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When my parents-in-law were visiting from Italy, they often found themselves dissuading my son from eating yet another banana (No, banana!) or encouraging him to get in his potassium for the day (Sì, banana!). You might be asking yourselves: how old is your son, is he a monkey, and why are you using such rudimentary structures with him? Well, he’s two, no he isn’t (though his behaviour doesn’t always suggest so), and he’s learning two languages at once, with a bit of a third peppered in for good measure. So we are sticking to basics for now. But this “Sì, banana, no banana” business was a great springboard for a fun classroom activity that will work well with kids aged 6 – 10 (so, grades 1 – 5). I tried it out on my mixed-level group at École Augustin Roscelli, and it was a real crowd pleaser. It also helped consolidate demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those in English; questo/quello and all their gendered and numbered iterations in Italian), opposites, numbers and sequencing, use and position of definite and indefinite articles, and, of course, the proper matching in gender and number of all elements in a sentence (article, noun, adjective). What follows is a closer look at the activity and how to employ it in your classrooms.
Lovers of Great Books know Penelope to be a meaningful but secondary figure. When her husband, Ulysses, is called to war, she spends twenty years faithfully awaiting his return. She promises the suitors pressing to take his place that she will choose one among them to be her new companion just as soon as she has finished weaving a burial shroud for her father-in-law. For three years, she sits at her loom, weaving a cloth she will take apart at the day’s end only to start it anew. No one knows what she sews into that cloth daily. There is no physical object to its testament. No scenes of her struggles and despair. No images of her worries, doubts, and daily stresses. There is no great Greek tapestry. Only the consistent movement of her fingers up and down the loom. Only the blank canvas before her. Where did her stories go?
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A guide to some of our favourite spots on and around the Silver Mount and along the Silver Coast. Complete with tourist attractions, restaurant suggestions, recommended accommodations, a guide to public and private transportation methods in the area, maps, images, local resources, a basic phrasebook, and more.