Welcome to a new school year at Fagerlia!
We are excited to start this blog project with you 😀
In this class both you and we use blogs to share information, curriculum, assignments, and answers. At the end of the year we will host a Blog Awards, awarding the best blog, best layout, the blogger with the most posts etc.
Let’s get started!
The first order of business is for you to create your own blogs. Remember, this is an educational blog, which will be evaluated, so keep it tidy and professional. Use https://www.wordpress.com and choose a free account. When making your account you can choose whether to have a public, private or hidden blog, but no matter which you choose you have to share the link with your teacher.
You will receive assignments to publish on your blogs, and they will be graded “approved” / “not approved”. This is a good way to practice and develop your writing skills.
So, get to it! Create your blog, and include links to other public blogs of your classmates, as well as our teacher blog. You might also include a map so you can see where your visitors are from.
We encourage you to read each other’s blogs as well.
After having created your blog, your first blog assignment will be given by your teacher.
Ellen, Hilde & Målfrid
Access to clean water is a human right, and UN Sustainable Goal number 6.
Some scientists claim that in the future, we will not fight wars over oil and riches, but over access to water. In some places of the world, this fight has already started.
Read this article from The Guardian about how rebel groups try to deny access to water as a way to win.
Write a blog post where you comment on water conflicts. Try to find out about similar water conflicts at other places as well.
The English-speaking world is huge…we often limit ourselves to studying the USA, Great Britain, and maybe Canada and Australia… During the next couple of weeks we are going to take a look at English-speaking countries outside of these main areas. Pick a country where English is an official language.
- Find out about the variety of English spoken here, and how it differs from standard English in pronunciation and vocabulary. Why is English an official language in this country (look at history)?
- Present an author and a literary text from this country. This could be a novel, a short story or a poem, written in the English language. What is it about, and is there a message the author is trying to get across? How is this message carried across/the story told (literary techniques)? Main themes?
- Present a contemporary issue from this country. This could be something you find in the news (remember that all English-speaking countries have their own English-speaking news media, so CNN and BBC should not be your only sources here…) or something you have heard about being a challenge/problem in this country.
You can work individually or in pairs. Present your findings on your blog and be ready to share them with the rest of the class. Use pictures and statistics, or add a video or sound file, but make sure you only use material that you are allowed to share and refer to where you have taken it from.
We are destroying the planet, in the words of Greta Thunberg “our house is on fire.”
What will happen if we fail to stop this trend?
Today we are going to watch A Plastic Whale, a documentary about how our ways of life are destroying our animal life. Before that, let’s read Brad Plumer’s article “Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace” in the New York Times.
As you read, write down answers to the following questions:
- how are we speeding extinction and altering the natural world?
- how much has animal and plant life decreased for the past 100 years?
- are any species particularly at risk right now?
- which areas/countries are most at risk?
- are any solutions offered?
Now, go to WWF’s Species List of Endangered Species. Pick a specie and find out: why is this specie threatened with extinction and what needs to be done to save this one in particular. And, why does it matter whether we preserve it or not?
Make a blog post combining your findings from The NY Times and about an endangered specie.
Take this quiz from the New York Times to see if you are able to spot fake Facebook posts 😉 I did not do too well…
Fighting for human rights can be very dangerous. If you are a woman fighting for human rights in a country with no respect for them, it is even more dangerous… Read these stories and reflect on the courage needed to be an activist in any form and to stand up for your right to protest…
Burundi girls jailed
Iranian human rights laywer sentenced to 38 years in prison
Female activists released in Saudi Arabia
The media has immense power, and often it is easy to forget that the cases written about, and its angle, is chosen by someone for some reason. Some media are more conservative, some more liberal, some write from one cultural background and some from another. This causes the both what is reported and how it is reported to vary from different media and different countries.
Look at the front pages of these different media: The LA Times, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera, CNN, The Australian and BBC .
Do all these media report on the same issues? Which are the recurring ones?
What are the various media focusing on? Do any of them focus on similar topics, or do they all vary?
Look up The Guardian, CNN and Al-Jazeera on social media (FB, instagram, twitter) – what are they sharing on social media? Is this different from the headlines on the actual newspaper? If so, why do you think they choose to share other cases on social media?
Choose two articles about the same topic to read, make sure they are from different media sources. Compare the two in terms of what it reports and focus on, the language – for who is this written, and possible opinions or views shining through. Write a short text where you discuss your findings.