Friday, April 29, 2011

World Dance Day at school ! Dance, dance, dance !

Pina Bausch 1940-2009
credits : Wilfried Krüeger

"The urge to dance is a natural impulse, dancers worship nature in their way, they connect with the universe and feel its juices trickle into them." 
April 29 is International Dance Day. "International Dance Day" was established in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID) of UNESCO to bring attention to the art of dance every year on April 29, Jean-Georges Noverre's birthday(1727),  a French dancer and balletmaster, generally considered the creator of ballet d'action, a precursor of the narrative ballets of the 19th century.

 "Dance, dance, dance, otherwise we are lost."

Pina Bausch
Wim Wenders dedicated this extraordinary documentary to Pina Bausch. In my opinion one of most beautiful tributes to the art of dancing.

Pina Bausch died 30 June 2009. She will be remembered as one of the most significant choreographers of the twentieth century.
Dance is also a good therapy for young people in school. Dance movement therapy and the power of dance is used to inspire, uplift and heal.
Dance is a fun and fresh integrative part in the curricula. Sir Ken Robinson's TED lectures on education and creativity are very inspiring about free expression of  children in school.
There will be many performances in colleges and out of doors today. So, don't miss the opportunity to let your students express themselves by dancing in the school gardens, for example.

Like moss on a stone | Pina Bausch
photo: Rolf Ebertowski
"All through the year we teach dance, we rehearse, we perform within four walls. On this special day dedicated to dance, let us mark the difference by practising, teaching or performing for everyone to see. It might be cold and rainy, the floor is certainly not good enough, the wind takes the music away, but the beauty in those movements and the joy on those faces will brighten the hearts of the spontaneous audience of passers-by."
President of the International Dance Council CID UNESCO, Paris 

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fighting cyberbullying with Shakespeare ? Yes !

credits; Flocabulary

This week we celebrated the Bard's birthday William Shakespeare (April 23).

And suddenly I found on Facebook this interesting project. In honour of Shakespeare's birthday, an adaptation of a classic play to help nurture the emotional experiences of young people, specifically around bullying. 

"A Shakespeare play on Facebook? Yes! It's true! And it's happening NOW! You can be a part of Shakespeare's classic comedy as we present it in real time over three days."

The project explores social media as an educational tool and will send a powerful message about cyberbullying to today's plugged-in students.

"In Much Ado, the villainous Don John destroys an innocent girl's impending marriage by conspiring with others to make her appear unfaithful. The girl, Hero, fakes her own death to escape the scorn of her fiancé and family until the truth can be revealed and the lovers can be reunited. 
Much Ado also features the memorable characters of Beatrice and Benedick, who start the play at each other's throats and learn to love each other through some clever trickery on the part of their friends."
(about the play)

Much Ado About Nothing is presenting on a special page through status updates, posts, pictures and videos.
The students helped create separate pages for their characters complete with pictures, in-character bios and likes. 

It’s a great way to make Shakespeare more comprehensible to teenagers, kids, and especially kids who don’t enjoy Shakespeare right away.

A hip-hop introduction to "Much Ado About Nothing" is an original animated adaptation, written and performed by FlocabularyFlocabulary, a hip hop education resource, turned out a surprisingly entertaining and useful video (watch it below) to help explain the plot. 

Reviewing Much Ado About Nothing has never been more fun. Shakespeare is stumped about what to write for his next play. Good thing he asks Peter the janitor for some ideas. Together they weave the plot of Much Ado About Nothing, from Beatrice and Benedict's unlikely romance to Don John's evil scheming. Quickly review the hijinks of one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies with this song.

Illustration of Much Ado About Nothing, N. Rowe, 1709
Much About Nothing
by Shakespeare


It's a creative project to include into Literature and Civics curricula. And students love social media in the classroom.

The project is meant both as a digital educational resource and a tool to combat cyber bullying at school.

And that is a fantastic idea to motivate students to learn about Shakespeare in the school curricula and fight cyber bullying.

Much Ado About Nothing deals with the damage caused by false information and pain of bullying in the Internet (images, films, rumors) between teens.

Facebook has been the site of much cyber bullying. But Facebook is making efforts to provide a slew of tools and resources available to report abuse. 

The project was hosted on Facebook, where many students are already present!

The performance is in full swing (it began yesterday), but you can catch up on the action by reading everything that has happened so far. 

Weekly Reader has teamed up with the Ophelia Project and White Plain’s High School. 

Of course, don´t forget to visit the Shakespeare website. There's a lot of good information and activities to include into your courses about Shakespeare.

