December 2008 – ¡Vámonos!

Month: December 2008

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Puerta de Sol, originally uploaded by lisibo.

Having visited Madrid in November, I have now stood in the Puerta de Sol, in front of this clock which will be the focus of festivitis in Spain much as Big Ben is in England. The square will be full of the level of chatter and hubbub that only Spaniards can produce – oh to be there! Hopefully I’ll find it online somewhere!! Got my grapes ready…

28th December is el Día de los Santo Inocentes in Spain (and other Hispanic countries – found a clip from Venezuela too) – their equivalent of April Fool’s Day. I think it’s a great time of year to have a day of practical jokes as it’s in that awkward ‘lull’ period between Christmas and New Year, and also as it’s the time when people are visiting relatives and friends so gives much more scope for ‘inocentadas’ or jokes.

Have a look at this description of the day and for some ideas, check out this site which offers suggestions of jokes you might like to play! Here’s another list of suggestions – one of which involves salt to make people think you have dandruff!!

Other ‘bromas’ might include some of the following-

And here’s a clip from The Simpsons where Bart plays a joke on Homer – (sorry video quality is poor – Twentieth Century Fox have had most clips removed!!)

That’s a bit extreme I guess!


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This Christmas is going to be different in my family as my Dad is not here to share it with us, and I have to say that I haven’t really entered into the whole Christmas thing this year with the gusto I usually do. I’ve not sent any Christmas cards and don’t really feel as I normally do at this time of year, a time that I usually adore. Being ill last week didn’t really help I guess.

However, when it all boils down, this is what Christmas is all about for me – the celebration of the birth of Jesus (whenever it actually took place). And, because of Him, I believe I will one day see my Dad again.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas xxx

El Gordo

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Yesterday saw the biggest lottery of the year – El Gordo (the Fat One) – in Spain. As far as I know – and I think I would know – my Aunt didn’t win and nor did anyone else I know, but I still like to check it out as it is drawn and called in such a quaint way with children singing the numbers and prizes.

As The Guardian reports;

The Fat One showered €2.15bn (£2.02bn) in prize money across the country. It brought tears of relief to some winners and champagne-soaked pledges to pay off mortgages and meet debts from others.

The world’s biggest lottery payout has ushered in the Spanish Christmas season for almost two centuries since it was first drawn in 1812.

Rarely has the prize money, spread among tens of thousands of people, been so eagerly welcomed. “Everybody says they are going to use it to get themselves out of problems,” said Madrid lottery seller Rosario Rueda.

So, congratulations to the winners, and to the losers…there’s always next year.

¡Feliz Navidad!

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Reception loved this song this week, and were all bopping along so for your delight and delectation, here’s Feliz Navidad accompanied by the film Rudolph.


A rather amusing song about the progress of social networking! Rather tongue in cheek I feel!


You can check out the French translation and the lyrics by going to Ben Walker’s site.

NB I know it’s been around since August, but I’ve only just found it and it amused me in my bunged up state so indulge me 😉

Now I’ve broken up for Christmas holidays, I’m ill – isn’t it always the way with teachers? So, to get myself in the Christmas spirit, and because it is very funny – and true! – here’s the inimitable Stephen Fry explaining a couple of rather particular Catalan traditions. Perhaps not the clip to use to explain it in class though!!

Warning – these clips contain coarse language that may offend.

And here’s a clip of children attacking their Caga Tio!


Following on from El pequeño petirrojo, here’s another idea for Christmas that is adaptable to a variety of age groups.

Courtesy of HGfL (Hertfordshire Grid for Learning) comes ideas for using Raymond Briggs’ Snowman in French, Spanish and German.

You can download a set of flashcards in the form of a Powerpoint, and also the script of the story in the above languages. Here are instructions for how it’s suggested you might use the resources:

The basic idea is to show the DVD, which (apart from the introduction) has no words, accompanied by a reading of the script. Some confidence and competence in the chosen language is required as the text, although in the present tense, presents some challenges as you need to understand when to pause to allow the film to tell the story. Some ideas:

  1. Introduce key words with the flashcards.
  2. Play flashcard games.
  3. Develop actions for each flashcard. Children repeat the actions whenever they hear the words in the story.
  4. Distribute flashcards. Children wave flashcards when they hear the appropriate words in the story.
  5. For older children you may want to introduce the written word and distribute word cards which the children show as they hear in the story.
  6. When the children have watched the film and listened to the script in the appropriate language several times, they could act out the story as it is being read (first of all with the film and then without the film).
  7. Older children could be given a simplified text, cut up which they then need to put in order. A similar activity could also be carried out using the smartboard or something similar.

I think this is a marvellous idea! Not only do you get to watch a classic, it also serves as a teaching resource.

And in case you haven’t got the DVD, here it is from Youtube – in three parts!

And here’s just the song – Walking in the Air – which I have just discovered was not originally sung by Aled Jones.

Stuck for a present for Christmas? Don’t want to waste your money on a present that will be discarded as soon as you’ve left? Want to give something with that will have a lasting value?

Here’s an idea, presented with all the cheesiness of a ripe Gorgonzola as only Mr P can ;o)
(Congratulations on the European Podcast Award win)

Alternatively, check out Oxfam Unwrapped or Send a cow :o)

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