Sunday, 13 May 2012

We Live in Exciting Times - Join Me in a Celebration

Britain has gone Britain-crazy! It's true! And it's contagious!

We Brits aren't well known for brimming with enthusiasm - we are, generally speaking, a reserved bunch, slow to wake, reluctant to react. But something is happening in Britain that is shaking us all to the seats of our pants. For we live in exciting times.

It really only struck me last night while watching the final of "Britain's Got Talent". I know you have something similar in the US, but the prize here is unique - a chance to perform for Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance (oh, and £500,000....). Generally I don't go out of my way to watch this type of TV programme, but I have been tuning in to support our boys - a 140 strong Welsh male voice choir of boys between the ages of 14 and 19 from all across Wales. The choir has given them new hope, purpose and enjoyment, and is promoting and breathing new life into the age-old tradition of the Welsh male voice choir. If you have never heard a male voice choir, click on the thumbnail below for a glimpse - it's guaranteed to give you goosebumps.  And they are singing in my native language, Welsh - Calon Lan (pure heart). Truly beautiful.


Nationality is a strange thing. I consider myself to be Welsh British - Welsh first, but British in a more global context. In Wales we have our own parliament, flag, language. Last night, I was so proud of the lads, and for the first time it really hit me that Britain is an exciting place to be at the moment. I felt it - a little shiver of pride.. And it's growing.

We are celebrating. The Queen has been on the throne for 60 years - no mean feat for an octogenarian! Can you imagine teaching for 60 years?!? She has been touring the country for the last few months in a bid to meet as many people as possible - to see and be seen. The first week of June sees the country in Royal fever. Royal barges, concerts, Big Jubilee Lunches and street parties (a unique British tradition...).

In June the eyes of the world will be on Britain for another reason - the 2012 Olympic Games. Things are really hotting up. 

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So I'm sending you all in invitation to join us for a summer of celebration. Tune in to the olympics, hold a tea party, string up some bunting, mix up a jug of Pimms, and wave a few flags. I will be helping you along with some bits and pieces you can use with your children in the last few days of school. Or you could save them and use them after the summer break. Start with this little freebie - a series of fact sheets about the Queen's early life and accession to the throne, differentiated so you can use them with grades 2-5. They come with "Think, Pair, Share" comprehension sheets. Then, use the timeline cards to build up a picture of what was happening in the 20th century and where the key events in the Queen's life fitted in.

Most of all, enjoy the summer.


9 comments:

  1. My daughter and I found the boys choir on YouTube. We both had tears in our eyes watching them. Beautiful voices!!!
    It sounds like your summer is going to be jam packed!
    Thanks for the freebie!
    ❀Beth Ann❀
    Taming My Flock of Firsties
    bakteach16@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. HI Beth Ann. I'm glad you enjoyed it - they really are exceptional. Our choir sang with them last year and it was a terrific evening. They will go a long way.

      Sue

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  2. Oh, my -- that choir's performance brought me to tears, also! My Lewis ancestors came from Wales, but I've never heard the language in song before -- thank you so much for sharing that!! Incredibly beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them, Ann. They really are keeping the tradition alive - an inspiration. They have a websitr if you want to learn more.

      Sue

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  3. Wow! The boys choir is amazing! Standing O and 4 yeses deserved, indeed! Britain holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first {and only, thus far} overseas travel. I dream of returning again one day!!! I can't wait to watch the Olympics!!! Thank you so much for the freebie! I check back in with you often!

    Summer Blessings,
    Rebecca
    The Teacher's Chatterbox

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  4. Thanks Rebecca - the boys are truly exceptional. They're all back in school today...! I'm going to pass on to them all the kind comments I received here on my blog.

    I've been to the US once - New York 2004, just before the Presidential Election. I loved it! One day I'll make it back.

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  5. Hi Sue,

    I love your clear resource about Queen Elizabeth II. Very useful... just wondered if you thought about creating the timeline with British spelling too? "color" and also including other non- queen facts for timeline that may be more meaningful for British kids to relate to (alternative to Empire State building etc?)... really appreciate the resource :-)

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  6. Hi. I've noticed that most of my resources are downloaded by US teachers, so I tend to use US English in the first instance. I am always happy to adjust my resources to suit a UK audience. If you'd like a UK version please let me know - it's no problem.

    Sue

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  7. I have always been in love with England, and i finally got to visit 2 summers ago! My ancestors are from England, so I guess that is where my heart belongs! Wish I could be there for the Olympics and the Queen's celebrations!! Have an awesome time with all the fun!!

    Teresa

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a message. I read every single one and try to reply to as many as possible.

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