Thursday, April 15, 2021

Mars in Review & Johannes Gutenberg 200th Anniversary : resources

Johannes Gutenberg
 in a 16th-century copper engraving

Johannes Gutenberg, born Johann Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg on the 14th century, Mainz in Germany, was a German craftsman and inventor who originated a method of printing from movable type. This revolutionary technology made the knowledge found in books both affordable and accessible to the common person for the first time in history.

"Johannes Gutenberg has influenced the development of humankind like no other. He was a visionary, skilled engineer, businessman and perfectionist. As the brilliant inventor of printing with moveable type, he triggered a media revolution which continues today.

Every book, every printed text, every digital message stems from his ideas."

Gutenberg Foundation

Google Doodle celebrating Johannes Gutenberg

Google Doodle:

Today’s Doodle celebrates Johannes Gutenberg on the anniversary of this day in 2000 when the Gutenberg Museum launched a retrospective exhibition in his honor.

When it comes to first impressions, no other historical figure made one quite like the inventor of the mechanical movable type printing press.

This revolutionary technology made the knowledge found in books both affordable and accessible to the common person for the first time in history. 

Johannes Gutenberg
credits: Gutenberg Museum

Some information: 

Gutenberg was the son of a patrician of Mainz. What little information exists about him, other than that he had acquired skill in metalwork, comes from documents of financial transactions. 

Exiled from Mainz in the course of a bitter struggle between the guilds of that city and the patricians, Gutenberg moved to Strassburg (now Strasbourg, France) probably between 1428 and 1430. Records put his presence there from 1434 to 1444. He engaged in such crafts as gem cutting, and he also taught a number of pupils.

By the late 1430s, historians believe Gutenberg began to develop a more efficient text printing device in an attempt to pay off debts from a failed mirror business. The machine he invented (essentially a retrofitted winepress) replaced the hand-carved wooden letter and graphic blocks of traditional printers for easily-cast metal type, which were then dipped in proprietary ink to print entire pages at once. 

credits: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Gutenberg’s next eureka moment came in 1450 with his invention’s first successful print: a Latin book on speech-making. From here, Gutenberg was off to the races as he innovated labor by hiring an assembly-line team to produce books quicker than ever! A testament to the power of human creativity, the Gutenberg press printed up to 3,600 pages on an average workday, fueling the first large-scale production of books in Europe. 

By the 16th century, an estimated 200 million books were in print thanks to Gutenberg invention, which gave birth to a new era of mass communication and a new branch of media: the press. 

Today, Gutenberg’s legacy lives on with Project Gutenberg, an online library with over 60,000 free books. 


Project Gutenberg is a open access library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Students can choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. 

They will find the world’s great literature here, with a focus on older works.  If they click on “Bookshelves” they can browse by genres. 

Check out “Best Books Ever Listing” under “B.” Or search the catalog.

No fee or registration! 

No special apps needed!

Other resources:

Invite your students remote learning or in-person lessons to watch the video Discover how Johannes Gutenberg's printing press increased the literacy and education of the public on Britannica by Prof. Hellmut E. Lehmann-Haupt, author of Gutenberg and the Master of the Playing Cards.

And now let's write about the posts of Mars. The world continues to be affected by pandemic restrictions. In so many countries schools are still closed. Millions of students don't have access to in-person lessons. In Portugal, in-person classes reopen next Monday, Secondary schools and Universities.

As my usual readers know, I write in English, French and Portuguese.

Here are the most popular posts of the last two month:

There are measures to deal with coronavirus outbreaks in place across European countries and other continents.

Many involve the reintroduction of restrictions that had been eased after initial lockdowns. Other reopen little by little.

Here in Portugal, kindergarten and Primary schools reopened last 15 March.k-12 reopened last 5 April. High junior schools and universities will reopen next Monday, 19 April. Teachers continue to be vaccinated and students Covid-19 tests.

We were under a fifth national lockdown. Finally, students will have in-person lessons after three months remote learning

Be safe! Take care!


Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

Mars in Review & Johannes Gutenberg 200th Anniversary : resources bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Game of Thrones prequel : The House of The Dragon & a play ? Yes ! Prepare your students


Game of Thrones

George RR Martin is developing a stage version of Game of Thrones for Broadway, the West End and Australia.

Martin will bring back well-known characters for the production, based on his series of fantasy books and hit HBO saga from 2011 to 2019.

A Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire, book 1

George R.R. Martin

Featuring younger versions of several characters we got to know on Game of Thrones. We don’t know the title yet, but we know it will be about the Tourney at Harrenhal.

The story will apparently revolve around the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a contest that happened 16 years before the events of the first book and episode.

The Great Tourney at Harrenhal is an important historical event in the world of Westeros. Occurring 16 years before the events of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the contest took place over 10 days and included tournaments of jousting, archery and combat. 

It is also the place where Prince Rhaegar Targaryen created a nationwide scandal for dedicating his victory to Lyanna Stark instead of his wife. This decision led to Robert’s Rebellion and the Targaryens being overthrown.

