Poetry by Upper-intermediate 1MO

Georgia, one of our teachers at 30+, recently taught an Upper-Intermediate class where they looked at a poem about Winter by Judith Nicholls. Before they listened to the poem she asked her students to think about the following things: a winter memory, this present winter and a wish for next winter. This helped them to start thinking about their personal associations with Winter. After sharing their experiences with the class they then looked at the five senses – sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Students worked in pairs to write down ideas for each sense which they felt encompassed the season for them. By doing this, students generated lots of vocabulary and expressions around the topic of the poem which prepared them to listen to Judith Nicholls’s poem. Students then listened to the poem to see if any of the words the class had brainstormed came up in the text, then listened again filling in words that had been removed from the worksheet. After discussing the new vocabulary students looked at how the poem was made and found patterns in the structure. Students then worked in groups and used the structure to create a third stanza to the poem. In the second part of the lesson students repeated the brainstorming process on different topics and developed their own language patterns to create the poems below. Winter Winter crept, through the whispering wood, hushing fir and oak; crushed each leaf and froze each web — but never a word he spoke. Winter prowled by the shivering sea, lifting sand and stone; nipped at each limpet silently — and then moved on. Winter raced down the frozen stream, catching at his breath; on his lips were icicles, at his back was death. by Judith Nicholls (1941-) Woman Never ending mystery I try … Read more

Learning English – A Look at 7 Expressions with Heart

By heart If you know something by heart, you’ve learned it so well you know it from memory. For example: “He’s my favourite poet, I know several of his poems by heart.” This expression which surfaced in England in the late 1300s, likely comes from the Old French phrase ‘par coeur’ which literally translates to “by heart.” To your heart’s content If you do something to your heart’s content or desire, you do that thing until you are satisfied. Shakespeare was fond of this expression which dates from the early modern period of literature. When the phrase first entered the English language, “to your heart’s content” it was sometimes used without “heart.” Things could be done “to your content” back in the 1600s, though that trend died out within 50 years. Eat your heart out You might shout the slightly morbid phrase “Eat your heart out!” to someone to induce jealousy. For example, a pop star preparing for a performance might look in the mirror, and liking his reflection, cheekily shout “Eat your heart out fans!” Have your heart in your mouth Have your heart in your mouth refers to a heightened state of anxiety or fear. There are many things that might bring your ‘heart all the way up to your mouth’ including a fear of spiders, public speaking or roller coasters! Cross your heart If you verbally cross your heart, you do it to maintain the truth of what you just said. You can take this one step further by adding “and hope to die.” For example: “I didn’t eat the last piece of cake. Cross my heart and hope to die!” This expression, which has been used throughout the 20th century comes from the religious practice of tracing a cross over the heart with a finger to … Read more