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18.04.2017- April Teaching activities - Boat Race & World Book day

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During the Easter holidays each year, boat crews from Oxford and Cambridge compete in a race on the River Thames in London. Over the years, this has become an incredibly popular event, with thousands of people lining the banks of the river to watch the race and to cheer on the crews, and many more people watching on TV all around the world. The crews train for this demanding race for months. To find out more about this race, we have included two activities based on the official Boat Race website, http://www.theboatraces.org. You can also watch this year’s race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDMxxvCXWtI.

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18.04.2017- April Teaching activities - Boat Race & World Book day

  1. 1. 1 April teaching activities: The Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race Photo credit: Getty Images During the Easter holidays each year, boat crews from Oxford and Cambridge compete in a race on the River Thames in London. Over the years, this has become an incredibly popular event, with thousands of people lining the banks of the river to watch the race and to cheer on the crews, and many more people watching on TV all around the world. The crews train for this demanding race for months. To find out more about this race, we have included two activities based on the official Boat Race website, http://www.theboatraces.org. You can also watch this year’s race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDMxxvCXWtI. Contents: Introduction: ................................................................................................................................... 1 Boat Race – Multiple Matching (B2 – C1): ...................................................................................... 2 Boat Race – Comparatives (A2): .................................................................................................... 3 Boat Race – Open cloze (B1): ........................................................................................................ 4 World Book Day – Poems on the Underground (A2 – C2): .................................................................. 5 World Book Day – Love Poetry (C1): ............................................................................................. 6 Answers: ...................................................................................................................................... 7
  2. 2. 2 Activity 1: Multiple matching (B2 / C1) On the official Boat Race page, click on the tab ‘About the Race’, then click on ‘Personalities’. Read the descriptions of the following people who took part in the Boat Race and answer the questions below: A Matthew Pinsent B Cath Bishop C Hugh Laurie D Colin Moynihan E Boris Rankov Which participant(s): went on to become a politician? 1. ............... set a Boat Race record? 2. ............... has taken part in the Boat Race in two different roles? 3. ............... 4. .............. also represented the university in another sport? 5. ............... could not participate in one Boat Race because of the Olympic Games? 6. ................ had rowed for Britain before going to university? 7. ................ was inspired to work harder by losing a Boat Race? 8. ................ is now a TV personality? 9. ................
  3. 3. 3 Activity 2: Comparatives (A2) Look at the descriptions of the two women’s crews for the 2017 Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race (http://theboatraces.org/womens-blue-boats), and complete the following sentences using comparatives of the adjectives in brackets: 1. The Oxford crew is ........................................... the Cambridge crew. [YOUNG] 2. Anna Dawson is .............................................. Rebecca Esselstein. [HEAVY] 3. Jenna Hebert is .............................................. Myriam Goudet. [SHORT] 4. Holly Hill is ................................................... Chloe Laverack. [TALL] 5. Chloe Laverack is ................................................. Holly Hill. [LIGHT] Photo credit: Getty images
  4. 4. 4 Activity 3: The Foundations of the Boat Race (B1) Complete the following text about the Foundations of the Boat Race using one word for each gap. Foundations of the Boat Race The race was first thought of because two friends 1)......................... Harrow School, Charles Wordsworth, who was the nephew 2)........................... the poet William Wordsworth, of Christ Church College, Oxford, and Charles Merrivale of St. John’s College, Cambridge, met during the vacation in Cambridge, 3).................................... Wordsworth’s father was master of Trinity College. Wordsworth went rowing on the River Cam, and the two school friends decided 4).................................. set up a challenge. On February 10th 1829, a meeting of Cambridge University Boat Club decided to write immediately to Oxford University Boat Club stating: ‘that the University of Cambridge hereby challenge the University of Oxford to row 5)............................. match at or near London, each in an eight-oared boat during the next Easter vacation.’ The first Boat Race eventually took place 6)......................... 10th June 1829 at Henley-on- Thames. Oxford won this race easily, and their winning boat can still 7)........................ seen in the River & Rowing Museum in Henley. For the next 25 years contests only happened on an irregular basis, moving to London for the second race, which took place in 1836. Text adapted from http://theboatraces.org/origins
