Pollution and recycling

My sixth graders explored the causes and effects of pollution and made some brilliant posters:

Trees, please!

Trees are the longest living organisms on the planet and one of the Earth’s greatest natural resources.

Unfortunately, trees are disappearing fast. They are cut down in large numbers. This process is called DEFORESTATION.  The world’s rainforest could completely vanish in less than a hundred years.

Forests are cut down for many reasons:

  • Agriculture: Farmers cut forest to provide more room for planting crops or grazing cattle.
  • Wood and paper products: big industries cut lots of trees every year.
  • Wildfire: Some wildfires are caused because of human negligence (cigarette). Other wildfires are just the result of nature’s power (lightning)

Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment:

  • Many animals lose their habitats
  • Oxygen in the air decreases dramatically
  • Some plants disappear because they need trees to help them keep the soil moist by not letting too much sunlight pass through them.
  • The weather changes. Trees return water vapour back into the atmosphere so temperature decreases.
  • Trees absorb many poisonous gases in the atmosphere.save-trees

World Book and Copyright Day

World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated every year on 23 April. UNESCO started it in 1995 to promote reading, publishing and to raise awareness of and protect copyright. There are several theories to explain why it falls on April 23. One is because William Shakespeare was born and died on this day. Another is because of a festival held since 1923 in Spain to honor the death of Spanish writer Cervantes. Part of Spain’s festivities includes a two-day ‘readathon’ of Cervantes’ book Don Quixote. UNESCO wants to encourage young people to discover the unique pleasures of reading and respect the authors who have helped shape and change our world. 

13 books every teenager should read in 2017

Take a break from social media and get lost in a book with this selection of 13 books every teenager should read in 2017.

1. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

We Were Liars tells the story of the beautiful and privileged teen Cadence. The book opens during a summer that Cady is spending with her rich family on their island. Cady knows there has been an accident, but she can’t remember why or when it happens. What pans out through the course of the book is shocking and intense, and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

One of Jane Austen’s most famous of novels, this nineteenth century story follows Elizabeth Bennett, a fierce, confident and independent young lady, from a poor family of five sisters. Her personality traits cause her to quickly judge someone without knowing them.  The novel wouldn’t be complete without the smart and hilarious comments and thoughts of Elizabeth on her enemy, Mr Darcy, her society and the way of living in English Victorian society.

3. Asking For It, Louise O’Neill

Written by Irish author Louise O’Neill, this book tells the story of 18-year-old, self-obsessed and attention crazy Emma O’Donovan, a victim of sexual abuse in a small town in Cork. The book is split into two parts, before the incident and after it happens, when Emma’s life comes crashing down. The book was a huge hit with Irish audiences, and is definitely a must read for young women and men.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Although it’s a prominent part of the Junior Cert English course, this book is still an important read for anyone interested in modern literature. Narrated by the young Scout Finch, it follows her growing up in a quiet town until a case of rape breaks out between a black man whom her father Atticus must defend, and the white town troublemaker’s daughter. As Scout learns important  life lessons from Atticus, and other characters in the novel, you will find yourself learning them along with her.

5. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Smart, sweet and beautiful Sara Crewe has a perfect life at a boarding school until her world is turned upside down when her father dies. The story of her life after she is forced to live in an attic is unexpected and heart-warming, making it a perfect read for anyone in search of a good book.

6. The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins

Before they were  brilliant movies, they were brilliant books. The Hunger Games series is centred around main character Katniss Everdeen, who lives in poverty stricken District 12 and is chosen to compete in the horrific Hunger Games. Katniss’s character stands out from so many others as she is confident, strong and powerful, and really makes a brilliant read for any age.

7. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany, this book follows the story of Liesl, a nine-year-old girl who steals books and lives with a foster family, as her family have been taken to a concentration camp. A complete page-turner, this novel is gripping and brilliant by all accounts.

8. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

This is the story of teenagers Hazel and Augustus, who both have cancer. Hazel’s life is looking pretty grim until she meets Augustus Waters at a support group and he changes her life. A beautiful and moving book but, be warned, have plenty of tissues on hand while reading.

9. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fizgerald

The Great Gatsby is a literary triumph and multi-award winning novel. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this novel captures the glitz of the glam of the roaring twenties, and tells a tale of love, lies and luxury. While this book is on the Leaving Cert course, it can also be read for pleasure outside of school, where it can be enjoyed and interpreted in whatever way the reader chooses.

10. The Harry Potter series, J K Rowling

Everyone has seen at least one of the Harry Potter films in their lifetime, fact. However, the novels are completely unique in the sense they can be enjoyed by any and everyone, regardless of age.

11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Mental health and well-being among teenagers is a common issue in today’s society and is explored by author Stephen Chbosky in this coming of age novel. The book focuses in on main character Charlie as he struggles with school, friends and coming to grips with growing up. This novel is great as it is both light and dark, and provokes the thoughts of readers on relevant topics such as self- love and the the importance of relationships.

12. Autobiographies, selection

It’s important to have an interest in what you are reading and to want to know all there is about the topic you are reading about. This is where autobiographies are great, as what could be more fascinating than reading about the lives of your idols? For all the sporty teenagers out there, there are some great books out there from various sportsmen and women to enjoy (for example, Proud by Gareth Thomas and Unbelievable by Jessica Ennis). There are many more fantastic memoirs to choose from, including the best-selling Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.

13. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

Having recently taken to the big screen, The Girl On The Train has sky-rocketed in popularity, and it’s no wonder why. This thriller follows a mentally unstable woman, Rachael, who finds herself getting involved with the investigation of a stranger’s murder. The deeper Rachael digs into finding out the truth, the harder she finds it to return back to her own life, which causes trouble with her ex-husband Tom and his current wife. The gripping plot of the novel hooks readers in and keeps them engaged, which makes it ideal for teenagers. One thing is for certain, once you pick up a copy of this book, you will not want to put it down!!

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Earth Day

Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

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There are many things that can be done to help take care of the Earth.

Plant a tree!

Trees provide clean air for us to breathe. Some animals need trees to live in. Also, some trees give us food to eat.

Save water!

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers.

Save Energy!

Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Turn off your TV if you aren’t in the room.

Learn the 3 R’s!

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Recycle by turning your garbage into something new!

Reuse your items!

Reduce the number of things you use and buy!

It is easy to take care of our Earth! 

What will you do to help?

Present Simple or Continuous

I Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form of Present Simple or Present Continuous.

  1. I ………………………………………………………………. (usually/watch) comedies, but today I …………………………………………………………….(watch) documentary.
  2. She ……………………………………………………………. (usually/read) a magazine on the bus. Today she …………………………………………………………….(not/read) a magazine. She …………………………………………………………….(listen) to music.

3.They …………………………………………………………….(usually/work) after school, but today they …………………………………………………………….(not/working). They …………………………………………………(play) football.

4. John and his friend ……………………………………………………………. (usually/do) homework together. Today, John …………………………………………………………….(not/help) his friend. He ……………………………………………………………. (have) music classes.

5.My dog ……………………………………………………………. (usually/ sleep) on his blanket. Now, it …………………………………………………………….(sleep) under the table.

6.At the moment we …………………………………………………………….(have) computer classes. Usually at this time we …………………………………………………………….(have) P.E.

7.On Mondays, he…………………………………………………………….(usually, play) his guitar, but this Monday he …………………………………………………………….(not/play). He …………………………………………………………(go) to the cinema.
8.She …………………………………………………………….(usually/watch) DVDs after school. Today, she …………………………………………………………….(play) computer games.

9. I …………………………………………………………….(usually/go) to Krakow at weekends. This weekend I …………………………………………………………….(not/go). I …………………………………………………………….(stay) at home.

