Spelling Bee 2018

Spelling Bee 2013Last Friday our students and teachers took part in a new edition of our Madrid Sur Spelling Bee / Bilingual Day together with students, language assistants and teachers from other nine bilingual Secondary schools in the Region of Madrid.

It has been a long road since we launched the idea at our school back in 2012. It started as an activity to reinforce vocabulary specific to some subjects taught in English. We wanted to agree on a common set of lexical items all students had to know and use in Technology, Biology, Geography and History, Music, Arts, Physical Education, Physics & Chemistry, English and Advanced English lessons. The first edition was a success so the following year the other four bilingual schools from our town, Móstoles, were invited. Three schools accepted so we decided not only to hold the spelling bee contest but also to organise workshops in English for the participating students with the help of our teachers and language assistants. These four schools (our Clara Campoamor, IES Velázquez, IES Juan Gris and Antonio de Nebrija) have become ten (the above mentioned plus IES Antonio Gala, IES La Serna, IES Dionisio Aguado, IES Barrio Loranca, IES Neil Armstrong and IES El Pinar) and other schools have also launched a second Spelling Bee in the region.

This is a list of the different editions of our contest and the venues:CartelSpellingBEE.indd

2012 – IES Clara Campoamor (Móstoles)
2013 – IES Clara Campoamor (Móstoles)
2014 – IES Velázquez (Móstoles)
2015 – IES La Serna (Fuenlabrada)
2016 – IES Juan Gris (Móstoles)
2017 – IES Neil Armstrong (Valdemoro)
2018 – IES Barrio de Loranca (Fuenlabrada)


By the way, congratulations to all our students and especially to Diego (winner in 2nd year CSE), Sylvia and Mariel (both got a special mention)!

Spelling Bee - 27 de abril 2018 - Facebook copia

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Book Day – 23rd April 2018

After a long pause this blog is back. The reason is Book Day. Can you think of a better reason? I cannot. Books are great, they tell us stories and help us discover other people’s experiences and visions.

Why do you read? Do you read for fun, for school, for information? Whatever the reason, never forget how important it is to read and how reading makes us free:

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)

This term we are studying Post-colonial Literature and some famous writers. My students have prepared the following slides to commemorate Book Day.

Post colonial Literature & Book Day

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However, the study of Literature is much more than the history of Literature and writers. It includes reading and writing Literature too. That is the reason why they have also written the book review of one of their favourite books and some ‘telescopic‘ texts starting from this single sentence: ‘The old lady bought a bicycle’. Later they were given some extra words which had to appear in the stories. Can you guess which ones?

Here you have their texts…

#1

The old lady bought the bicycle
The policeman was holding the gun. He was waiting in front of an old house.  It was a very cold day, everybody was at home. Suddenly, a light switched on on the first floor of the house. The policeman started to tremble. The silhouette of a lady appeared behind the curtains. There she was.
Inside the house, the lady went to the wardrobe and hid the gun she had used to commit the murder. She was wearing a purple dress she had bought from her last travel to Istanbul. Maybe the blood wouldn’t be noticed in that dress. She heard a sound downstairs and went to find out what it was. It was only a rodent climbing over the corpse. She looked away and began to clean the crime scene.
Outside, the policeman decided to get inside the house. However, when he had made the first step, he sneezed, that damn flu. The lady heard it and run to the main door. She didn’t know if attacking the man outside would be a good idea. Therefore, she took the Snow White bicycle of her grandson. The policeman heard the bell of the bike and shot. The bullets came out like a geyser. She managed to avoid them and passed over the policeman. He was hurt but ran onto his car to follow the lady, who was heading down the street.
Despite being over sixty years old, the lady was riding quite fast. Unfortunately, she didn’t notice she was heading directly into the big lake of the city. She couldn’t avoid it and fell into it.
“Police, stay right where you are” shouted the policeman.
“Wait…” the lady was shaking, afraid.
Waves started to appear on the surface of the lake. A big shadow appeared and was approaching to the lady.
“I can’t swim! Help me” she screamed.
The policeman jumped into the lake and swam to reach her.
However, by the time he reached her, the shadow was above them. A massive hungry killer whale.
A shout broke the night and then, all silence.

