Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Junior Poetry Prize 2

Another fine entry for the recent Junior Poetry Prize comes from Iona Chavasse:


All We Could See for Miles


The large waves bashed against us,
As we rose up,
And dropped down,
Sending cold white spray over us.
All we could see for miles was the sea,
Deep blue, shining. 
Was the shining blue a mask?
A mask that hid its cold dark depths,
A mask that hid its cold stone heart,
A mask that hid the power to swallow us at any second.
Dragging us down, 
Pulling at our arms,
Our legs,
Our souls. 
Pulling the air out of our lungs,
The life out of our bodies,
Love out of our hearts.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Junior Poetry Prize 2018

Congratulations to Emma Hinde, Third Form, who has been awarded this year's Junior Poetry Prize. Here are three of her winning poems:-


Tree-maker

One day a billion years ago,
An old mage said to me
“I have created a new word.”
And I think that word was Tree. 

“Tree?” I asked. “Now what’s a tree?”
Said he: “I was hoping you’d tell me.”
So after ten days deep in thought
To him a finished tree I brought. 

It grew up from a little seed,
I went a bit mad with the leaves,
And twigs to let the song-birds nest;
They put the trunk-strength to the test.

The roots dug deep and moisture found
Beneath the barren, rocky ground 
And when the snow fell down in patches,
All the leaves fell off the branches.

Soon with these trees obsessed I came
And filled the world with different names:
Birch and maple; oak and elm,
They slowly crowded all the realm.

And in the mornings out did come
A chorus of the greatest song;
For all the birds that there did sleep
Came out into the forest deep. 


Springtime 

When the clouds look like a painting,
And the light streams through the trees,
All the little song-birds sit there;
Chirping in the breeze.

When the daffodils are blooming
You hear the buzzing of the bees
And the little boy with hay fever
Lets out a great big sneeze.

When the water’s so inviting 
That the masses flock to seas
The general feeling in the air
Is that it’s almost a disease.

When the snow has finished melting
And you’ve put away your skis
It’s like Spring’s pulled the lever;
Winter’s falling to his knees.  


When the Vikings ruled the Seas

When the Vikings ruled the Seas
Horns blowed
And fires glowed
When the Vikings ruled the seas.

Cockerels crowed
And mead flowed
When the Vikings ruled the seas.

But beware;
For as the gods watch over you
They may choose you for their games. 

One day a man went sailing;
Sailing out to meat his fate,
And when he saw the dragon
He looked down at his bait.

“Not big enough.” He said.
“I’ll have to sit and wait.
“I’m sure that Thor’ll come quite soon
“With a bigger piece of bait.”

So wait he did, with baited breath
For Thor to turn up to his test
But where he was he didn’t know;
He’d gone to watch another show.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Articles of the Week


This is an ongoing listing of links to the Articles of the Week used with our Leaving Certificate pupils, from September 2013 onwards.

The idea came from the American teacher and writer Kelly Gallagher, and it fits very well into the Leaving course, getting pupils used to reading interesting articles and thus helping them in both the comprehension and composition sections of their Paper 1, as well as expanding their knowledge base and vocabulary and providing interesting topics for discussion.

