Monday, August 29, 2011

Rap in Chemistry curriculum? Fantastic!

This year is the International Year fo Chemistry, as the Chemistry teachers know! And I am sure that they are preparing fantatisc activities to share with the students to motivate them in Chemistry curriculum, now that the real school-season is there.

After my post Google celebrates Robert Bunsen and 'International Year of Chemistry 2011', another post about Chemistry in the classroom.

Here you have a fantastic and funny video to share: Rapping elements! Rap?! Yes, you read it well. Rapping elements. 

So, watch the video below: 

Quite amazing, isn't it? And inspiring! Don't you agree with me? The creative rapper Oort Kuiper  wrote here

"Many people have heard of Tom Lehrer's 'The Elements' song. One day I decided to search for it online to memorise some stuff about the elements and found out that Daniel 'Harry Potter' Radcliffe had recently recited it on TV. I wondered what he (and the viewers) might have learnt about the elements by listening to it but shock horror...after listening I realised the song hadn't actually told me anything about The Periodic Table, except what's on it! 

So I decided to do my own song, specifically about The Periodic Table. 

The chorus contains the first 36 elements in order up to Krypton. 

The first verse covers general info about the Periodic table.

The second verse lists the Alkali Metals and The Alkaline Earth Metals.

The third verse lists the Halogens and the Noble Gases.

Let me know if this rap helps you at all... or if it doesn't. (...) good luck with your studies, or thirst for knowledge."

Oort Kuiper (Rapper)

Well, Kuiper is a student too. And inspired by Harry Potter star, Daniel Rafcliff, he decided to create his own rap to memorise the elements for Chemistry lesson.


As you see, the students are very creative if we can listen to them.

I'm sure your students are too. In a trans-curriculum - Chemistry, Languages and Music - propose your class to create different songs - rap! they really like it - about different subjects from Chemistry curriculum.

Remember! Educators can share, discuss and plan ideas for IYC 2011 here. There already a lot of activities and projects for different countries and schools on the webpage of IYC2011.

Students can plan activities with their educators in the classroom and then share for IYC 2011, by country,  here

And to add an event or events to the list, go to the Activities section and submit a description of the activity. 

Typical events or activities could be at the local, state, regional, or national level, and might include... read more

Some conclusions:

The activities can be developed in Elementary education and Secondary Education. It's up to the educators motivate the students. Never forget it!

You will be delighted how the students are amazing when they are free to demonstrate their creativity in the classroom.
Don't underestimate your students capacities, even the reluctant ones to learn some difficult subjects in the school curricula. 

  • Encourage the interest of young people in chemistry;

  • Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry;

  • Celebrate the role of women in chemistry or major historical events in chemistry, including the centenaries of Mme. Curie’s Nobel Prize and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.

  • Have a good IYC 2011 in your school!


    Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,® 

    Credits: video University of Nottingham

    International Year of Chemistry 2011 

    International Year of Chemistry 2011/UNESCO

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    Rap in  Chemistry curriculum? Fantastic! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Because it's Sunday !

    Beth Gibbons Portishead has one of the most beautiful voices! Here with Rustin Man in Jools Holland show (2002).

    Enjoy! It's a marvelous sunny day out there and I'm going for a walk on the beach with my family!


    (because it's Sunday)
    copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

    Licença Creative Commons

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Schools : Celebrate Jorge Luis Borges ! Resources

    Jorge Luís Borges, Sicília/ Palermo/ Italy (1984)
     credits: Ferdinando Scianna/Magnum

    At evening
    they grow weary, the patio's two or three colours.
    Tonight, the moon, bright circle,
    fails to dominate space.
    Patio, channel of sky.
    The patio is the slope
    down which sky flows into the house.
    eternity waits at the crossroad of stars.
    It's pleasant to live in the friendly dark
    of entrance-way, arbour, and cistern. 

    Jorge Luis Borges, A Patio

    Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine poet essayist, and short-story writer whose works have become classics of 20th-century world literature was born on August 24, 1899, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

    He is best known for his fantastic short stories and influential essays and poetry. Through his work, Latin American literature emerged from the academic realm into the realm of generally educated readers.

    Google Doodle 112th Birthday of Jorge Luís Borges
    doodler: Sophia Foster-Dimino

    Google Doodle:

    Google honors with a wonderful Doodle the 112th birthday of one of the most important  writers of the XX century, Jorge Luis Borges

    "The Doodle draws heavily from Borges work, it shows different architecture, buildings and the great man himself. 

    Google Doodle 112th Birthday of Jorge Luís Borges
    doodler: Sophia Foster-Dimino

    Everything has been designed to mimic the outline of the letters which make up the traditional Google logo."

    It reminds us the film Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan. Perhaps the film drew from Borges ideas.

    Who knows if Inception is a science-fiction movie whose scenarios and ideas about subconscious was really inspired on Borges.

    Jorge Luis Borges  the Argentine writer best known today for his fantastic short stories and influential essays and poetry. Borges' works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre.

    In honor of the birthday of Jorge Luis Borges, Google has prepared this special Doodle

    Google is giving tribute to another legend of Literature this year. After the Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa (June 13) and the French writer Jules Verne (February 8), this time the Argentine writer Jose Luis Borges.

    Some Biographic facts:

    Borges was born in an educated middle-class family on August, 24th 1899 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He died on June 14, 1986. He was a famous writer, poet, essayist and translator.

    In 1914, Borges moved with his family to Switzerland, where he began to study languages (German, French, Latin). From his early days he used to speak English.  He received education at home until the age of 11 in two languages, Spanish and English.

