Thursday, September 21, 2017

Schools : Intl Day of Peace : Together for Peace : Imagine !

International Peace Day 2017

"In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” (...) "We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people - and societies - from achieving their full potential.” (...) “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General 

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme for 2017 : "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life. 

TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.

credits : Unesco

This International Day of Peace celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.

The Day highlights solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities. Ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


Imagine, a lovely book !

Jean Jullien has illustrated Imagine, the first picture book set to John Lennon’s original lyrics. The book has a foreword by Yoko Ono Lennon and was created in collaboration with Amnesty International to “inspire a new generation to imagine a world at peace”. 

It will be published today, 21 September to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Peace.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

The book set alongside lyrics from Lennon’s powerful 1971 hit single, whose message is as relevant to society today as it was when it was released. 

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


The book follows a pigeon “as she sets out on a global journey to spread a message of peacehope, tolerance and friendship among birds from around the world, of all shapes and sizes”. 

Publisher Frances Lincoln Children’s Books has also released the trailer (below) animating Jean’s charismatic bird characters, showing the pigeon hopping off the tube and going on his travels.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

There is a website dedicated to the project, also decorated with Jean’s illustrations and created by The Creative Corporation.

The website Imagine allows you, me and students to hear Imagine by John Lennon and to share a message of peaceStudents can read some of the messages, including written ones from Richard Curtis and Juliet Stevenson, and illustrated ones by Cressida Cowell and Ross Collins.

Invite your students th share a message of peace. If they can, invite them to buy the book. It's beautiful book.


Standard UK delivery: £4.95 or free over £60!

Express UK delivery:  £12

Out UK: £12.99

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

“This book is a beautiful visual version of John Lennon’s cry for peace and harmony. Its message for humanity has never been more urgently needed than now.”

Juliet Stevenson


"This book is very special to me. The words were written by my husband John and it makes me so happy to see them illustrated in this beautiful book. He wrote Imagine as a song calling for peace around the world. Today, we need peace more than ever, so I think his words are still very important."

Yoko Ono Lennon

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


  • Read the book in one of your lessons during the week or next week;
  • If they can, invite them to buy the book. It's a good cause;
  • Make a collage, draw a picture or write a story with the title ‘Peace’. 
  • Invite students to write: Imagining as a bird and drawing what they look like and add to the telephone wire;
  • Create your own TOGETHER event and promote the importance of inclusion of refugees and migrants in your school. Visit Together resource page for details;
  • Click here to download Amnesty International activities pack which includes helpful discussion questions. 

There's also info on a poetry competition for 7-11 year olds - Amenesty International is asking entrants to write a poem that captures the different sights, sounds and symbols of freedom

Deadline: 1 December 2017

Winners could receive a school visit from a National Poetry Day ambassador and have their poems illustrated by a professional artist! Wow!

"On this International Day of Peace, we must all renew our commitment to global solidarity. To sustain peace, we must build it every day, in every society, with every woman and man, by working together towards a better common future for all."

Irina Bokova, Directore-general UNESCO, message 2017


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Schools : eBook : Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

eBookHarry Potter and the Philospher Stone

As you know, 2017 is the celebration of 20th anniversary of Harry Potter saga. The first book Harry Potter and the Philospher Stone was published on the 20 June 1997.

In 2015, Bloomsbury and Scholastic published the first fully illustrated version of the Harry Potter books, with all of the art work done by the award-winning British artist, Jim Kay.

Harry  Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling
illustrator: Jim Kay

"Muggles, grab your wands and hop on the Hogwarts Express because Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is getting a whole new look".

Jim Kay’s fully illustrated edition of Philosopher’s Stone & the wizarding world is available since last September 5 with an interactive eBook created using Kindle in Motion technology, which will allow fans, our students, to tour scenes from the book and see illustrations come to life. 

eBookHarry Potter and the Philospher Stone
Illustrator Jim Kay, who created the beloved illustrated print edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2015, is bringing back the same style readers know and love but with a few never-before-seen additions.

This first look features a Gringotts goblin hard at work, and the moving front cover, which features an owl that actually flies and billowing smoke floating from the Hogwarts Express.


Students/fans will be able to experience the frenetic activity of Diagon Alley, witness an enchanting sorting ceremony and watch as the Hogwarts Express prepares to depart from Platform 9 ¾.

eBookHarry Potter and the Philospher Stone


When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he's the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous - or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin...

As students return to school this fall, prepare yours to be spellbound by this dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and its much-loved characters in this Kindle in Motion edition of one of the world's favourite books: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling's timeless classic, Jim Kay's glorious illustrations will captivate students better if they are new readers of Harry Potter.

eBookHarry Potter and the Philospher Stone
Students will also be able to see newly animated character portraits, which will include the ever-dreaded Draco Malfoy and the dearly beloved Albus Dumbledore.

