Learning in the time of COVID-19

18 03 2020

1. Listen to the audio book version of the excerpt you have to study. Find HERE the list of all the documents we used this year. Feel like revising a bit of grammar? Find HERE  a wide selection of activities.

2. Colson Whitehead telling more about his book to French readers in 2017.   

3. It might look like kid stuff but Mr Q can actually help you grasp the legacy of Harriet Tubman.

4. The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project wants to tell the full story of slavery.

5. How can a book start a war? Study a passage from another book by a former slave HERE




On and around Animal Farm

11 03 2020

YOUR TASK: choose  any two or three documents (texts, visuals, videos, audios…) and build up your student portfolio. You can combine pieces related to either or both of the works we are studying this year (i.e. Oscar Wilde’s play and George Orwell’s novella 🙂 

1. Click on the pic below. Why did T.S. Elliot refuse to publish Animal Farm? Read more HERE

2. Do you find this graphic novel to be faithful to Orwell’s original?

3. Listen to this punk version of Old Major’s song. Analyse the original HERE.

4. What was Roger Waters’ source of inspiration for this album?

5. Listen to the audio book until the end of chapter two. List the main events of the story and answer this QUESTION. Read it in print HERE.

Repairing the past

17 02 2020

1. How did enslavers use enslaved people to generate profit? Answer more questions HERE

Find out about your task HERE.

2. Watch the video by VOA and note down arguments proving or disproving that “Harriet, the movie, advances the slave narrative on screen”. Focus on the words spoken by the people interviewed in the video.

3. Listen to author Colson Whiteson telling about the history of the Underground Railroad. Click on the painting to answer a few questions. 


4. Learn more about “The Moses of Her People”. 

‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’

8 02 2020

1. A few terms to remember: find out about fable and allegory. Find out more HERE.

2. Learn more about the novella’s historical background.

3. Who was George Orwell? What was his motivation for writing?

4. More on the historical and political context.

5. Listen to the audio book version of the story. Read the story in print HERE.

The Power of the Word

18 12 2019

1. What is poetic meter? How does it work? What is the secret of the power of iambic pentameter? Take the test HERE.

2. What is the rhythm we always carry with us in our lives?

3. Hip Hop or Shakespeare?

4. Akala, the rapper. Analyse a few lines from this piece HERE.

5. YOUR TASK. Are you ready to write your own verses or rap in iambic pentameter? Revise the basics. Find more help HERE.


The artist as a social commentator

11 12 2019

1.What gave Dickens such powerful influence over his contemporaries? Oscar Wilde’s criticism of “Dickens’s over sentimentalism” did not prevent him from taking his inspiration from his predecessor. What did Wilde borrow from Dickens? Here’s your TASK.

2. Through farce and satire, Oscar Wilde, too, was sending up the high society of his time to expose its intrinsic hypocrisy.

3. Like Cecily, Queen Victoria “Wrote in [her] journal”. Read more on Victorian diary writing HERE.


What are the consequences of unmitigated power?

9 12 2019

1. Has prison become a normal life event for young black men in America? Find out about your task HERE.

2. What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil? Read more HERE.

3. What can be done to save humanity from mindless obedience?

4. Life behind bars. Find out about the ‘Three-Strikes Law’ HERE.

5. Who are the “Central Park Five”?

No thanks, no giving

28 11 2019

1. How much do you know about Thanksgiving? Read more HERE

2. Imagine how Russel Means would narrate the story of Thanksgiving. Use this VOCABULARY HELP

3. Why do many indigenous people around the country today say, ‘No Thanks, No Giving’?

4. One movie ONLY will be projected in your school film club. In small groups, choose the best movie to be shown. 

5. Click on the pic to do a grammar exercise!

Power over life and death

17 11 2019

1.Watch the video and take notes about factual elements, arguments for or against and any relevant information concerning the death penalty debate in the U.S.A. Prepare a short oral report. Read more HERE.

2. What happened to Stacey Stites? What is the evidence against Rodney Reed? What do his backers say?

3. Why did the Appeals Court stay Rodney Reed’s execution? What’s changed since the original trial? What’s going to happen next? Find out about your task HERE

4. “Woman on the tier” from the movie’s soundtrack.  Find more songs about capital punishment HERE

5. What is it like to live knowing the date and time of your death?

6. Do you want to be on a jury? Why or why not?


A world without books

17 10 2019

1. This classic dystopian novel explores a future in which possession of books is a crime.

2. How to  preserve independent thought in a society where mass media has monopoly on information? Take the QUIZ

3. Here is an in-depth summary and analysis of the plot of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451. Study an excerpt HERE.