 

#2

That morning, the whole family arrived to a holiday home in the countryside not far from Istanbul. They were five: the parents, a pair of twins and a baby. As the holiday home was old, they could hear the rodents. They were bored as they sat in the sofa watching Snow White when, suddenly, someone knocked on the door. As they were alone, because their little sister had the flu and their parents had taken her to the doctor, they opened the door thinking it was their family. What happened then was really strange, they saw what seemed like a lady dressed with a purple dress running away from their house and shouting. The boys started to run after her with their bicycle. After 200 or 300 meters, she sttoped in a shop, bought a can of soda and then she went out and continued running. Finally, the strange woman and the boys arrived in the beach. When the girl saw the boys going after them she went into the water and immediately what seemed like a hungry killer whale ate her, then the whale breathed (looking like a geyser). Luke, who was one of the twins, shouted at his brother, Nick, to wake him up. Nick had fallen asleep while he was seeing Snow White and he was having a nightmare.

#3

After all the day in the auction of old objects wasting my time and being very tired, I found an object that caught my attention. I googled it and realized it was highly valued. Then I sat in the room where it was going to be auctioned, with the intention of buying it. There were lots of people in the room, including a woman that looked like Snow White and a man that reminded me of a hungry killer whale. It took the auction almost one hour to start, I began to get nervous because the person next to me seemed to have the flu and was always bleeding. Finally the event took place. I did my best to buy it, but when I looked in my pockets, I only had 200 £ so unfortunately I couldn’t buy it. I had not gone to the ATM bank since my return from Istanbul. I was very furious. Instead, an old lady, with a purple scarf bought the bicycle. I didn’t give up, so I followed the lady to her home because I wanted to rob it. She left it in the garage and I could enter too. That garage was disgusting, I saw a rodent. Finally I took the bicycle, and when I was going to leave the garage, a geyser exploded next to me, just out of the ground where I had put the stolen bicycle and… bye bye bicycle.

#4

The other day I was walking down the street and I saw a hungry dog eating a burger. The burger was from McDonald’s, a Big Mac, with a lot of fries. It looked delicious. However, there was also a rodent trying to eat it. Suddenly, an old lady saw it and with huge kindness she bought the rodent a taco.

“Why a taco?” I thought, but the taco looked even more delicious than the burger. I was just looking at the food when a killer whale abruptly appeared and ate everything. With the scare on my body I woke up and I realised it was the strangest dream I have ever had.

I didn’t know why that happened but I was really hungry, I needed to buy something. As I didn’t have a car, I took my purple bicycle and I went to a famous pizza’s restaurant of Istanbul. That restaurant had always intrigued me, I didn’t know why they had so many pictures of geysers.

Never mind, I got my slice of pizza and I sat on a bench in front of the park. I decided to turn my head right and my heart almost stopped. I saw the same image as in my dream: the dog, the rodent and the lady. One second later, I just wanted to run away from there, the killer whale was missing and I didn’t want to find it.

I started bicycling as fast as I can to return home, but after 5 minutes I was exhausted. With the adventure I had forgotten I had the flu, so it took me a bit longer to get home. While I was opening the door to enter and relax, I saw a flash coming out of the room. Dear me, more adventures… but no, it was just the Snow White’s film that I had forgotten to turn it off.