Game of Thrones

The Tourney at Harrenhal, also known as Lord Whent’s great tournament, was put on by Lord Walter Whent to celebrate the nameday of his daughter, and also probably to display his wealth to the realm and show off his sons. 

It comes up several times in A Song of Ice and Fire and on Game of Thrones. Littlefinger lays out the broad strokes to Sansa when they’re at Winterfell together:

“Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”

George R.R. Martin
credits: Matt Sayles / Invision / AP

The show will open in 2023 and depict a pivotal gathering more than a decade before the events in George RR Martin's novels and the hit TV series.

The stage show, set during a grand jousting tournament that helped set in motion the subsequent events, "ought to be spectacular" and "the seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,"

George R.R. Martin 

"Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring.

"It is a tourney oft referred during HBO's Game of Thrones and in my novels, A Song of Ice and Fire.

"And now at last, we can tell the whole story... on the stage."

George R.R. Martin

  • Prequel House of the Dragon:

The news follows the announcement that Martin has signed a five-year, eight-figure deal with HBO.

The first project after the end of Game of Thrones, which finished its award-winning run in 2019, will be a prequel called House of the Dragon. It’s set to air in 2022.

Game of Thrones House of The Dragon
The official poster
 credits: HBO

House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the main Game of Thrones series and is based on George R. R. Martin's Fire & Blood, which tells the story of the Targaryen civil war that became known as the Dance of the Dragons. 

A Game of Thrones

Fire & Blood

George R.R. Martin

illustration: Doug Wheatley

There's a lot more to it than that, of course, and we're here to deep-dive into everything we know so far about the Game of Thrones prequel. It's worth noting that we will also be discussing the other, canceled prequel series, as well as rumors that a show based on Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas is in development.

House of the Dragon has been in development for several years,” Martin wrote on his blog in response to news of the series pickup. 

“It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016.”

The prequel is expected in 2022. 


play and a prequel? Wow! Two interesting themes to include into your lessons - remote learning or in-person lessons.

  • The Narration : George R.R. Martin prequel

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. MartinGame of Thrones epic story of treachery and nobility set on "the land of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal".

American author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, George R. R. Martin is best known for his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Martin's work has been described as having "complex story lines, fascinating characters, great dialogue, perfect pacing" by literary critic Jeff VanderMeer.

As I wrote, a Narrative text lets us know something. It tells us what happened. It tells us a story. Our students love to hear narrations.

They strain to hear the latest news about what happens over the week and they rush to watch the latest TV or streaming series that promise a good story! We know that! Look at Games of Thrones! It was a huge success.

Game of Thrones House of The Dragon 
Carice Van Houten as Melisandre
credits: HBO

Movies, TV and streaming series based on children and teen books are an attractive and enjoyable digital resources to motivate students to read at school or remote learning.

So, we can motivate young readers, presenting literary books trough movies, now streaming series or TV series due the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The bestselling inspired the popular HBO streaming saga Game of Thrones. And it was  the HBO series that inspired students to read the books. Movies or series offer teachers and students a nice captivating push! 

Some teen literature is difficult for the 'screen-generation' to read. Movies or TV series adaptation can help students to understand better those books, to appreciate and enjoy the book by having a different approach before... or after.

  • And what about theatre?

George R.R. Martin is doing a play about the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, an event mentioned in his A Song of Ice and Fire book series as I wrote.

The play is expected to debut in 2023 at Broadway in New York, the West End in London, and Australia.

Theatre in education is used to encourage effective learning in curricula. It calls for careful consideration of the audience's age and requirements in order to engage them and get the message across. 

It complements school curricula and illustrate the dynamic relationship between the performing arts and literature, history, science and world cultures. 

The idea of a high impact performance for a specifically targeted school audience became very popular. Because the audiences are small, students can be encouraged to participate through work in role and through debate. 

Of course, we are not all lucky to live in New York, London or Australia. But we can invite students to follow the news and the premiere. 

We can invite, I hope in 2023 an actor/ actress to have a conversation with about theatre and the art of acting with the students. 

And why not exciting workshops for young theater enthusiasts? 

The workshops will not only provide instruction on acting and theatre, but will help students build their public speaking skills and confidence by using more nontraditional, artistic teaching methods." 
If you and your students were not quite ready to exit the world of Westeros, here the two big reasons to come back to Game of Thrones. 
Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

Game of Thrones prequel : The House of The Dragon & a play ? Yes ! Prepare your students bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter ! Let us have Hope !

via BigStock

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.(...)

Walt Whitman, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

Spring is back!  On a Easter morning it's a poem we can repeat that makes Spring seem more intensely itself.

Today is Easter, the most important Christian religious holiday and widely regarded as the second most popular holiday in general after Christmas.

Students and teachers got Easter school break in European countries where the schools are not closed.

But more or less all around the world, most of students are at home, on remote learning due the pandemic time that continues unfortunately.

It’s impossible to overstate what this crisis will mean for the pandemic generation.