Music fighting bullying
a project in school

Some thoughts:

I have developed cross-curricular projects with my students to fight bullying at school, some years ago, based on literature, music and civics.

Believe me! The students were very excited and they developed awesome activities.

Cyberbullying came after. But it begins always at school. Educators can do an incredible job helping teenagers to understand how dangerous it is for both sides cyberbullying the classmates.

I am sure your students will love developing some similar projects learning Shakespeare and fighting cyberbullying.

"Cyberbullying is a serious issue for today's youth, so we're very excited to bring this message into their territory and language," said Jessica Semler, program coordinator for The Ophelia Project. "From a literary standpoint, it is great to show how relevant and spot-on Shakespeare still is."


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jean-Jacques Audubon : Le 1er Ornithologue du Nouveau Monde

Jean-Jacques Audubon

Google Doodle Jean-Jacques Audubon

Aujourd'hui Google doodle rend hommage à Jean-Jacques Audubon, célèbre  l'ornithologue, naturaliste et peintre américain d'origine française.

Il est né le 26 Avril 1785 aux Cayes (Saint-Dominique). Il est consideré comme le premier ornithologue du Nouveau Monde.

Les oiseaux d'Amérique
Jean-Jacques Audubon

Il se passionne très jeune pour l'histoire naturelle. Il a été élevé en France, à Nantes, non loin de là à Couëron, par sa belle-mère, Anne Moynet Audubon.

Il part aux États-Unis, où est connu par John James Audubon et devient contremaître dans une ferme près de Philadelphie. Il commence alors à étudier l'histoire naturelle en dirigeant la première opération de baguage du continent. 

Il noue un fil à la patte d'une moucherolle (Sayornis phoebe) et remarque ainsi que ces oiseaux reviennent nicher chaque année aux mêmes endroits.

Jean-Jacques Audubon 
or John James Audubon
by John Syme, 1826

Il commence également à dessiner et à peindre des oiseaux. Il a cherché un éditeur pour ses dessins d'oiseaux à Philadelphie, mais sans succès. Peut-être at-il attiré l'inimitié des sommités scientifiques de la ville, membres de l'Academy of Natural Sciences?

Alors, il part à Londres avec son portfolio et son succès fut immédiat. Il est fêté comme « l'homme des bois américain » et récolte suffisamment d'argent pour publier "Les Oiseaux d'Amérique" entre 1830 et 1839.

Son ouvrage, remarquable par l'exactitude des détails et par la beauté de l'exécution, se compose de quatre volumes contenant 435 planches grandeur nature peintes à la main.

Birds of America
Jean-Jacques Audubon

Pigeons migrateurs/ Ectopistes migratorius
Jean-Jacques Audubon

Audubon a été élu membre de la Royal Society, suivant ainsi Benjamin Franklin qui en fut le premier membre américain. 

Pendant son séjour à Édimbourg à la recherche de souscriptions pour son livre, il fait une démonstration de sa manière d'utiliser des fils pour déployer les oiseaux devant la Wernerian Natural History Association du professeur Robert Jameson

Un étudiant nommé Charles Darwin faisait partie du public.

John James Audubon State Park (Kentucky, USA)

Il est revenu en Amérique du Nord où il poursuivit ses expéditions et achèta une propriété sur l'Hudson, aujourd'hui Audubon Park.

En 1842, il publie aux États-Unis une édition populaire des Oiseaux d'Amérique. De retour dans sa patrie, il entreprend, avec le concours du docteur John Bachman (1790-1874), la description des mammifères, les Quadrupèdes vivipares d'Amérique du Nord, qui paraît à New York en 1850. Le livre est achevé par ses fils et sa femme.

Maison John-James Audubon 
Henderson, Kentucky

Il est mort le 27 janvier 1851 à New York.Massachusetts Audubon Society, la première parmi les nombreuses sociétés savantes Audubon, a été fondée et nommée en son honneur en 1896.

Carolina pigeon 
(now called mourning dove)
Jean-Jacques Audubon

Impossible perdre un tel hommage sans en parler dans les cours de Sciences! Profitez de ces ressources et demandez aux élèves de faire tout un travail de recherche. 

Pensez à un projet transdisciplinaire Sciences/ Langues/ Histoire-Géo et Arts. Des activités adaptées au niveau d'apprentissage des élèves.

Les Oiseaux d'Amérique dans l'oeuvre de
Jean-Jacques Audubon
Editions de La Martinière

Références et sites pour les enseignants:

  • Audubon's Birds of America ici


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Google célèbre Jean-Jacques Audubon by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Jean Jacques Audubon