Monday, 18 January 2010

MLK-day at the Nobel Peace Center

Today I and one of my classes were fortunate to take part in a special celebration of MLK-day at the Nobel Peace Center here in Oslo. The students worked on group assignments where they were to interview people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the US in the 50s and 60s. These people were of course not actually present, but the students were introduced to their stories in the exhibition "From King to Obama". To prepare for the day, the students had read up on Martin Luther King jr and the Civil Rights Movement. Some of the resources we used for these preparations were this Video: Martin Luther King and this text about Martin Luther King Jr. After learning about the Civil Rights Movement, we listened to representatives from the Red Cross, Democrats abroad and the Anti Racist Center who all spoke about the importance of youth involvement and voluntarism as means of changing the world. Subsequently, the students were invited to take part in a discussion about voluntarism and what they themselves can do to make a change in their hometown, their school and even their world. All in all, I think we all learned new things today. The Nobel Peace Center was really worth the visit and I think my students were exemplary visitors. This photo is from flickr.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Poem of the month

I think the first half of January is the hardest part of the schoolyear for most upper secondary school teachers in Norway. Within a week term grades for all students in all subjects must be ready and a lot of us still have quite a few papers to mark before we cross the finish line. Still, I had to take some time for one of my new year's blog resolutions. My plan is to share one poem every month here on my blog in 2010. January's poem is a very traditional choice, but there are good reasons why this particular poem is read again and again by English students all over the world. I think it is especially suitable right now since at the moment Norway is covered in beautiful snow. Please enjoy Robert Frost's "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening":

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

For information about the poem as well as a video of Frost reciting it, see here: Poetry everywhere

The photo is taken from flickr: when snow arrives out of the blue