Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Year in Review

How much do you know about the stories that made news in 2015? Test your memory of some of the year’s memorable moments with the following quizzes.

2015 Quiz of the Year (an awesome quiz created by Jeffrey Hill - The English Blog)

Farewell, 2015 | A Year-End Special News Quiz (The Learning Network - Teaching and Learning with The New York Times)

World news quiz: The highs and lows of 2015 (PBS NewsHour)

Telegraph Quiz of the Year 2015 (The Telegraph)

The Observer quiz of the year 2015

The world news quiz of 2015 (The Guardian)

Year in Review Quiz 2015 (The Globe and Mail)

2015 Major World Events

Major Events 2015 - Know What Happened in 2015 (Maps of World)

Year in Review: 13 Biggest News Stories of 2015 (ABC News)

2015 Year in Review Slideshow: World News (infoplease.com)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Pink Panther in "Shocking Pink" (listening cloze test)

Pink tries to have a quiet afternoon interrupted by a voiceover (a person you cannot see) persuading him to try various do-it-yourself tasks.

  • If you accomplish something, you succeed in doing or completing something. e.g. The ​students accomplished the ​task in less than ten ​minutes.
  • When you are shiftless, you are lazy and not interested in anything. 
  • Something that is leaky has a ​hole or ​crack in it that ​allows ​liquid or ​gas to get through. e.g. a leaky boat/pipe.
  • A faucet (North American English) is a tap on a bath or sink.
  • An adjustment is a small change that improves something or makes it work better. e.g. She made some slight adjustments to the recipe.
  • When something, such as a pipe, is clogged, it has become blocked, so that nothing can get through. e.g. The sink was clogged by/with dirt and grease.
  • A temblor is a (somewhat formal) North American English word for an earthquake. 
  • A trunk is a large, strong box used for holding clothes or other things especially for traveling.
  • A blunderbuss is an old-fashioned kind of gun with a wide opening at the end. 

Watch the video and fill in the gaps in the extract. For full screen view, click here

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Vocabulary

Here is a fun activity to revise some Christmas vocabulary.

For full screen view, click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Alice in Wonderland classic celebrates 150 years (video)

For 150 years, Alice in Wonderland has delighted and inspired generations of children and adults.

Task 1

Task 2 

Watch the video again and answer the questions.
  1. What was Charles Dodgson's job at the time when he created Alice's story?
  2. Who did he take on a cruise in 1862?
  3. What is the pen name he used when he published his book?
  4. When was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published?
  5. What is the title of its sequel?
  6. When was it published?
  7. What sort of things can you find in Alice's shop in Oxford?
  8. Which characters didn't exist in the original manuscript?
  9. How do some literary critics explain the timeless attraction of Alice's story?

Task 3

For full screen view click here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The incredible history of China's terracotta warriors (worksheet)

Here is a worksheet based on the TED-Ed video about the incredible history of China's terracotta warriors. It contains a True/False exercise, a set of comprehension questions and a vocabulary exercise (crossword puzzle). Answer Key included. 

To download the worksheet, click here

Related Post
The incredible history of China's terracotta warriors (TED-Ed video)  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The incredible history of China's terracotta warriors (TED-Ed video)

The Terracotta Army is a part of a massive burial tomb built for Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.


Task 1

Watch the video and answer the following questions.
  1. When was the terracotta army discovered?
  2. How many clay soldiers were found in the underground chambers surrounding the emperor's tomb?
  3. How old was Ying Zheng when he came to power?
  4. How did he become the first emperor of China?
  5. How many years did he reign over China?
  6. What were his most important accomplishments?
  7. Why did he spend his last years searching for the elixir of life?
  8. Besides the terracotta soldiers, what other figurines were found in the underground necropolis?
  9. How many laborers worked on the project according to archaeologists?
  10. What features make each statue unique? 
  11. Why hasn't the emperor's tomb been excavated yet?
  12. What is the emperor's tomb thought to contain? 

Task 2

Task 3



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween (who wants to be a millionaire game)

I have used Adam Simpson's amazing "Who wants to be a millionaire" template to make this game, which revises vocabulary and information related to the history and traditions of Halloween. (http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween)

Download the template here to make your own games.

You can also download the game here.

Halloween Crossword worksheet
Halloween - History of the jack-o'-lantern worksheet
Bet you didn't know - Halloween (video)
Holidays (game)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The European Refugee Crisis

In the summer of 2015, Europe experienced the highest influx of refugees since the Second World War. Why? The main reason is that Syria has become the world's top source of refugees.

Task 1

Watch the video and answer the following questions.
  1. How long has Syria been ruled by the al-Assad family?
  2. What is the Arab Spring? When did it happen?
  3. What was ISIS' goal?
  4. Where are the majority of Syrian refugees living now?
  5. Why was Greece unable to take care of all the people that arrived on its islands?
  6. What was the operation Mare Nostrum designed for?
  7. What made people around the world change the way they thought about the refugee crisis?  
  8. What fears do people in the Western world have over the large number of refugees arriving in Europe? 

 Task 2

Image credit: https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/europe-migrants_greece-11.jpg?w=840


Task 3


The European Refugee Crisis (worksheet)

Here is a worksheet based on The European Refugee Crisis video. It contains a True/False exercise, a set of comprehension questions and a vocabulary exercise (crossword puzzle). Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

To download the worksheet click here.
To view an online version of this worksheet click here.