  5. 5. 5 April teaching activities: World Book Day On 23rd April every year, World Book Day is celebrated. This day was chosen because it is the date of the deaths of three famous writers, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Garcilaso de la Vega. So to celebrate World Book day, here are a couple of activities to take into class. Activity 4: Poems on the Underground (A2 – C2) In 1986, a group of writers decided to start a project to bring poetry to a wider audience. Their idea was to print selected poems on posters which would be displayed in the trains of the London Underground system. Three times a year, new poems are chosen, and distributed with the help of the department responsible for the Underground, Transport for London. The poems selected are not only poems written by famous authors, but also ones produced by less well-known writers, and even translations of poems written in other languages. You can find a booklet of the current poems here: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/london- poems-leaflet.pdf. The idea of Poems on the Underground has been taken up by other transport systems around the world, including the Metro system in Madrid, where posters displaying the first page of a book can be seen in the train carriages. To mark World Book Day while I was working in a primary school a few years ago, I took this idea and produced my own posters, with a selection of children’s poems which I found on the internet. I put the posters up around the school, and asked the students to vote for their favourite poem. Depending on the level of your students, you could even get them to write their own poems, and create their posters. Another activity I did with one of the poems which I particularly liked (‘My dog does my homework’ by Ken Nesbitt) was a memory challenge. I started with a copy of the whole poem on the board, and had students practise reading it out loud, both as a group and individually. I then rubbed out one word from each line, and challenged students to read out the poem, including the words that had been erased. After two or three attempts, I erased another word from each line, and again challenged them to repeat the whole poem. This continues until you have erased the whole poem, and one or more students ‘read’ the whole thing without any support. This is a useful technique to use when you want students to notice a particular structure, or to become familiar with a particular text – as the students respond to the challenge, they have a reason to read the same text repeatedly, and pay close attention to what they read. Photo credit: http://www.thefirstpint.co.uk
  6. 6. 6 Activity 5: Love poetry (C1) One of the most popular themes in poetry is love, in all its many different forms, so why not have a look at the topic of love poetry for World Book Day (you could also use this activity for St. Valentine’s Day). Before the class, have half the class watch the video ‘Carpe Diem’ from Dead Poets’ Society and read the poem, while the other half watch ‘Stop all the clocks’ from Four Weddings and a Funeral and read the poem. (You can give the students the link directly, or you can simply give them a copy of the poem.) Ask them to think what aspects of love are expressed in their poem. Once in class, group the students who watched the same video in pairs or in fours (depending on time, you may want to make pairs first, then form groups of four) and have them compare their ideas. As they work, check if they had any comprehension problems. Once the students have shared their ideas, put two students who watched the ‘Carpe Diem’ video with two students who watched ‘Stop all the clocks’. Ask them to explain what aspects of love are shown in each video, and then to decide which poem better expresses true love. They should be prepared to defend their definition of ‘true love’ in the class discussion afterwards. After they have debated, have each group report their conclusions to the class. Allow them to compare their definitions of true love. To round up, show the two videos, so that all the students have seen both. Carpe diem (‘Come gather ye rosebuds while ye may’ – Dead Poets’ Society) Stop all the clocks… (‘Funeral Blues’- Four Weddings and a Funeral)
  7. 7. 7 Answer keys Activity 1: 1. D 2. E 3. A / E 4. A / E 5. D 6. A 7. C 8. B 9. C Activity 2: 1. The Oxford crew is ....YOUNGER THAN.... the Cambridge crew. [YOUNG] 2. Anna Dawson is .....HEAVIER THAN.... Rebecca Esselstein. [HEAVY] 3. Jenna Hebert is .....SHORTER THAN.... Myriam Goudet. [SHORT] 4. Holly Hill is .......TALLER THAN........ Chloë Laverack. [TALL] 5. Chloë Laverack is ......LIGHTER THAN........ Holly Hill. [LIGHT] Activity 3: Foundations of the Boat Race The race came about because two friends 1)......FROM / AT....... Harrow School, Charles Wordsworth, who was the nephew 2)........OF........... the poet William Wordsworth, of Christ Church College, Oxford, and Charles Merrivale of St. John’s College, Cambridge, met during the vacation in Cambridge, 3)..........WHERE........ Wordsworth’s father was master of Trinity College. Wordsworth went rowing on the River Cam, and the two school friends decided 4).............TO............... set up a challenge. On February 10th 1829, a meeting of Cambridge University Boat Club decided to write immediately to Oxford University Boat Club stating ‘that the University of Cambridge hereby challenge the University of Oxford to row 5)...........A.............. match at or near London, each in an eight-oared boat during the next Easter vacation.’ The first Boat Race eventually took place 6)........ON.......... 10th June 1829 at Henley-on- Thames. Oxford won this race easily, and their winning boat can still 7)........BE....... seen in the River & Rowing Museum in Henley. For the next 25 years contests only happened on an irregular basis, moving to London for the second race, which took place in 1836.

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