowflakes really are snowflakes and not just people. It’s the time of the year when you put that winter coat on and wrap up well to keep warm. Inside your house you light that log fire and look out at the snow piled up outside.

Halloween v The Day of the Dead - in Europe, Mexico and beyond

While Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31, the Day of the Dead is commemorated on October 31, November 1 and 2.

Halloween sees people dress up as witches and skeletons. There are bats and black cats. Folk like to party. The night is popular in the USA and the UK. The event has spread itself around the world.

One day later, Catholics in Continental Europe, Central Europe, the Philippines, and in Mexico, like to commemorate the Day of the Dead. This is when thousands of people travel, sometimes hundreds of kilometres, to visit graveyards and cemeteries, to place candles and flowers on the graves of deceased loved ones.

Plague warning given: The Black Death spreads in Madagascar

The plague is a disease that killed millions of people across Europe during the Middle Ages. It became known as the Black Death.

It appears the killer disease is back. This time it is in Madagascar, which is a holiday destination island off the coast of south east Africa. Since August, 124 people have been killed by the deadly disease. A total of 1,133 people have been affected by the outbreak of the disease. According to the latest WHO analysis, there is a ‘very high risk’ of the disease spreading.

Nearby countries and overseas territories; including South Africa, Ethiopia, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Mauritius, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, as well as the Comoros Islands, which are a small group of islands near Madagascar, have all been put on alert.

Catalonia declares independence from Spain

Yesterday, in Barcelona, the Catalonian parliament declared independence from Spain. They did so, just before the Spanish government enacted article 155 against them.

The Spanish government immediately dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. Madrid then imposed direct rule on the newly self-declared ‘independent’ country.

Last night, following the declaration of independence in the Catalonian parliament, the people of Barcelona and Catalonia celebrated, though not all of its citizens agree with the new situation.

Inventions that changed our lives

Today, we are going to look at some of the inventions that have changed our lives.

Automatic washing machines (1962) changed how people did their washing. Many people used to use twin tub washing machines, before moving onto a front loader washing machine. Many people in the USA and Canada use top loaders.

In 1963, the fridge freezer was introduced. It helped revolutionise how we stored food, without having to can, pickle or dry it. Two years later, in 1965, dishwashers first appeared. I got my first one in 2007. My parents had one back in the ’90s.