#5

After going to the cinema the old lady was walking back home. She was looking at a lot of diffeent shops. It was nine o’clock on 21st January. She was walking along the streets of Istanbul when she noticed that there was a small rodent behind her. When she looked back, not only did she watch only the rodent, but also a mysterious boy.
She did not give much importance to the boy but some minutes later the old lady realised that the boy was following her. She started to run and also the boy. After some minutes running she found a lit shop window where she could see a Snow White doll, everything was happening as fast as a geyser. The lady entered the shop but it was difficult to talk to the people of the shop because they were suffering a terrible flu and sneezing all the time.
She wanted a bike to escape from the boy faster. However, the people of the shop only had one bike that they couldn’t sell because it was in a terrible condition. It was a terrible purple color with an enormous drawing of a killer whale. In that moment the lady didn’t mind so she bought the bycicle. Finally, she distracted the mysterious boy and arrived home safely.

#6

While I was waking along the street I visited an old grocery store with a strange appearance so I decided to enter inside and have a look. The person attending me was a pretty lady of about 24 years, who told me the story of how her family had bought the store she was in charge of. It all had taken place during her grandfather’s father journey to Istanbul. He was desperate to find a way to get rid of the flu he had, so he got drunk and started to see strange things such as Snow White feeding a hungry killer whale with purple rodemts; by the way he met the major of Istanbul, who offered him a free site for him only if he repaired his bicycle. He agreed to in his suffering because of his flu.. every time he sneezed it looked like geysers were coming out of his nostrils…

#7

I was playing a match of Fortnite on my computer. Suddenly I heard someone inside my house. The door of my room, my old and friendly room was closed. I stepped outside and went to the living room. That was when I saw a lady. Her eyes were covered with blood and she was eating a kind of rodent. I was afraid, so, I went to the kitchen to take the gun that my father had bought last week. Then, I returned to the living room, but the lady wasn’t there. I started running all over the whole house, but I couldn’t see her. I was really scared, so I took the purple bicycle, which was a gift that my mother had brought from Istanbul and had a picture of Snowwhite with the flu and went out of my house. Unfortunately, I lived near a geyser, so, I fell into it and a hungry killer whale ate me.

#8

I remember the day everything happened as a busy one. I had to handle my final project to get my degree, do the physics final exam and make a power point presentation alone about geysers and their features. Apart from that, everything seemed ordinary. The way from home to university always takes me an eternity: I have to take three buses and the underground. While I was waiting at the bus station, all of a sudden I heard a sweet bark coming from behind some shrubs. With quiet steps I got nearer and nearer until I saw a ball of white hair, which, because of the sound it was making, seemed to be a rodent. Finally I pluck up some courage and I started to caress its beautiful hair. It was a cute guinea pig, although at first I thought it was a rabbit similar to the Snow white one called Tambor. I grabbed it and realized that the guinea pig had a badge with its name and a number, so with all the sadness of my heart I telephoned the number in order communicate to his owner that I had their pet. An old lady picked up the telephone, gave me her address and asked me if I could hand over her pet as she was very sick. I accepted and I went to the house that was eight minutes away on foot. When I arrived to her house it was like a mini castle with lot of animals, fountains, sculptures and even her swimming pool was shaped as a killer whale. I knocked the door and a very old lady came out with a purple flashy nightgown…

Which one do you like best?

Enjoy your reading…

St Patrick’s Day

Every 17th March people of Irish heritage celebrate St Patrick’s Day as he is regarded as the Patron Saint of Ireland. They usually wear green clothes, put up green decorations in houses or offices, and even paint sights and monuments all over the world emerald green (just temporarily!).

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St Patrick’s day Parade San Francisco 2015 – ©David Yu (under CC licence)

This festival is a wonderful opportunity for you to do some research on Ireland and discover some really amazing landscapes and interesting traditions:

One of the most famous traditional Irish songs:Molly Malone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdxLxnhGnvo
Two Irish sports:

You may also remember that Irish people can choose between English and Irish. Would you like to try learning some Irish? If so, you can start with some basic greetings here.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

Today, the third Monday of January, is recognized as Martin Luther King Junior Day in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most widely known activists in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He was a key leader in a national movement to improve the rights and freedoms of black people in the United States.

