Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Celebrating Agatha Christie's 120th Anniversary at school

Google Doodle 120th anniversary Agatha Christie

Did you had noticed already? Google are featuring a special Agatha Christie doodle, the "Queen of Crime", on their homepage to celebrate Agatha Christie's 120th anniversary

The search engine's letter G has been transformed into the author's moustachioed detective, Hercule Poirot.

The Google doodle shows Poirot and a cast of characters standing around a body (the search engine's letter "o", in this case wearing a set of pearls), as the Belgian detective undoubtedly explains exactly whodunit to his less perceptive observers.

Christie is not the first author Google has honoured – the search engine has also created sketches on its home page for HG Wells and The Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – but she is undoubtedly the most prolific and bestselling. 

It is appearing on Google homepage in all these countries: UK, Ireland, Slovenia, Romania, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel, all Arabic speaking countries, Korea, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Spain, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Finland, Suriname, Macedonia, Japan, & Lithuania.

Why so many countries? Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. 

She has sold over two billion books worldwide and has been translated into over 45 languages.  

 Agatha Christie

In a writing career that spanned more than half a century, Agatha Christie wrote eighty novels and short story collections.  She also wrote over a dozen plays, including The Mousetrap, which is now the longest running play in theatrical history.


"One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood. I had a very happy childhood."
Agatha Christie 

This week, coinciding with the birthday of Agatha Christie, is the 6th annual Agatha Christie week.

Whether using the original novels or the simplified editions for non-native speakers, Christie's books make excellent resources for the classroom.

Agatha Christie tea

A. Are you a teacher at secondary school? Why not motivate your students to participate at Christie Week 2010?

Students can organise a Agatha Christie Week at school, sharing with other students of a school from another city or country. It will be an interesting exchange project.

How to start?

They can start with a pedagogical research on the oficial website:
  • Stories and Detectives;
  • The stories of Agatha Christie (using the filter to browse through her stories);
  • Christie's Detectives (M. Poirot, Miss Marple, other); 
  • Reading order (to a bibliography);
  • Sidekicks ( the role of the sidekick in crime fiction).

But you have more! Your students could have funny moments learning by gaming. Yeah!
  • Mystery figure game;
  • Christie quizz;
  • Christie crosswords (vocabulary in English language).

Children: Primary school

The youngest can "Play 4.50 from Paddington" (free trial)?

All these activities are available here 

Young adolescents: Secondary education

If you are a teacher at a High Junior School, don't miss to explore with your class the BBC archive! 

Agatha Christie interview

To mark the 120th Anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth, BBC Archive doing a small collection of radio and television items in tribute to the world's most famous crime writer. We can hear from the lady herself!

What a fantastic educational digital resource to include crime fiction into English language curriculum! Do you agree?

For example, don't miss the audio The Misterious Dame Agatha (1st broadcast 1975) or Agatha Christie Interview (recorded 1955) where the writer talks about her lack of formal education and how boredom during childhood led her to write "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", wich was completed when she was still in her twenties.

Some links:

Agatha Christie

BBC Archive Agatha Christie

My thoughts:

Talking talking about formal learning. Are your students bored in the classroom? No, not now when you are including games into your lesson.

Well, there are a lot of funny and engaging activities about the "narrative" that you can create or prepare before your Agatha Christie week.

Then explore some good activities into your lessons in face-to-face teaching and informal learning, using the internet, games, or a blog.

Believe me! You will have a great group of motivated students who will learn easily the narrative text - crime fiction - exploring as well the vocabulary,  and grammar.

And you? A different 'attitude' by changing methods, a creative mind to facilitate different learning activities to your young students!

"Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" 



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