Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Google doodle goes on a Portuguese Tram

Lisbon Tram 110th Anniversary 2011 hp Doodle: 110º Aniversário da Inauguração da Primeira Linha de Carros Elétricos em Portugal

Google celebrates today, with a colourful doodle, the 110th anniversary of the first Portuguese tramway line, between Cais do Sodré and Algés, in Lisbon.

How nice! Google letter by letter enters in a Portuguese tramway! It could be an interesting motivation to start a new lesson in Civics or Languages curriculum about old but always 'fancy' transports in some big cities.

Tramway 28 | Lisbon

So, let's start with some tips about cultural traditions as a brief motivation to learn about different cities of the world.


The tramway is an urban transport from the XIXth century. And it is still working in some European countries, and some American cities (United States and South America), Australia and New Zealand.

1.General information: Ask your students to make a researching work about trams on Wikipedia. 

They can use their smartphones, or ipads (if you are teaching in a 'lucky' school).

2. Civilization: After this first information, the teacher will ask the students to make another researching work, this time about countries that in our days are using the tramway and in which cities.

2.1. After a good individual researching work about the cities that are using trams as a public transport, invite students to join in groups.

2.2. Each group will choose a different city and will develop a project. For example, a touristic tour.

Note: The fair way to distribute cities' names among students is the raffle.

3. Each group will prepare a little video on YouTube, using their smarphones or the ipads that will be presented in the classroom in a next lesson. Take a week at least (for high junior education).


Each group of students learned about a city in the world that is using trams. So, they will share their cultural knowledge with the colleagues.

Teacher and students are asked to make some questions about each city (history, geography, culture).
Miniatura do Eléctrico 163

Tramway model
In Porto, Portugal, there is an interesting Museum. The Tramway Museum! The Tramway Museum of Porto is open to tourists and to schools.

The Museum has  an impressive collection of antique trams. The museum is well prepared for various activities with students (different education levels).

Meanwhile, watch the video below with the most famous line of Lisbon. The  line 28! It is well known by touristic guides.

I hope you and your students might enjoy this little 'Google tramway tour' activity in two Portuguese cities, Lisbon and Porto.

Just a little motivation for an amusing but cultural lesson!


copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

Licença Creative Commons

Google doodle  goes on a Portuguese tram by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Wikipedia (English language)

Museu do Carro Eléctrico
Blog Museu do Carro Eléctrico

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

    Licença Creative Commons
    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 beautuful voices! Here with Rustin Man in Jools Holland show (2002).

    Enjoy! It's a marvellous sun 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 !

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

    Today, Google honors with a fantastic doodle the 122th birthday of one of the most important  writers of the XXth century, Jorge Luis Borges

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

    Google Doodle 112th Birthday of Jorge Luís Borges

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

    Everything has been designed to mimic the outline of the letters which make up the traditional Google logo. It reminds us a lot of Inception, perhaps that film drew from Borges ideas."

    Who konws if Inception is a science-fiction movie whose sceneries and ideas about subconscious really remind us Borges.

    Jorge Luis Borges  was an 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.


    He was born in an educated middle-class family on August, 24th 1899 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He died on June 14, 1986. He is 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 where he attended school and traveled to Spain.

    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.

    In 1961, he came to international attention when Borges received the first  International Publishers’ Prize, the Prix Formentor. 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 Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil.”

    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 architechture, 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 an awesome writer. He deserved to bo honored with  the Nobel Prize.

    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 awesome. I love to do it. And I prepare my courses wtih so much enthousiam because I love books! Books are fascinating.

    A teacher who loves books literature lessons are a great success among students. They will be captivated, even the reluctant readers. Perhaps some of them will dare to begin to write? Not the first time, believe me!

    Literature curriculum about Jules Verne, Fernando Pessoa or Jorge Luís Borges are  easier now. We have new tools, wonderful devices.

    "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 for students in 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 Literature curriculum (Secondary Education).

    And more... please use the tag Literature on my bloh and you will find some other interesting ideas.

    Jorge Luís Borges
    credits: Luis Silva


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

    Dare to use social networking in your courses. Students will be enthousiastic.

    Of course, don't forget Libraries! A Library is the most value to do some schoolar 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, Happiness read by John Berger 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, Portuguese writer, dead in 2010, Nobel Prize in Literature 1998, promoted an important conference about Jorge Luis Borges at his Fondation Saramago in 2008 to honor 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



    copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

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