Other highlights:

As I wrote above the moving book will include a multi-page spread of the lively Diagon Alley, an animated portrait of Draco Malfoy and a handy guide to trolls.

As well as moving images, students/readers can still tailor their reading experience, adjusting font sizes with the newly sized words magically reflowing around the animation and images, and, if they choose, toggle the animations off or on.


This book can be read on any device, including Kindle E-readers. And it's available for download on almost any tablet or smart phone.

Kindle in Motion books include art, animation, or video features that can be viewed on certain tablets and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. You can switch features on or off at any time.

Language: English

Price: $9.99

Other resources: Videos

Curricula : Languages & Media

Level: Different levels. It will depend of the profile of your students. Teachers will prepare some activities to explore the e-book. 


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Monday, September 18, 2017

Schools : Samuel Johnson, the pioneer lexicographer : Resources

Google Dodle Samuel Johnson's 308th birthday

"If you wanted to know what the word 'lexicographer' means today, you might Google it. If you fancy a throwback however, you might grab a dictionary." 

Lexicographer? A person who compiles dictionaries. An author or editor of a dictionary. You Google it? Exactly.

"in many ways Johnson's original book was a precursor to the search engine Google". No doubt. Our students think so.

So Google pays homage to this pioneer lexicographer who dedicated years to his craft.

Dictionary of the English Language 
Vol. 1, 1755

Samuel Johnson published Johnson’s: A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755 after 9 years of work. 

Johnson, born in 1709, spent nine years working on A Dictionary of the English Language, which was published in 1755. It remained the definitive English dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary was completed in 1928.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary
1911, 1st edition

It was described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship", and had a far-reaching effect on modern English. It was colossal at nearly 18 inches tall! Johnson’s was the premier English dictionary until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later.

The dictionary was published on 15 April 1755. It was not the first such dictionary, but was certainly the most important at that time. 

Johnson, who grew up in Staffordshire, did not create the first English dictionary, but those that preceded his were poor comparisons, often stiff and dry. 

It was hardly comprehensive: the first edition contained just 42,773 entries, compared to more than 250,000 words in the English language.

In Johnson's lifetime five further editions were published, and a sixth came out when he died on December 13, 1784.

Johnson was also a poet, essayist, critic, biographer and editor. He was a poet and spent years creating a collection of the works of Shakespeare.

Johnson’s dictionary was more than just a word list: his work provided a vast understanding of 18th century's language and culture. His lasting contributions guaranteed him a place in literary history.

His efforts eventually earned him the Master of Arts degree from Oxford that he had pursued for many years, and the title page of the first edition acknowledged that fact (Lane 128-129).

Samuel Johnson
credits: De Agostini Editorial

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 O.S. 7 September – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer

He is described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". 

Poverty and illness followed Johnson for much of his life. He contracted scrofula (also known as the King’s Evil) as a baby, which resulted in poor hearing and eyesight and left him noticeably scarred. 

Johnson attended the local grammar school in Lichfield and went on to Pembroke College, Oxford. However, he was to leave after just 13 months as his parents could no longer afford the fees. In 1735, he married a widow, Elizabeth Porter, and set up a school at Edial; it failed within months.

The Life of Samuel Johnson 
James Boswell, 1791, 1st edition

He is the subject of the most famous biography in English literature, namely The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.

He died on December 13, 1784, in his house in London, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.


In our days if students want to know what the word 'lexicographer' means today, they Google it, right ?
But before the answer to any question was at their fingertips on the internet, they may have reached for a dictionary.
So today Google is the dictionary of our students. They don't appreciate to use the dictionary. But dictionaries are imperative resources to read and write, to learn and understand the English language, English literature, history, law,  science and many other subjects.

screenshot OED 2017 app
The dictionary encourages knowledge, curiosity and vocabulary skills. And students have apps to access it on their mobile devices. The dictionary is in their pocket. No hard work to do.

screenshot OED 2017 app
And for verbs? Yes, verbs! Students have some difficulties to learn the verbs. Why not an app to help them in the classroom? 

screenshot Collins English Dictionary & Verbs


Teachers can place holder sheets practices to be used by younger students according to their learning level. The apps will perfectly suits their needs in the classroom. And some no internet connection required.

The focus on bringing the dictionary to life giving the students a sense of the context in which they read, talk, pronounce and write. They must improve those skills from a earlier age. 

Dr. Johnson's House

Other resources:

If you teach in London you can visit the Dr. Johnson's House with your students. 

Dr Johnson's House with a Dictionary corner runs a lively education programme that includes a range of free or low cost workshops for schools. 

If you wish to book a visit or have a query about Dr. Johnson's House education programme, contact the Curator on Education: Primary; Secondary; A-Level English; Adult Education & University.

Social media:

Follow Dr Johnson's House on Facebook and Twitter to know the events every day.


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Schools : Samuel Johnson, the pioneer lexicographer : Resources bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.