Lessons in the "ByDate" Category

Remembering David Bowie

Today let’s talk about music legend David Bowie. The singer died in New York on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 following an 18 month battle with liver cancer.

Bowie had kept his illness a secret from his fans; only his family and a few close friends actually knew. He told them that he wanted to be remembered for the good times and his music. Shortly after his death he was secretly cremated in New York without any of his family or friends present ‘without fuss’ – no big show, no fan-fare.

Great British Inventions

Today, let’s talk about great British inventions. There are many. We will look at a few of them.

The jet engine was invented by a chap called Frank Whittle from Coventry. He was fighter pilot. Whittle realised that piston powered flight was old technology. He designed the gas turbine ‘turbo-jet’ in 1930. Thwarted by the military it wasn’t until 1941 that his jet idea took off in the form of a Gloster E28/39 for a 17 minute flight.

Tin cans used for baked beans and vegetables were invented by a man called Peter Durand. He copied the preserved food in a glass jar idea that Frenchman Nicholas Appert had created, doing it this time with a tin can. The first commercial canning factory was opened in England in 1813.

Remembering 2015

In today’s English lesson we will look back at 2015. We will talk about some of the things that happened in the world during 2015.

The ongoing war in Syria dominated the news headlines in 2015. That aside, perhaps the biggest event to happen in Europe in 2015 was the great migration crisis. When the German Chancellor Mrs Merkel said ‘All migrants are welcome’ the floodgates were opened. Only Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán challenged her with his fence.

In the States Donald Trump was big news. He’s got a big mouth and wasn’t afraid to use it. Sadly, more people were killed by guns in the USA but as usual nothing was done about it.

Remember Remember the Fifth of November!

Today, we are going to talk about Guy Fawkes’ Night or Bonfire Night. The event is held every year in the United Kingdom on the evening of the fifth of November.

The annual commemoration is to remind us of the events of the 5th November 1605 when Guy Fawkes’, who was a Catholic, was caught and arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament while guarding the gunpowder that was to be used to blow it up.

Category: History / Guy Fawkes’ / 5 November

Halloween!

Today, let’s talk about Halloween. It occurs once a year on the night of the 31st October. It’s the most likely time you’ll see people dressed up as witches, ghosts, skeletons, monsters, devils or other weird supernatural creatures.

Halloween parties are popular among both children and adults and dressing up in costume is all part of the fun! Watch out for many a pumpkin with spooky eyes and teeth lit by a candle. Halloween colours are black and orange. Watch out for the spooky masks!

Category: Halloween / 31 October / Witches & Pumpkins

Easter traditions

Today let’s talk about Easter traditions. Every country and region has its own. In this lesson we will look at a few of them.

Most people associate Easter with Easter eggs, Easter bunnies and Easter Egg hunts. Easter though is about Christ. Many Christians celebrate Easter to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. For this reason they go to church over this period.

Category: Easter / Easter Traditions / Religion

The end of the world – or is it?

Today, let’s talk about the end of the world. According to the ancient Mayan calendar it was meant to end on December 21st 2012. By reading this lesson after this date the world is obviously still here!

There have been many superstitions and predictions about December 21st. Some people might say the world might not end exactly on this date but soon after. Then again the world might just last a few more thousand years…

Category: The World / End of the World / Mayan Calendar

What is Christmas today?

Today, let’s talk about Christmas. What is it? Why is it? How do we celebrate it? What does it mean to you? Also how has it changed over the years? Some interesting questions for you to mull over…maybe over a glass of Glühwein? This German pre-Christmas tradition has in recent years spread across Europe to the UK in the form of popular Christmas markets.

Category: Christmas / December / Tradition

Halloween…

Today, let’s talk about Halloween. It occurs once a year on the night of the 31st October. It’s the most likely time you’ll see people dressed up as witches, ghosts, skeletons, monsters, devils or other weird supernatural creatures.

Halloween parties are popular among both children and adults and dressing up in costume is all part of the fun! Watch out for many a pumpkin with spooky eyes and teeth lit by a candle. Halloween colours are black and orange. Watch out for the spooky masks!

Category: Halloween / 31st October / Witches & Pumpkins

A traditional Christmas in England

Pre-Christmas - The English like to celebrate Christmas well ahead of the actual day. Before the kids break up from school toddlers might visit Santa’s grotto in a local department store. Children at primary and secondary schools might hold Christmas bazaars. Kids at secondary schools normally have to go to church for the annual carol service. Adults meanwhile celebrate with the Christmas office party! That’s always good festive fun!

There are Christmas lights in the main parts of most towns and these days some people like to decorate the front of their houses with Christmas lights. Meanwhile many retailers in England have been flogging Christmas goodies since October! The advent calendar is also a must for kids to open daily in December. Christmas markets are now very popular.

Category: England / Traditional Christmas / Christmas