viernes, 4 de noviembre de 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Hi everybody!! The students from 3rd Course of Compulsory Secondary Education are reading one of the best books this term. It is hard to believe that there is anyone on the planet who is not familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. What is it about?

Ebenezer Scrooge isn't celebrating Christmas Eve, he thinks that Christmas is "a waste of time and money". On Christmas Eve, four ghosts teach Scrooge, an elderly miser, that love and friendship are much more important than amassing a fortune. The first ghost is that of Marley, his former business partner, who warns him about the suffering awaiting him if he does not change. The three other ghosts reveal to Scrooge scenes from his past, present and future. After witnessing these scenes, Scrooge is a changed man.

Christmas is just around the corner and I´m sure you will enjoy this story. We must highlight the true Christmas time value such as friendship, love, honesty... all of them are the crux of the matter for our society. Next day, we´ll continue reading chapter 2.

Charles Dickens is the author of this breathtaking novel: he was an English novelist, considered the greatest of the Victorian period. 

jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2011


Guess what? Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated on 5th November.It commemorates a failed  attempt by a group of thirteen Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the King, James I. The group rented a cellar under the Houses of Parliament and stored 36  barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was in charge of the gunpowder. An anonymous letter  warning of the plot reached the authorities. They searched the building, found Guy Fawkes  and arrested him. He was tortured and later executed. That very same night, bonfires were lit 
to celebrate that the King was safe and the tradition has continued ever since. Traditionally,  English children used to make Guys to burn on the bonfire. A Guy was a life-sized model of  Guy Fawkes made from paper, straw, old clothes… Before they burnt it, the children would ask passers-by for ‘A penny for the Guy’. With the money, they bought sweets or fireworks. 
Now children under 18 are not allowed to buy fireworks so the custom is dying out, though  some people still make Guys for charity. 

Here you can have a look at rhymes and chants during the celebration of Bonfire Nights

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England's overthrow.

By God's mercy he was catch'd
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!

Guy Fawkes, Guy  
Stick him up on high,  
Hang him on a lamp post  
And there let him die.  
Poke Him in the eye,  
Put him on the fire  
And there let him die  
Burn his body from his head  
Then you'll say  
Guy Fawkes is dead  
Hip, Hip, Hooray!  

Rumour, rumour, pump and derry,
Prick his heart and burn his body,
And send his soul to Purgatory.