April Fools’ Day

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April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. The day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools.[1] Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day.

Read about it and take a short quiz

Can you spot the April Fools’ gags? Try this game

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1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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You can play some games here.

Plot: Alice follows  a White  rabbit down a hole and into Wonderland, where her adventures never stop. She attends the Mad Hatter’s tea party, talks to a very unusual caterpillar and plays croquet with the Queen of Hearts. Along the way she meets unusual characters such as a disappearing Cheshire cat to a sleepy dormouse and a mad March hare.

Here is a nice wordsearch

Change Alice’s shape!  or visit the maze!

This is a matching game (memory) and a magic game!  Can you play chess? Then challange the Queen!

Try this recipe if you like cooking!

Find out how old you are!

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Saint Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 to honor Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Almost 1500 years ago the patron saint and national hero of Ireland was born to a Gaelic family who had migrated to Britain. For 16 years, Patrick lived a normal life as the son of a prosperous landowner and magistrate until he was captured and forced into slavery. Patrick spent 6 years herding sheep. He escaped and returned to Ireland to do missionary work.

History reports that he used shamrock leaves to explain the meaning of the Trinity. It is also stated that he drove snakes from Ireland, banishing the venomous serpents by beating his drum. St. Patrick died on March 17, 493 after bringing the Christian faith to Ireland. 

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As the Irish emigrated around the world, they took the St. Pat’s celebration with them. The Irish heritage has had a profound influence on our nation. The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.

 

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day (Canadian French:Jour de la MarmottePennsylvania German:GrundsaudaagMurmeltiertag) is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

http://www.5minuteenglish.com/feb7.htm

3. Questionnaire (the USA)

Hi! Please read p. 16-28-29 (High Spirits-extra book) and answer the following questions

THE HISTORY OF THE USA (p.28-29 High Spirits Extra book)

  1. When did Columbus arrive in America?

  2. Why did he call the native people “Indians”?

  3. When did the English arrive in America?

  4. What was the name of their first colony? Why did it have that name?Why were the Americans angry with England?

  5. What products did England buy from the colonies?

  6. Who were the “Sons of Liberty”?

  7. When was the Boston Tea party? What happened?

  8. When did the War of Independence start?

  9. Who won the war?

  10. When was the Declaration of Independence?

  11. Who was the first President of the USA?

INDEPENDENCE DAY (p.16 High Spirits Extra book)

  1. When do people in the USA celabrate Independence Day?

  2. Why is the American flag called “The Stars and Stripes”?

  3. How do Americans spend July 4th?

  4. What tradition can you see if you visit Coney Island on that day?

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. This year is on  Monday,20th

Ha Ha

3. Ireland

 

Irish Country Road

The island of Ireland is divided into two countries; the southern and northwestern regions constitute the Republic of Ireland, an independent, democratic country. The northeast is Northern Ireland and presently is a part of the United Kingdom. Historically, Ireland is divided into four ancient provinces, LEINSTER, MUNSTER, CONNACHT and ULSTER. There are thirty-two counties within those provinces. For tourism the country is divided into regions which may cross over provinces. The following information will give you a short description of the regions and the cities within those regions. Heritage towns are noted under the cities.

Throughout the entire island of Ireland are thousands of lakes and rivers that are natural wonders. In addition, Ireland’s ancient past makes it an archeological paradise, with many sites dating back thousands of years. There is so much to explore and experience, that no matter where you travel in Ireland, it will be a fantastic exploration, Irish Lakewith unsurpassed hospitality. The scenery is ever changing, simply spectacular, and literally unfolds before your eyes. All over Ireland you can enjoy the outdoors from fishing to golf, horse riding to water sports. Local eateries offer a wide range of food from simple to fine dining. However, whether plain or fancy, the fare is usually fresh, often home grown, and absolutely fantastic. A wide variety of accommodations await you and there are many modes of transportation throughout, including rental cars, chauffeur drive, motor coach, boats, trains, and even planes from one part of the country to another.

The universal language of music is performed in local pubs, large concert halls, on the street with buskers, or in the parlor with your hosts. Anywhere and everywhere there is music, from traditional to contemporary, and rock. Listen to the songs of Ireland and you can learn much of her history!

(from visitireland.com)

Look at some photos!

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Traditional Irish dancing

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The famous Guinness

 

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The shamrock

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The Irish flag

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One of the beautiful landscapes

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A typical cottage

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Xmas is coming!

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The Date of Christmas

The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity’s existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god. Church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday celebration as Christ’s Mass so that it would compete head on with the rival pagan celebration.

Mistletoe and Holly
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief.

Poinsettias
Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America’s first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828.

The Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter’s night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree.

Xmas
This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ’s name, “X” in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ’s name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook “Xmas” as a sign of disrespect.

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Vocabulary (click here ChristmasVocabulary and print this document. It contains useful words!)

 

Click on the image to get a nice surprise! imageslistening        find the differences game                    crossword game      Father Christmas (fill  in the gaps)            matching exercise    more exercises

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 and now it is music time!!!

 

 

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Have you ever watched this film?

game

Thanksgiving Day

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Celebrated on: Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November, but many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends.

The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall’s bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.

The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims’ sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.

To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.

Here are colouring pages

 

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This is an interactive book http://www.animatedthanksgiving.com/book/2368-f2-the-original-thanksgiving?s=24efe1784ceaf2d89968b

Vocabulary game   crossword 2

If you want to learn more, visit this website http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/webcast.htm