Click here for Gallagher's current articles, and read more about the theory behind the scheme in his excellent book Readicide: how schools are killing reading and what you can do about it. Pupils have to mark up the articles with annotations before class discussion.
  1. May 2019: 'How Exercise Affects Our Memory' by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, May 1st 2019 [exercise, physiology, neuroscience].
  2. January 2019: 'Aviation is the red meat in the greenhouse gas sandwich' by John Gibbons, the Irish Times, January 29th 2019 [environment, aviation].
  3. January 2019: 'Filling the Silence with Digital Noise' by the Nielsen Norman Group, November 18th 2018 [technology, learning].
  4. November 2018: "Window for saving Earth from ecological annihilation closing" by John Gibbons, the Irish Times, October 16th 2018 [ecology, environment].
  5. October 2018: "'Fortnite' teaches the wrong lessons" by Nicholas Tampio, The Conversation, October 12th 2018 [gaming, adolescence, technology]/
  6. October 2018: "Why true horror movies are about more than things going bump in the night" by Aislinn Clarke, The Conversation [film, horror, comedy], October 3rd 2018.
  7. October 2018:  'Is Serena Williams right? A linguist on the extra challenges women face in moments of anger' by Kieran File, The Conversation, September 11th 2018 [women, gender, sport].
  8. September 2018: 'Why you should read this article slowly' by Joe Moran, The Guardian, September 14th 2018 [reading, internet].
  9. September 2018: 'The ideal school would put children's development before league tables' by Sue Roffey, The Conversation, September 17th 2018.
  10. September 2018: 'Another Angle: For the love of God, put down the phones' by Adrian Weckler, Irish Independent, August 20th 2018 [technology, phone].
  11. May 2018: 'Neuroscience is unlocking mysteries of the teenage brain' by Lucy Foulkes, The Conversation, April 23rd 2018 [adolescence, neuroscience].
  12. March 2018: 'The Tyranny of Convenience' by Tim Yu, New York Times, February 16th 2018 [modern life, technology].
  13. February 2018: "The death of reading is threatening the soul" by Philip Yancey, Washington Post, July 21st 2017 [reading, books, internet].
  14. January 2018: 'Why more men are wearing makeup than ever before' by Glen Jankowski, The Conversation, January 15th 2018 [make-up, masculinity].
  15. January 2018: 'Why 2017 was the best year in human history' by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, January 6, 2018 [history, progress, health].
  16. November 2017: 'Boys must behave if women are to be safe' by Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times, October 31, 2017.
  17. October 2017: 'A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans' by Michael McCarthy, The Guardian, October 21, 2017.
  18. October 2017: 'We can't stop mass murder' by Shikha Dalmia, The Week, October 6, 2017.
  19. October 2017: 'What every teacher should know about ... memory' by Bradley Busch, The Guardian, October 6, 2017 [learning, memory, teaching].
  20. October 2017: 'Think the world is in a mess: here are 4 things you can do about it' by Alexandre Christoyannapoulos. The Conversation, November 16, 2016 [activism, citizenship, economics].
  21. September 2017: 'The power of silence in the smartphone age' by Erling Kagge, The Guardian, September 23rd 2017 [technology].
  22. September 2017: '5 reasons why people share fake photos during disasters' by A.J. Willingham, CNN.com, September 8th 2017 [journalism, psychology, social media].
  23. September 2017: 'Can you identify the psychopaths in your life?' by Rob Hastings, iNews, August 29th 2017 [psychology].
  24. February 2017: 'Our roads are choked. We're on the verge of carmageddon' by George Monbiot, The Guardian, September 20th 2016 [environment, transport].
  25. January 2017: 'Girls believe brilliance is a male trait' by Nicola Davis, The Guardian, January 27th 2017.
  26. January 2017: 'What do teenagers want? Potted plant parents' by Lisa Damour, New York Times, December 14th 2016 [adolescence, parenting].
  27. November 2016: 'Trump makes it easy to vote for Her' by Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald, November 6th 2016 [politics, America].
  28. October 2016: 'How being alone may be the key to rest' by Claudia Hammond, BBC, September 27th 2016 [rest, reading, introversion].
  29. September 2016: 'Why Parents are Getting Angrier' by Nicola Skinner, The Guardian, September 3rd 2016 [parenting, psychology, childhood].
  30. September 2016: 'Burkini beach ban: must French Muslim women become invisible?' by Delphine Strauss, The Irish Times, August 22nd 2016 [culture, Islam, France].
  31. May 2016: 'How can Lidl sell jeans for £5.99?' by Gethin Chamberlain, The Guardian, March 13th 2016 [economics, retailing, manufacture].
  32. April 2016: 'Teaching men how to be emotionally honest' by Anrew Reiner, New York Times, April 4th 2016 [gender, adolescence, masculinity].
  33. February 2016: 'Then and now: how things have changed for teenage girls since the 1950s' by Clare Furniss, The Guardian, January 29th 2016 [teenagers, gender, sexism].
  34. January 2016: 'Teenagers risk being defined for life by their social media posts' by Karlin Lilllington, Irish Times, January 14th 2016 [social media, teenagers, identity].
  35. January 2016: 'Welcome to the Anthropocene, a new geological era for the world', The Week, January 8th 2016 [geology, climate change, environment].
  36. November 2015: 'Birth Order Determines ... Almost Nothing' by Jeanne Safer, psychologytoday.com [psychology, parenting, childhood].
  37. November 2015: 'How psychopaths can save your life' by Kevin Dutton, The Observer [psychology].
  38. November 2015: '10 benefits of reading: why you should read every day' by Lana Winter-Hebert, Lifehack.org [reading, entertainment, education].
  39. October 2015: 'How much can you really learn while you're asleep?' by Jordan Gaines Lewis, The Guardian, October 6th 2015 [neuroscience, learning, adolescence].
  40. September 2015: 'Fifth of secondary school pupils wake almost every night to use social media' by Sally Weale, The Guardian, September 15th 2015 [social media, learning, teenagers].