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This Week in NELP

2010年10月28日

This week in NELP students read stories and articles to prepare for Halloween.

The First Grade NELP students read an article about the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. Sarah Winchester was the wife of William Wirt Winchester, heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company that made the famous Winchester Rifle. After the tragic deaths of her husband and infant daughter, Sarah consulted a spiritualist who advised her to buy a house, and told Sarah that Sarah would live as long as work on the house continued. As a result, work continued on this very unusual and unique house for the next 38 years.

The Second Grade NELP students read an article about the Dyatlof Pass Incident in Russia in 1959, in which 9 hikers mysteriously and tragically died during a ski-hiking tour at a pass in the Ural Mountains.

The Third Grade NELP students read a short story by H.P. Lovecraft called "In the Vault" in which an unlucky undertaker is inadvertently trapped in a vault with the dead.

Next:

The First Graders will read "The Gift of the Magi" by O Henry. I often worry that this story is too difficult. The vocabulary is really daunting for first graders. However my first graders have often told me that this is one of their favorite stories.

The Second Graders will read "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. It's one of the longest stories in the NELP curriculum, but has been very popular with NELP students each time I teach it.

The Third Graders will read an article about The Christmas Truce of 1914. This was an amazing incident in which British and German soldiers voluntarily declared peace on Christmas morning, 1914. Unfortunately, they were later forced to continue fighting. Still, it's a good incident to read about.

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投稿者 nelp : 17:06

Halloween Lessons

This week we celebrated Halloween a little early. I decorated the classroom with my usual creepy pictures, pumpkins and Halloween decorations. The students got Halloween candy and we watched scary videos.

The first graders and third graders also told scary stories as one of their speaking assignments.

Here are this year's scary Halloween pictures:

First Grade:

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Second Grade

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Third Grade

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投稿者 nelp : 16:28

Kurashiki Mayor's Cup

One of my junior high school third grade students recently participated in the Kurashiki Mayor's Cup Speech Contest.

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Although my student did very well, and delivered her speech very naturally, she unfortunately did not win any prizes. There's a line in her speech "Will the judges get what I'm trying to say?" Apparently not.

Her speech was an inventive 'message' speech about not giving up, even in the face of criticism, difficulty or imperfection. I liked the fact that her speech didn't attempt to bludgeon the audience to DO SOMETHING about a current social issue. Instead, it was about having self-confidence. In that sense, I can understand how the low-key message in her speech might have flown right past the judges, who might be of the opinion that her speech was ONLY about giving a speech.

Still, I'm very proud of my student for her development of her performance and speaking skills.

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投稿者 nelp : 16:19

H.I.H. Prince Takamado Trophy

2010年10月15日

On October 10, one of my third grade NELP students and two SELP students went to the H.I.H. Prince Takamado Trophy, the 62nd All Japan Inter-Middle English Oratorical Contest.

Although one of the SELP students who participated in the recitation section unfortunately did not win a prize, the other SELP student got one of the gold prizes in the recitation section.

My third grade student got first prize in the speech section, and so she will go to Tokyo this year for the finals. I'm really proud of her.

Here are some pictures:

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投稿者 nelp : 18:43

These Days in NELP

2010年10月 5日

Here are some pictures from the NELP program!

Here are the first graders having a discussion about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919.

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Here are the first graders having a debate about whether or not the government should organize ordinary people into teams to deal with disasters.

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Here are some first graders playing while they work on their mid-term presentation. One girl (in the center) is doing a presentation about Vlad (Vlad the Impaler) Tepes who was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula. So I've been making a lot of jokes about Vlad's curly mustache and wavy hair (and a few jokes about Justin Beiber just because I'm a little bit mean!)

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In addition to this, the first graders have also been working on this year's Time Capsule project. They were working on profiles, including likes and favorites and so on, and later they will write some letters for themselves and the other class members. We'll also record a video. This time capsule will stay in the room until February 2013 when they'll open it up as third graders.

Here some second graders are looking at Ray Santilli's infamous 'Alien Autopsy' video on youtube as part of their 'research' for our debate this week. Our debate was about whether or not we should allow aliens to live here. The students did a fantastic job and were very creative. This debate, though kind of silly, opened the door for us to talk about immigration, colonialism and many instances in history, particularly the European discovery of America and its impact on the cultures there.

In class we read an article about the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the myths and legends associated with it. I felt this was a kind of fun exercise in mass media pop culture because there are SO many references to this alleged event in movies, TV shows and so on. We also watched the pilot episode of the Roswell TV show.

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Here are the second graders working on their special project: another class video. I was about to cancel the video project because I was worried that there isn't a large enough academic value, even though we're really not supposed to spend a lot of time on it. However, the students have assured me that it's not JUST fun (though that's a big part of why they still want to do it). They insist that they WILL learn some English through working together on the project, so I'll let it go forward.

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Finally, here are some pictures of the third grade students having a discussion about the Mausoleum of Theodoric.

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In addition to this, the third grade students have also been working on their video project: making Public Service Announcements. They worked on their PSAs today and they have some really good ideas, ranging from health and fitness to ecology to education.

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投稿者 nelp : 19:04

Speech Contests

On September 25th, two of my junior high school 3rd Grade students went to the 6th Annual Junior High School Presentation Contest hosted by Okayama Gakugeikan High School.

I'm very, very pleased to say that my two very hard-working students won 1st and 2nd place in the contest.

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On September 26th, two of my high school NELP students attended the 4th English Speech Contest for High School Students in Okayama hosted by Kurashiki Minami High school.

I'm very please to say that these two very hard-working students both went to the final round. One of my students, as a finalist, won one of the 4th place prizes, while my other student won first place!

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投稿者 nelp : 18:54

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