10. Me and my brother ……………………………………………………………. (often/spend) time together. Today we …………………………………………………………….(not/be) together. He is busy because he ……………………………………………………………. (study) now.

 

II Make sentences from the words below using Present Simple or Present Continuous.

  1. he/ usually/do/his homework/after school/but today/he/watch/TV.

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  1. I/usually/read book/ in the evening/but today/ I/watch/a comedy.

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  1. Adam/ usually/ sit/ with me/ but today/ he/ sit/with Suzie.

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  1. Laura / usually/ eat/ a sandwich/ at school/ but today/ she/ eat/ banana.

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  1. We/ usually/ play/ basketball/ after school/ but / we/ not/ play/ today.

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  1. They/ often / listen/ to music/ but/ they/ not / use/ their MP3 player/ now.

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  1. My cousin / often / read/ Harry Potter/ but / he/ not / read/ now.

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  1. My brother and his friend/ often / chat / on the Internet/ but/ they/ not/chat/ now.

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  1. You/ usually/ make / a mess/ in your room/ but / you/ clean/ today.

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  1. Laura / usually/ take/ pictures/ but / she/ not/ use/ her camera/ now.

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When to use capital letters in English

The rules for the use of capital letters are quite easy to remember. Generally, we use capital letters for proper nouns, which are the names of a specific person, place, or thing, and proper adjectives, which are usually derived (formed) from proper nouns. For example, Egypt is a proper noun (the name of a country), and Egyptian is a proper adjective, hence Egyptian pyramid must be capitalized. Have a look at the other cases where using a capital letter is grammatically correct.

1. Days of the week and months of the year
We use capital letters for the days of the week, the months of the year but not for seasons.

2. Planets
We use capital letters for planets. Note the words sun, earth and moon! The words sun, earth and moon can be both common and proper nouns. When used as proper nouns, they must be capitalized. In other words, our planet’s name is Earth, our moon is called the Moon, and our star is called the Sun. So, when referring to our moon, use the Moon or Moon. When referring to our sun, use the Sun or Sun.
 It takes six to eight months to travel from Earth to Mars.
 The archaeologists excavated the earth at the site.
 Several planets have moons. Are all moons as big as the Moon?
 My daughter has been playing in the sun all day.
 The temperature at the surface of the Sun is over 5000°C.

3. Countries, cities, villages and “nationality” words
We use capital letters for continents, countries, cities, villages, districts, streets. Man-made structures (buildings, parks, bridges, tunnels etc.) also often have names. For example: the White House, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Apart from countries, we use capital letters for ‘nationality’ words as well.
 Elephants in Africa look differently than Indian elephants.
 The Empire State Building is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan.
 I’d like to go to Central Park today.

4. Oceans, rivers, geographical formations
We use capital letters for oceans, rivers, lakes, and other geographical formations (mountains, deserts, volcanoes etc.).
The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert and covers most of northern Africa.
 The Alps are one of the great mountain ranges in Europe.
 The Yellow River is also called “China’s Sorrow”.

5. Titles
Apart from using capital letters for people’s names, we also use capital letters for their titles. Titles of books, works and movies are also capitalized. Remember to you use quotation marks around the names of books with the exceptions of the Bible and catalogs of reference material, such as dictionaries and almanacs.                                                                                                               The Queen of England and her husband have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
 Has Professor Williams called the office today?
 It was a difficult surgery, but Doctor Mathews performed brilliantly.
 I haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies yet.
 Mr. Johnson has just returned from his trip.

6. Holidays
We use capital letters for holidays, but not birthdays.                                                                                Are you coming for Easter?
 We always celebrate Thanksgiving together.

7. Languages
We use capital letters when we talk about languages that we speak (or somebody else does) or as school subjects. However, other school subjects don’t have capital letters.
 She’s got exams in English, French, history and geography this year.

keep-calm-and-use-capital-letters