 

Dr. King is most famous for the speech he delivered in front of more than 200,000 people at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he declared,

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

While Dr. King is now most famous for those four words, “I have a dream,” the entirety of his speech is powerful and moving. By clicking on the image below you can listen to the actual audio recording of Dr. King giving his speech at the March on Washington. You will also be able to see the transcript of the speech, including which parts he crossed out in the moment, and which parts he improvised without having written them down beforehand. As you listen to the speech, pay attention to metaphors you hear, and think about what Dr. King was trying to convey.

Dr. King Speech at the March on Washington
Note: You may notice that Dr. King uses the word “Negro.” At the time of his speech, “Negro” was a common way of referring to black people in the United States. But because that word has historically been used in a very negative way to refer to African Americans, today it is considered highly offensive and inappropriate. Although, there are some contexts in which black people in the U.S. have re-claimed the word in a positive way.

While Dr. King was the most well-known civil rights leader, the movement was made up of thousands of people who for years worked to improve the most basic rights of black people in the United States. Many of these people continue that important work today. Here, you can see a video of John Lewis, another well-known civil rights leader and current U.S. Congressional Representative, talking about what the civil rights movement accomplished.

Rep. John Lewis

Why Learning a Language is More than Translation

Here at Clara Campoamor, our students work hard to improve their language skills. Students study Spanish, English, French, and Greek. And while many words can be directly translated from one language to another, there are other factors involved in mastering a language. For example, different languages have different syntax and grammar, and these factors can change the meaning of a sentence even if all the individual words are directly translated.

For this reason (among others!), learning a language means doing more than just translating word-for-word. It also helps explain why using digital translators, like Google Translate, is not a perfect method for figuring out how to say something in another language.

Check out this cool animated video about how digital translators work. It can help us think about the differences and similarities among languages and brings up some interesting points about multilingualism.

Halloween 2015

Ingredients for a horror story?

Mystery, suspense, blood, murderer, a young girl dressed in white, a haunted house, a deep dark forest, etc.

These have been a few of the answers given by our students. However, their two-sentence stories have proved to be some of the scariest their teachers have ever read.

Well done!

Soon you will be able to read some of their stories on our blog!

Until that gory moment… 😉 here you have a Halloween crossword:

 Across  Down
1. These are found in the corners and ceilings of a haunted house.

7. A witch’s pet. (5-3)

11. Bloody and gross.

12. A monster made from bones.

14. A monster from Egypt.

16. Another word for scary.

18. She wears black clothes and rides a broom.

21. It looks like a mouse but much bigger.

22. What kids wear on Halloween.

24. The creature that makes cobwebs.

25. Have a ghost inside

27. The Cyclops has one

31. What you get on your skin when you are scared.

32. These slam shut or creek open.

33. Witches ride this.

34. Vampires hate this.

35. Another word for strange.

38. October 31st.

39. What a ghost says.

40. A big black bird.

41. A monster with stitches on his face.

45. What children carve.

46. The month of Halloween.

48. Sharp teeth.

1. What children get at Halloween.

2. Flying animal found in haunted houses.

3. The kind of bullet you need to kill a werewolf.

4. A place with many tombstones.

5. Where you get goose bumps.

6. The weather around haunted houses.

8. The walking corpse.

9. The colour of blood.

10. Dracula

13. You can hear these in the hallways of a haunted house at night.

15. Little animals with long tails.

17. This wears a patch and has a sword.

19. This wears bright colorful clothing.

20. A big black pot that witches use to make potions.

23. The kind of light that vampires hate.

26. The monster __________ the stairs.

28. What vampires drink.

29. The time when werewolves come out.

30. What kids say on Halloween.

31. Something that haunts houses.

36. A monster that changes from human to wolf.

37. Makes me scared; gives me the ___________.

42. A monster from space.

43. The opposite of good.

44. Frighten.

47. A night bird.

Crossword