    Jorge Luís Borges
    credits: unknow

    Borges' family resided in a huge home with an English library with more than one thousand volumes. 

    After the World War I ended, the family spent three years residing in a number of cities such as Lugano, Barcelona, Majorca, Sevilla, and Madrid.

    He returned to Argentina in 1921, where he began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals.

    He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library - Biblioteca Nacional - and professor of Literature at the University of Buenos Aires
    For Latin American writers, he revolutionised the way language was used. 

    "I read Borges for his extraordinary ability at verbal artifice; he's a man who teaches you how to write ... to sharpen your instrument for saying things."

    Gabriel García Márquez 

    Jorge Luís Borges
    credits: Eduardo Comesaña, 1971

    By the late 1950s, he had become completely blind. Neither the coincidence nor the irony of his blindness as a writer escaped Borges:

    Nadie rebaje a lágrima o reproche
    esta declaración de la maestría
    de Dios, que con magnífica ironía
    me dio a la vez los libros y la noche.

    In 1961, he came to international attention when Borges received the first  International Publishers’ Prize, 
     major European award, the Prix FormentorHe shared the prize with Samuel Beckett, with whom he represents, in Brian Dillon's words, the "obscure conduit ... from modernism to postmodernism". In 1971 he won the Jerusalem Prize. 

    His work was translated and published widely in the United States and in Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages.  

    He died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.

    "His works have contributed to the genre of science fiction as well as the genre of magical realism, a genre that reacted against the realism/naturalism of the nineteenth century. In fact, critic Angel Flores, the first to use the term, set the beginning of this movement with Borges’s Historia Universal de la Infamia (1935). His late poems dialogue with such cultural figures as SpinozaCamões, and Virgil.”

    Historia de la Infamia
    Jorge Luis Borges, 1935

    In our days, people know Jorge Luis Borges more by his short stories, compiled in the books Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949) drew heavily on dreams, ornate architecture, religion, libraries and animals.

    He is widely acclaimed as one of the main contributors to modern day science fiction.

    Though he didn’t received Nobel Prize in Literature, but he is a great writer. He deserved to be honored with  the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    The Library of Babel/ La Biblioteca de Babel
    Jorge Luis Borges
    via Wikipedia

    The Library of Babel, original title La biblioteca de Babel is a short story conceiving of a universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible 410-page books of a certain format and character set.


    The story is about a library consisting entirely of books that are exactly 410 pages and use every possible combination of 25 characters (22 letters, period, comma and space). Every story supposedly has a moral or message to send, and these can have different interpretations based on the readers’ life experience.

    El Jardín de los Senderos que se Bifurcan
    Jorge Luis Borges

    The story was originally published in Spanish in Borges' 1941 collection of stories El Jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Forking Paths). 

    That entire book was included within his much-reprinted Ficciones (1944). Two English-language translations appeared approximately simultaneously in 1962, one by James E. Irby in a diverse collection of Borges's works titled Labyrinths and the other by Anthony Kerrigan as part of a collaborative translation of the entirety of Ficciones.

    Jorge Luís Borges
    credits: Spinnnetto
    Museo del Humor/ Argentina


    “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” 

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Teaching Literature is beautiful. I'm teaching Literature - Master in Literature - and love it. I love books. And I love to read. 

    I prepare my lessons with enthusiasm sometimes fervently. Books are fascinating. Reading is even better.

    A teacher who loves books, her lessons are a huge success. Students feel her love of reading. They will be captivated, even the reluctant readers. Perhaps some of them will dare to begin to write? Not the first time, believe me!

    image via Google

    Literature curricula including Jules Verne, Fernando Pessoa or Jorge Luís Borges are  easier now. We have new tools, wonderful devices and awesome educational digital resources to complement teaching Literature and reading (paper books or digtal books).

    "With today's technology every corner of the world is linked together. The new generations are globalized."

    Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
    message for International Mother Day 2011

    Jorge Luis Borges
    credits: Krygsma

    Some months ago, I suggested in my post Languages matter different activities to include into Languages curriculum (all levels in Education).

    In my posts Reading Jules Verne, the father of sci-fiction, Let's celebrate the great Fernando PessoaI suggested different activities to include into school literature curriculum (Secondary Education).

    And more... please use the tag Literature on my blog and you will find some other interesting ideas. I hope!

    Jorge Luís Borges
    credits: Luis Silva


    Social media are interesting resources to include into school curricula. Students will develop critical thinking and several projects can be done with students and teachers from different schools from other countries.

    Dare to use social networking in your lessons. Students will be happy. This is a new generation, the screen generation.

    Of course, don't forget school libraries! A Library is the most value to do some scholar research. Of course you know Borges' quote:

    " I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library"

    Visit Biblioteca Nacional de Argentina where  "Jornadas Internacionales Borges lector" are taking place from today August 24 to August 26.

    "Above all, literature keeps language alive as our collective heritage"

    Umberto Eco, on literature, 2002

    Listen Jorge Luis Borges' poem, El Centinela/ The Watcher film-maker Celia Qu in the video below:

    Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize 2003 said:

    "He, (Borges) more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists."

    José Saramago, the Portuguese Nobel Prize in Literature 1998, dead in 2010, promoted an important conference about Jorge Luis Borges at his Fondation Saramago in 2008 to honor to Jorge Luís Borges.

    Borges vision beginning to fade in his early thirties, grown on him gradually and settled in for good after his fifty-eighth birthday.

    "Scholars also have suggested that Borges’s progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination."

    No one should read self-pity or reproach
    Into this statement of the majesty
    Of God; who with such splendid irony,
    Granted me books and blindness at one touch

    Jorge Luis Borges, Obituary Paul Goussec



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