There is no doubt that persistent lockdowns and school closings have affected children everywhere.

Extensive surveys conducted by Save the Children also found that nearly half of all children said they were “worried” and a third reported feeling “scared.”

The sudden closing of schools and elimination of educational summer activities in many communities might have lifelong consequences for children who already live with severe social and economic adversities, impairing even further their ability to read at grade level, graduate from high school on time and have equitable access to post-education opportunities generally. - wrote Irwin Redlener on The Washington Post.

However, we should acknowledge that some children have exhibited unexpectedly high levels of resiliency and independence while dealing with the restrictions and disruptions imposed by the pandemic. 

I would like to share with you a message of hope. 

Life can toss us down and make us fall out of the blue, but the hope inside us will pick us up again and again!

We do not lose heart when we fail in life, as it is only the start of our journey. In the end, we will be the one to achieve our goals.

“Happy Easter

May the renewal of life

At Easter bring new

Blessings of love, hope,

Peace, good health &

Happiness to you and

Your loved ones..

Embrace the renewal of life.” 


Happy Easter ! Be safe !


Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

Happy Easter ! Let us have Hope ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Intl Children's Book Day & World Autism Awareness Day !

International Children's Book Day
Margarita Engle (US)
illustrator Roger Mello (BR)

"When we share words, our voices

become the music of the future,

peace, joy and friendship,

a melody

of hope."

Margarita Engle

This International Children's Book Dayis the second year of children been read to by their parents and grandparents.  

The world continues suffering pandemic timeCovid-19 is everywhere. Schools are closed again in most countries, kids are at home schooling on remote learning by Zoom or TV school. Parents help the little ones schooling at home. And this lockdown week-end they could read some children books.

ICBD 2021
credits: Margarita Engle

IBBY United States is the sponsor for International Children's Book Day 2021. The invited prominent author from the host country is cuban-american poet Margarita Engle who wrote the message to the children of the world and he well-known illustrator who designed the poster is the Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello.

The music of words
Margarita Engle

Theme 2021: Music of words

When we read, our minds grow wings.

When we write, our fingers sing.

Words are drumbeats and flutes on the page,

soaring songbirds and trumpeting elephants,

rivers that flow, waterfalls tumbling,

butterflies that twirl

high in the sky!


Words invite us to dance---rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,

hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,

fantasies and true ones.


Whether you are cozy at home

or racing across borders toward a new land

and a strange language, stories and poems

belong to you.


When we share words, our voices

become the music of the future,

peace, joy and friendship,

a melody

of hope.

Margarita Engle

April 2 each year it's the time to read books, specially on this day, kids. It's their book day! 

Print, Prof. Naomi Baron said, makes it easier for parents and children to interact with language, questions and answers, what is called “dialogic reading.”

Any time that parents are able to engage with family reading time is good, using whatever medium works best for them, said Dr. Tiffany Munzer.

More than ever kids need the music of words to submit to the long lockdown without seeing their friends or going to school.

April 2 is also the World Autism Awareness Day. The fourteenth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2021.

"Throughout its history, the United Nations family has celebrated diversity and promoted the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities."


Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.

Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month, aiming to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, foster worldwide support and inspire a kinder, more inclusive world. 

Teachers and parents:

Memoirs if an imaginary friend
Matthew Green

My name is BUDO.

I have been alive for 5 years.

5 years is a very long time for someone like me to be alive.

MAX gave me my name. Max is 8 years old.

He is the only human person who can see me.

I know what Max knows, and some things he doesn't.

I know that Max is in danger.

And I know that I am the only one who can save him.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was the 2014 Dolly Gray Award winner and a finalist for the 2017 Nutmeg Award. And Goodreads finalist 2012 as voted by over 1 million readers.

Memoirs of an imaginary friend
Matthew Green

"Memoirs of an imaginary friend" by Matthew Dicks is told from the point of view of an imaginary friend who has been created in the mind of an eight year old autistic boy named Max.  

The reader learns that imaginary friends can see one another and that who they will see is what their friend has imagined them to be. They are also limited by what their friend imagines that they can do.  

Budo, Max's friend can walk through doors and is smart and imaginative himself.  Those qualities are important to the story, as they will allow Budo to save Max in the end.  

"The readers learn about real love (a man lays down his life for another) and real evil (manipulate others until you get what you want) while reading this engaging and truly imaginative story."

Matthew Green is a teacher so the school setting of most of this book feels natural and real (at least for this former teacher. 

Other resources: Children's books

For children's books in foreign languages, visit Dia Internacional do Livro Infantil ; Journée internationale du livre pour enfants.

In the midst of chaos, reading to a child autist or not can create a small oasis of calm, for both kids and parents. If the one thing this awful crisis has given us, it’s time. Books and children respond well to that.

"When we read, our minds grow wings.

When we write, our fingers sing.


Words invite us to dance - rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,

hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,

fantasies and true ones."

Margarita Engle, in The music of words



Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

Intl Children's Book Day &World Autism Awareness Day  ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.