25 January 2014

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em...

  1. Why are GatesKlitschko and Bieber in the news (end of January 2014)?
  2. Why, according to you, are these people great?
  3. What will they be doing in ten years' time do you think?


Working with two classmates, imagine Gates, Klitschko and Bieber in a plane together; the plane is going to crash, but there are only two parachutes... Who do you think should have the parachutes and why?!

The three people in your group will each play one of the characters (Gates, Klitschko or Bieber), and will each, in turn, plead to the rest of the class for his right to have one of the two parachutes... The class will decide who will have the parachutes!

17 January 2014

21st January is National Hug Day!

National Hug Day occurs on January 21st every year. It was launched by Reverend Kevin Zaborney in 1986 in his home state of Michigan (USA).

National Hug Day is now also celebrated in Canada, Russia and China.

Did you know that French couples hug three times more than American couples do? It's true that Americans are often quite embarrassed about showing their feelings, even to the people they know. The idea of National Hug Day is to encourage people to express their affection by hugging their friends and the members of their family. 

Hugging is also a good thing because there are mental and physical health benefits: it can help build a good immune system, it decreases the levels of stress and the risk of heart disease, and it also lowers blood pressure and heart rate.

January is a month when people often feel a bit depressed, so it was a good idea to choose the middle of that month for this annual event.

Don’t forget: you should ask first before hugging anyone!

  1. Do you like hugs?!
  2. What is the idea of National Hug Day?
  3. In which year was it founded, by whom and where?
  4. In which countries is it now celebrated?
  5. How do you explain that the Chinese now celebrate this day?
  6. What are the benefits of hugging?
  7. Why is this day not celebrated in France?
  8. Would you take part in a Free Hugs Campaign?!
  9. Could hugging campaigns help solve the problem of social isolation do you think?
  10. Are there other ways for people to help other people to feel less lonely do you think?
  1. Research the meaning of the following terms: social anxiety, social alienation, social exclusion, anomie.
  2. Explain in a comment to this blog post who, in the area you live in, is socially excluded and what, if anything, is being done about it.
  3. Write about the life of a lonely person you know about for your school webzine (do not use real  names!) to raise awareness about loneliness.

11 January 2014

On the 19th of January 2014, the Catholic Church organizes its 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Catholic Culture website

Questions on the video:
  1. How old is Hanadi?
  2. Where does she come from?
  3. Where is she living?
  4. Why has she left Syria?
  5. How many people live in the refugee camp?
  6. Is Hanadi happy to go to school?
  7. How many friends does she have?
  8. Why have youth centers been set up?
  9. What does Hanadi miss most about Syria?
  10. What is she hoping for?
  11. How many Syrian refugees are there in Jordan?
  12. What percentage of the refugees are under 18?

  1. Research the plight of Syrian refugees (why are they refugees, how many of them are there, where are they living, what are their living conditions, what is being done for them by the international community?).
  2. Summarise and comment the Pope's message.
  3. Research what the Catholic Church in France is doing to help migrants.

1 January 2014


Questions on the above photo:
  1. When was this photo taken?
  2. Where was it taken?
  3. Who is the man welcoming?
  4. Why is "PEACE" written on his chin?
  5. Why do people celebrate New Year's?
  6. Was 2013 a "good" or a "bad" year for the world?
  7. What would be a good title for this photo?

What are your New Year's resolutions?!

Here are some popular ones:
  • Lose weight/eat better
  • Exercise more
  • Work a bit harder/more efficiently
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Stress less
  • Quit smoking
  • Be nice to my parents