Wednesday, 10 December 2014

eTwinning projects: a way to develop creativity, CLIL and key competences

Over 500 of the most innovative teachers and Education experts from across Europe met in Rome, from 27 to 29 November, for the 10th annual eTwinning Conference. The topic of this year’s event was “Opening Education” and how eTwinning can promote creativity and innovative practices in both teaching and learning.  I would like to highlight three powerful outcomes of eTwinning: 

 - eTwinning has started a new collaboration with the e-safety label project.  We were talking about the importance of  Internet safety in one of our last seminar sessions and I wrote a previous entry on this issue. It is, in fact, one of the most important topics schools must look into at the moment so taking part in this project is highly recommendable. 

- eTwinning projects and CLIL:  If you enter the e-Twinning project Kits, you will find  ready-made projects for your classroom on different content areas and for different ages. The kits can be downloaded in PDF version and you can rate, comment and browse other teachers' opinions on the kits.  The winner projects videos are subtitled in 25 languages. The one below these lines won the award for the category ages 12-15: Health4life:

- eTwinning has launched a new publication on key competences entitled "Developing pupils competences through eTwinning". It explores the 8 Key Competences for Lifelong Learning -Communication in one's mother tongue; foreign languages; digital skills; basic skills in Maths and Science; learning to learn; social and civic responsibility; initiative and entrepreneurship; and cultural awareness and creativity- and how they can be addressed at school through the eTwinning projects. You can download the publication in English from here
Let me finish by encouraging all of you to take part in an eTwinning project which will, undoubtedly, enhance your teaching skills and be very beneficial for your students. 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

International Day for Human Rights on December 10th

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.  The website displays  lots of resources for the classroom in different languages but today I would like to recommend a  human rights cross-curricular teaching resource for secondary schools. It contains eight lesson plans  which  can be used separately or as part of  a series of carefully planned sessions  across the year. The accompanying CD-ROM contains all the resources together with short film clips and accompanying resources, which you can also order by filling in this form .
Right below you can find a short summary of each of the lesson plans and the links to access them:  
  •  Lesson 1 - Understanding human rights: Introducing human rights with images, activities and a short film
  • Lesson 2 - Human rights in the UK: Making the Human Rights Act come alive with real-life cases and a presentation activity
  • Lesson 3 - Dying to give birth: Using key mathematical skills to assess maternal mortality in different countries
  • Lesson 4 - Mi dia, y los derechos: Comparing the daily lives of students in the UK with young Spanish-speakers across the globe
  • Lesson 5 - Freedom of expression: Exploring the right to free speech through film and text using key communication and critical thinking skills
  • Lesson 6 - Refugees and asylum: Dramatic role play activity using a tru story to understand and empathise with asylum seekers and refugees
  • Lesson 7 - The death penalty: Discussion and debate about the death penalty using global facts and a real case
  • Lesson 8 - Taking action: A short film case study giving real-life context for developing campaigning skills.
The lessons plans provide you with power point presentations, resource sheets, video clips and teachers' notes. All of these resources can be downloaded for free and  you can also order the whole pack of lesson plans  by filling in this form.

Plenty of interesting topics  for you classroom in English, French and Spanish  may be found under the title "Thematic issues" on the United Nations website. Do not miss the special section they have prepared for  International Human Rights Day on December 10th

Last but not least, if you wish to work on language thoroughly, you will have a great opportunity to do so by downloading the lesson plan ESL Holiday Lessons offers here.