The European Refugee Crisis (video listening)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Keep your eyes on the skies during the full moon later this month -- because you could see something that hasn't happened for more than 30 years, and won't happen again for nearly 20 more. (Read more...)

Task 1

Watch the video and answer the questions below.

  1. What event will you be able to see in the night sky on September 27th, 2015?
  2. What is a supermoon?
  3. What is a lunar eclipse?
  4. How many times has a supermoon lunar eclipse happened since 1900?
  5. When was the last time you could see this event?
  6. When will you have the opportunity to see this event again in the future?

Task 2


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This Day in History (Aug 06): Hiroshima Atomic Bomb (1945)

In August 1945, during the final stage of the Second World War, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history. (from Wikipedia)

Atomic bombing of Japan

Task 1

Watch the video about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and answer the following questions.

  1. When was the first atomic bomb dropped?
  2. What was the airplane that dropped the bomb called?
  3. Where was the group of scientists who made the bomb based?
  4. What happened inside the airplane when the bomb went off?
  5. Who was President of the USA at that time?
  6. What did the Hiroshima bombing teach mankind?

Task 2

Watch the video again and fill in the gaps in the transcript. 

If you wish to check your answers, you can watch the video on YouTube with the captions on (just click the CC button at the bottom of the video).

Task 3


Click on the image below to download the worksheet.


Related Resources

Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Japan surrenders (Scroll down the page to Downloadable PDF Text and Worksheets)
Hiroshima Peace Day 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dead Poets Society (trailer)

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the northeast United States in 1959, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. (from wikipedia)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Inner Giant

"Inner Giant is much more than a book, it is a journey through the lives and experiences of its creators. It contains over twenty short stories written by a variety of authors, introduced by two fictional school boys adding a touch of humour and irony to the stories.
The second part contains poetry of all shapes and sizes, conceived by different, but talented poets.
There are several other parts to the book, each crammed with illustrations, photographs, paintings, essays, lesson materials and pieces of sound advice.
All the material in the book has one message, do not stand for bullying, do not stand by bullying and do not bully others.
The profits from the book are being donated to anti-bullying organizations. Making this unique work a must read for all. It’s time you found your own Inner Giant." Frank Letras

Click here to order a copy. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

Nepal: Miracle rescues of teenager and baby bring joy amid earthquake tragedy (video)

Before watching the video, read the comprehension questions and study the words in the vocabulary section below.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where was the teenager found?
  2. How long had he been trapped in the ruins?
  3. How many hours after the earthquake was the baby found?
  4. What alerted the rescue teams to search for him?
  5. How many people have been affected by the earthquake?
  6. What dangers are the earthquake victims facing now?


  • Rubble are broken pieces of stone, brick, etc., from walls or buildings that have fallen. e.g. Rescue workers managed to pull two injured people out of the rubble.
  • When you assess something, you make a judgment about it. e.g. After the hurricane, officials assessed  the town's need for aid.
  • When you alert someone, you give them important information about a possible problem, danger, etc., you warn them. e.g. Several neighbors alerted  the authorities/police when they noticed strangers acting suspiciously.
  • A rural area is an area in the countryside. e.g. She lives in a rural  area.
  • When you scramble for something, you try very hard to get it before someone else does. e.g. Both players scrambled  for the ball.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Book Thief trailer (cloze test)

Here is a cloze test based on the trailer for The Book Thief movie.

You can watch the video with English subtitles/captions here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (worksheet)

Here is a worksheet based on an animated film of The Happy Prince. It contains a True/False exercise, a set of comprehension questions, a vocabulary exercise (crossword puzzle) and a grammar exercise (reported speech). Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

To download the worksheet click here.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (video)

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer and poet. His most notable works are "The Importance of Being Ernest" and "The Picture of Dorian Grey".
 The Happy Prince and Other Tales (sometimes called The Happy Prince and Other Stories) is a collection of stories for children first published in May 1888. It contains five stories, "The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Selfish Giant", "The Devoted Friend", and "The Remarkable Rocket". It is most famous for its title story, "The Happy Prince".

Here is an animated film of  "The Happy Prince". Watch the video and answer the questions below. (You can watch the video on YouTube if you wish to turn on the captions but keep in mind they might contain a few errors.)

Comprehension Questions
  1. Where did the Happy Prince's statue stand?
  2. Why hadn't the swallow gone south with the other birds?
  3. Why was the Prince sad?
  4. What did the swallow carry to the sick child's house?
  5. Who did the Prince give the gemstones from his eyes to?
  6. Why did the swallow finally decide not to fly south?
  7. Who received the gold leaf that covered the Prince's body?
  8. Why did the swallow thank and kiss the Prince?
  9. What did the villagers decide to do with the statue? Why?
  10. Does the story have a happy ending?
  • A dagger is a sharp pointed knife that is used as a weapon.
  • When you ornament something, you make it more attractive by adding small objects to it. e.g. a dress ornamented with pearls
  • A gem or gemstone is a valuable stone that is used in jewellery/jewelry.
  • When you pluck something, you pull it quickly to remove it. e.g. My sister plucked a white hair from my head. 
  • If something is grubby, it is dirty or messy. e.g. He lives in a grubby little apartment.


Now watch the video again and try the following quiz.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Happy Prince summary (cloze test)

Here is a cloze test I made on LearningApps.org. The text is taken from wikipedia.
You might like to check the following related posts before doing the test.
The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (video)
The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (worksheet)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Holidays (game)

Play the game below to revise vocabulary related to Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Drag and drop each word into the correct bin.