My blog celebrates its first birthday today. It’s been a busy year so I haven’t blogged as often as I should have – probably below the recommended once a week average. But I hope you've enjoyed my posts or rather used in class some of my ideas and activities. It seems Would you like it gift-wrapped? was my most viewed post in 2011, followed by the Cycles of Recycling.
Another defining moment was finally joining Twitter. Better late than never – and apparently I am in good company because Simon Cowell, Christina Aguilera and the Pope have all joined this year too! (according to this review). Thanks to Twitter I got to know lots of other enthusiastic teachers who, unlike me, blog on a more regular basis and are passionate about teaching and, not less importantly, learning. Some of the blogs I’ve picked can be found here or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see my blogroll (“Blogs worth checking out”).
And finally the activity which prompted me to start my own blog a year ago. I like to start the first lesson in a new year with the end-of-year quiz. If set up properly, it can actually last me two or three lessons with follow-up activities, student presentations and vocabulary reviews – suggestions on how to use the quiz can be found in the teachers notes:
NEWS QUIZ –TEACHERS NOTES
(lower-intermediate / young learners)
NEWS QUIZ 2011 EASIER
NEWS QUIZ - EASIER - TEACHERS NOTES
NB. "Easier" means simpler language, not easier questions
News Quiz 2011
- On 29th April the entire world's eyes were on Britain as more than a billion people tuned in to watch the fairy-tale Royal Wedding. Who did Prince William marry?
- Who became the first Arab country leader to stand trial in 2011 for the deaths that occurred when his security forced tried to crush the protests?
- A powerful earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale hit Japan in March 2011 causing a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdown. What is the highest number on the Richter’s scale?
- Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs lost his battle to cancer at the age of 56 in October 2011. Often described as a college dropout, he actually hung around the college for a while and attended a course which, he admitted, helped him later in life. What was the course in?
- The death of 27-year-old Amy Winehouse, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for much of her short-lived career, came as a big shock. What is the name of her best-selling 2006 album which earned her critical praise and five Grammys?
- After almost 10 years trying to track down the world’s most wanted and dangerous terrorist Osama bin Laden, the U.S. forces found and killed him in May 2011. In what country was he hiding?
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 released in 2011 broke ticket sales record within hours of opening. The film is the final installment in the Harry Potter series based on the best-selling fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling. How many Harry Potter books has she written?
- The issue of racism in football has reared its ugly head again as the Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing the Man United defender Patrice Evra and banned for eight matches. What British football club does Suarez play for?
- The Internet giant Google launched its much-anticipated online social network as a potential rival for Facebook in June 2011. What is it called?
- What pop star surprised the audience of the MTV Video Music Awards 2011 when she revealed that she was pregnant?
- In a year marked by mass protests, London was no exception. What sparked widespread rioting in London last summer, ultimately leading to more than 2,500 arrests and five deaths?
- The controversial Dutch Director Lars Von Trier caused outrage at the Cannes Film Festival last summer when he said he sympathized with what historical figure?
- Whom did the French president Nicolas Sarkozy describe as a "liar" in a private exchange with Barack Obama which was caught on an open microphone at a G20 summit last November?
- What politician was forced to step down as Prime Minister under pressure from a lurid sex scandal and amid a deepening economic crisis?
- Thousands of protesters across the Arab world took to the streets in 2011 in what became known as the Arab Spring. But the uprising actually started at the end of 2010 after a young market worker set himself on fire. In what country?
- The chief of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s visit to New York ended with criminal charges against him. How did he get into hot water?
- The Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor died in March 2011 and was laid to rest at Forest Lawn memorial park in LA. What is the name of her close celebrity friend who had been buried in the same mausoleum two years earlier?
- Where is Utoya Island and why did it make the headlines in the summer 2011?
- Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he would return to acting in 2011 but had to put his plans on hold after the details of his extramarital affair with his former housekeeper began to emerge. What was the last movie he starred in?
NEWS QUIZ 2011
Click here for follow up activities for vocab recycling and consolidation.