Flash Anzan

One of my students prepared an activity for class last year where we made our own mini-abacus and learned how it’s used to make calculations in Asia, something that was far more interesting than it sounds! His son was learning the method – called “Aloha” here in Spain – but known as Soroban in Japan. So when the Guardian ran an article on Anzan (and you’ll have to read to find out!), I had to take advantage. The video of a Flash Anzan competition will blow your mind……

Flash Anzan Teacher’s Notes



I came across this short video while reading the paper, clicked on it and was strangely mesmerised. I found it beautiful and compelling but at the same time very thought-provoking. I then discovered two more things: firstly, that I was one of the few people on the planet still unaware of its existence and secondly, that not all people felt it was as pure and innocent as I did. The exercise also makes use of the online comments on the article in the paper, which is something I think is a brilliant resource for vocabulary and discussion.
Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

Graffiti Safety First

This video sequence, which rapidly went viral, is a brilliantly conceived idea with a strong emotional impact. It’s perfect for eliciting language – both to describe what’s happening and how it makes us feel. It was part of a road safety campaign which also involved graffiti artists, so this lesson plan uses both topics and combines art, article and advert.

Graffiti Safety First Teacher’s notes

Banksy Images

Roa Images

newspaper article

Embrace Life Image