This is the short story that I asked you to read at Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it yet, you still have the opportunity to do it this weekend. You can download it from the link below:
You can also download some the-way-up-to-heaven_activities. We’re going to comment and discuss your answers in class. But if if you can’t come, you can read the answers to the comprehension and vocabulary activities here: key_the-way-up-to-heaven_activities.
Here is a video based on the same story and it is part of a British TV series, Tales of the Unexpected, which ran between 1979 and 1988. Roald Dahl himself introduces the episode and tells the reader how he was inspired to write the story.
The poem I asked you to read last week was written by Roald Dahl, a really polific author who was born in 1916. This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. You can read about this on the school library blog.
This is his personal version of the traditional fairy tale. You can enjoy it both by listening to him telling the story and by reading it yourselves at the same time. As in many of his writings, there is a twist in the tale at the end.
I’ve thought that you could compare this version to a more traditional one by Perrault on Storynory, a website where you can enjoy reading and listening to 100s of free audio stories. You can also download them for free.
Years ago I wrote a short post about Bob Dylan and his popular “Blowing’ in the wind”. I had noticed that quite a number of students had little or no idea who this singer-songwriter was and how much he had influenced music in the sixties and in subsequent years.
Never had I imagined that he could be presented with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Nobody, I think, would have dreamed that a singer could be awarded such honour.
Whether we believe Dylan deserves the prize or not, we cannot deny his long-lasting and influential career for over five decades. He has become a legend in music by singing in his low and rough voice about “life’s greatest tragedies”: “war, heartbreak, betrayal, death and moral faithlessness”.
Bob Dylan, who was born 75 years ago in Duluth, Minnesota, has not really been a man for interviews. He has always been a secretive and elusive person, never inclined to make his life public. Actually, he has said very little about the Swedish Academy’s decision, keeping his opinion to himself, and oblivious to the intense debate that is taking place.
Here you can watch a television adaptation of Man from the South, a short story written by Roald Dahl in the late forties. This is the first episode of the British TV series Tales from the Unexpected, which were broadcast between 1979 and 1988. However, Dahl’s story has been adapted on other occasions for film, for example as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents American television anthology series in 1960 and in his second adaptation in 1985, and also as a segment from 1995’s Four Rooms by Tarantino.
Can you image Velázquez, Van Gogh, Picasso, and many other great artists replacing canvas and paint with a screen? That ‘s digital painting: a virtual canvas -the traditional medium- and virtual brushes and colors. David Hockney’s Fresh Flowers is a good example of this method of creating art.
Now, I recommend you to do the listening activity on page 9 in your Workbook, so you know a little more about the artist and the new technique.
Finally, I suggest these two links to previous entries on the topic of picture description. :
Black Magic Woman, written by Peter Green
Got a black magic woman I got a black magic woman Yes, I got a black magic woman Got me so blind I can't see But she's a black magic woman And she's tryin' to make a devil out of me Don't turn your back on me baby Don't turn your back on me baby Yes, don't turn your back on me baby You're messin' around with your tricks Don't turn your back on me baby 'Cause you might just break up my magic stick break: You got your spell on me baby You got your spell on me baby Yes, you got your spell on me baby You're turning my heart into stone I need you so bad, magic woman, I can't leave you alone Yes, I need you so bad Well, I need you darling Yeah, I need you darling Yes, I want you love me I want you love me Whoa, I want you love me, ah Whoh, yeah Oh, whoa, baby Yes, I need your love Oh, I need your love so bad I want you love me
Reading (advanced): Music: the story of the Blues
Listening: Good Old Blues
Muddy Waters playing ‘Mannish Boy’:
You’ve probably heard this song quite a few times, or maybe a lot, but do you know which band released it back in 1977? Well, Roger Hodgson brought it to his band Supertramp and they soon made it an international hit. Hodgson first wrote the song when he was still in his teens but didn’t record it until much later, when he was already a member of the English rock band. Years later, in 1983, he left the group and the former Supertramp co-founder continued his solo career.
That song has really taken on a life of its own, and I think it’s even more relevant today than when I wrote it. Because we really are needing to value love in a much deeper way, and also we’re needing to care. The song is basically saying: just show you care. You know, reach out and show you care. (Roger Hodgson)
The song has been recorded, played and performed lots of times, but it has also been used in TV, films, and for charities. Roger Hodgson’s version is currently the soundtrack of a commercial for a Seat car, which we have been seeing on Spanish TV recently. There was another TV ad -for Coca-Cola this time- that also used his version in 2012 and went soon viral. The commercial encouraged people to “look at the world a little differently.” and showed people being kind and sweet, and …, well, just human. Here you can download a worksheet on the Coke ad. Below you have the song performed by Hodgson solo: By the way, this year Roger Hodgson is giving two concerts, in Valencia and Murcia, in July. Just a few months later, in November, Supertramp are also performing in Barcelona and Madrid, as part of their Supertramp Forever tour in Europe.
This is a very good selection of activities about transport and travel taken from the British Council Learn English. Get around London with Stephen, Alice and Jazz and enjoy the trip!
This is a beautiful story about a lion who loved going to the library. If you like children’s stories , you can hear more on storylineonline.net
This is an incredibly complete unit on the uses of the past simple and past continuous forms on BBC Learning English, a great website with loads of resources. In this unit, number 7, of their Lower-intermediate course you can also listen, watch and read about an event in the past century that will keep on people’s minds forever: the sinking of the Titanic (14th April 1912)